Why You Should Say Yes and Worry About the Rest Later

Do we make moments or do moments make us? When I first left I thought that in traveling I would conquer the world. Now I know better: in traveling you not only conquer the world, you conquer yourself. We are taught that the world is a dangerous place. We are taught to say no. To keep our heads down and to remain isolated in fear and worry and expectation. I want to challenge that. At eighteen I journeyed to Central Europe for three weeks: alone, and determined to adopt a “yes” philosophy.

Everything in life has consequences. Good and bad. But how will you know until you try? Throughout those three weeks I said yes to everything. And by everything, I mean everything. I said yes to hiking the Alps, even though five minutes in I thought my lungs would burst. I said yes to going out for drinks with my cute tour guide, even though he was much older than me. I said yes to Couchsurfing, even though my mother forbade me. I said yes to spending a day with an older American man, even though my mother’s stranger danger warnings instructed me against it. I said yes to waking up early to watch the sunrise, even though it was my last day in Europe.

My favourite travel stories are the ones where I took a risk and did something crazy and unexpected. If I hadn’t said yes to those experiences, I would have never reaped the consequences. In hiking the Alps, I saw Neuschwanstein Castle, and it was beautiful and breathtaking and mine. In going out for drinks with my tour guide, I fell in love even if it was only for a day. In Couchsurfing Munich, I laughed, cried, and left a piece of myself with two incredible individuals. In spending the day with the American, I roamed the Viennese markets sampling truffles and cured meats and embroidered silk. In watching the sunrise on my last day in Europe, I realized that in saying yes to new people, places and things, I was actually saying yes to not just conquering the world but my fears, my thoughts, and myself.

Hiking the Alps.

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The first time I saw the Alps I couldn’t breathe. I was speechless. It made me question my place in this world. Hiking its steep slope, I was left breathless again. This time for a completely different reason. I wanted to quit. I wanted to go back down and take the bus. I wanted to be just like everyone else. No, I reminded myself. I needed to do this for myself. Finally, when I made it to the top I realized that I had just completed the most rewarding experience of my life (to date that is…). Through the pain I gained a priceless reward: a view of the Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle and the German villages below.

Drinks with my tour guide.

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On my tour I was fascinated. This man understood me. Something rare. So, when he asked me out for drinks I didn’t hesitate. We sat down at the bar and the conversation flowed effortlessly. We talked for hours. So much so that my throat became dry and soar. I didn’t mind. I was just happy to be in his company. At the end of the night I couldn’t help but look into his eyes. I realized that I had fallen for him.. Or at least in the way one can fall for another after knowing them for less than twenty-four hours. Nothing else happened. We hugged and went our separate ways, understanding that our encounter was nothing but a brief passing of the night.

Couchsurfing.

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As a young solo female traveler, friends and family lectured me on the dangers of travel. They told me I would be targeted and attacked; that I would return home regretting my decision to go. They were wrong. Sure, I was terrified my first night. I mean, sleeping on a stranger’s couch? It turned out to be the best experience of my life. Together my hosts and I shared stories, photos and German beer! We bonded and debated over our similarities and differences, giving the other a piece of our truest selves. The last night I looked into their eyes and realized that sometimes people not cities make moments.

Vienna with an older man.

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Sitting alone at Cafe Sacher, savoring their famous Sacher Torte, an older man sat down beside me. He was friendly and jovial. We got to talking about our travels and the politics of our home nations. In the middle of our conversation he turned to me and asked if I wanted to join him for dinner. I said yes. We spent the day together. A food enthusiast, he introduced me to various Viennese markets. We sampled various expensive cheeses and meats. We walked into high-end stores and tried on silk scarves and ties. We learned about handcrafted shoes and traditional Austrian dress. Over schnitzel and beer we chatted with a young Austrian makeup artist, who told us about what really goes on behind closed doors at London Fashion Week. After lunch things turned a little uncomfortable and I got out of there as quick as I possibly could! I don’t believe in regrets. I only believe in good travel stories. I only believe in learning from my mistakes: travel or otherwise. So though I sometimes cringe when I think about spending my day with this man, I’m glad it happened.

Saying yes, I never had to think about the “what ifs”. When you turn down an opportunity, no matter the size, you will almost always question your decision. You will almost always wonder about what could have been instead of what will be. I want to live my life knowing I never backed down from a challenge. That I never missed my chance at travel, adventure or exploration! Live with no regrets, and be fearless! Traveling is about being brave. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone: physically, emotionally and culturally. So, step out of it and say yes!

Andrea is an eighteen year old Canadian gal whose planning a backpacking adventure under the idea that to live life is to explore life. A full-time student and part-time dreamer, she uses her blog to write about her travels and to prove to the world and herself that she can do anything, even on a student budget!

Visit No Money Will Travel for more information about Andrea’s travels and adventures. Follow Andrea on

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