We spent last weekend parked on the property of friends. They knew we would be in the area and invited us to come and stay. We said yes. Sounds straightforward enough, right? Well these friends were people we had never met before, another traveling family we have followed on Instagram. The interesting thing is that we never even thought for a second about saying no. In fact, I don’t think there was actually any thinking involved.
Here’s the thing, I haven’t always been that type of person -the person who says yes to everything. Some people may have called (still call) me an over-thinker. Need help with something, I’m your girl. Invite me to a social event or on a crazy adventure, I definitely need to think about it. Yes does not come naturally to me, but it’s starting to.
In 2011, shortly before I met Adam I separated from my then husband and partner of 14 years. I told myself then that I was going to take advantage of opportunities that came my way, have fun, NOT overthink things, say yes. And I made a lot of progress – actually if I hadn’t I am pretty sure Adam and I wouldn’t be married, because the last thing you are ‘supposed’ to do when you are in the middle of divorce is date someone else. Certainly not someone you met on Craigslist! (yes, Craigslist!)
So I started saying yes but then I got into a routine again, life, work, all the ‘normal’ busy got in the way. My overthinking brain went on auto-pilot. Except in those moments (years) I didn’t realize it. I didn’t feel the difference like I do now. It turns out saying yes challenges me and makes me happier and this life of travel has opened me up to that again.
What I can see now is that each yes (the decision to live on the road, to downsize, to live the life we want to live and not what is expected) has led me to a fuller life. One where I am surrounded by a community of people who say yes. Who thrive on adventure and a community of like-minded friends. Who live intentionally. It is a beautiful gift and it helps me grow.
And in case you were wondering, it turns out our instinct to say yes to our friends this past weekend was a good one. It was a weekend full of conversations with new friends –about “saying yes,” this community of traveling families, motherhood, dreams, struggles, our lives and how we have grown – kids running wild (sometimes butt naked), birthday celebrations and giggles. A weekend full of yes. And by the end of the weekend Adam and I said another yes – to an invitation to a trip to Iceland – because how could we say no.