Having been in China for over a month I have found that by simply smiling, being open to opportunity and trying to speak to people can lead you to the most amazing places. It reminds me of the now famous book (and film) Yes Man – in which a struggling man turns about his fortunes by simply saying YES to everything and I mean everything. Now I’m not condoning saying yes to everything but I believe that creating a habit of being more ‘yes’ than ‘no’ is an essential part of experiencing a foreign culture and one of the reasons that I feel like I’m getting so much out of my adventures in China.
If I hadn’t been open to saying ‘yes’ to life in China I wouldn’t have experienced some these unforgettable moments:
KTV Karaoke with a group of Chinese Business men at 2 am in the morning,
Some great games of 6-a-side football with local Chinese men,
Amazing meals at my Chinese teachers’ houses,
Becoming everyone’s friend at a Baijiu (the local Chinese spirit) exhibition and being given A LOT of bottles,
Historical Chinese culture (from temples to thatched cottages),
Eating cow throat, stomach, pig intestine, duck tongue, congealed blood, tripe and “mystery meat”,
‘Enjoying’ bruising massages,
Even being in China in the first place,
AND so much more.
Apparently it only takes 30 days to either make or break a habit. I challenge you for the next 30 days to say YES more. From my experience it won’t always be fun and sometimes every fibre of your being wants to say no, but life’s too short to say no. The benefits of saying yes are that you’ll see/do things you’ve never done before, meet new people, make friends and have more ‘adventures’. I decided to embrace my own personal yes challenge and couldn’t be happier, so go on, I dare you!