During the summer of 2013, I was at one of the beautiful beaches in Thailand, stuck between making the decision of riding a parasail for the first time in my life. Parasailing is similar to parachuting but over water with a boat towing you along.
Trust me― it was scary. Scarier than the time I had to go up to the cash register by myself in fourth grade, because my mom thought that I needed to grow up. You might be thinking: “Oh, that doesn’t look so bad,” but hey, give me some slack. We’re talking about an introverted 13 year old kid who never did anything riskier than riding a bike.
Okay, continuing on: my family and the rest of the people in the same tour group as us were dropped off at a pretty large platform floating on the water, where other tourists were watching the dozens of other parasailers and people who were fishing. Let me tell you, it was pretty exciting. On this platform was a huge sitting area, and there were people waiting in line to parasail. There were kids that were younger than me that wanted to go on it, and I believe that was the only reason why I ever agreed to risk my life to go on this ride.
I don’t know how to explain how nerve-wracking and scary it was before I went on, but it was scary. Eventually it was my turn, and the ride turned out to be exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be. Fun. Until this day I’ve never regretted making the decision and facing my fears of being in the sky with a huge ocean and waves crashing beneath me.
There was also this time when I was at Knott’s Berry Farm during an 8th grade end-of-the-year field trip, and all I wanted was to go on the Xcelerator.
I was pumped to go on the ride, but everyone was afraid to go on. (Note that it could go up to 82 mph within 2.3 seconds), which is pretty insane. Flash forward to an hour later and I was waiting in line and slightly nervous. When we were just right about to go on, my buddy and I watched the two girls before us go on the roller coaster. It went off so fast I could feel the wind blowing my hair back as the roller coaster took off. For a split second I considered turning back, but I knew it was too late to back out. Plus, what could be the harm of going on the ride?
Then, it was time for us to get on. I can’t even describe how hard my heart was pumping. I was that excited and nervous.
In the end, the ride only lasted about 30 seconds and I didn’t regret a thing. I’m glad that I had the courage not to back out. If I didn’t go on it, would I be looking back and regretting my decision? If I didn’t get to experience what it actually felt like, I probably would still believe that it was more horrifying than fun, which turns out to be not the case.
Moral of the story is to try new things. You might be scared to death, but your choice won’t be regretted in the end. Well, unless someone ends up being hurt, or falls off a ride, or falls into the disastrous, deadly waves beneath them, or manage to trip and fall into the depths of nowhere. Otherwise, it’s a green light!
In all seriousness, always keep trying new things. You’ll always learn and grow for the better. The decision is yours, but taking the newer path can open up a new light and perspective of the world around you.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”―Walt Disney
How to Be an Explorer of the World:
1. Always be looking. (Notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider everything alive and animate.
3. Everything is interesting. Look closer.
4. Alter your course often. Try something new. Travel.
5. Observe for long durations (and short ones).
6. Notice the stories going on around you.
7. Make patterns. Make connections.
8. Document your findings (field notes) in a variety of ways.
9. Observe movement. Play or draw w/ kids or in a child-like manner.
10. Create a personal dialogue with your environment. Talk to it.
11. Trace things to their origins.
Looking back at my experiences, these tips would definitely help you find light or a different perspective in the world. Be open to new changes and take risks when opportunities present themselves.