For me, I live in a smaller town that only has popular chains of stores, and more westernized types of shops, and so I haven’t experienced much of, what I would call, the “outside” world. I realized this when I went to university.
In university, my closest friends were all from bigger cities with a nice variety of different cultures, like Waterloo, Toronto, and Markham. They shared their knowledge and experiences with me and that’s when I started learning a lot about what there was available in bigger cities.
They took me to new places like Korean BBQ, Karaoke, The Face Shop, ChaTime, 4am pizza; places I’ve never been to before, and I experienced a lot of new things. It was a very memorable time for me because I got to learn about all these new things and experience them with people who were close to me, and so they became memories that I really treasure.
I think it’s really important to explore what’s out there in the world, which is why I am always open to new ideas and doing things that I’ve never done before. I’m not very brave when it comes to scary things, but I still push myself to do it because I don’t want to have any regrets. Sometimes, things only happen once in your life, and if you don’t take up the opportunity then, you’ll never get it again, and so I am always up for anything, as long as I get to do it with those who are close to me.
Trying new things is my way of showing love and respect to the people who are close to me, because even if I’ve never done it before, or am scared to try, at least I’m making the effort and going out of my comfort zone to do it. I also do it for myself, because completing something that I was nervous or scared to do, feels like a great accomplishment to me and at the end, it really makes me feel like I can do anything. Then in the future, I might be able to share my experience with someone else who is doing it for the first time.
Sometimes I actually find things that I enjoy, that I never thought I’d like, just by trying it once. For instance, before, I used to despise spicy food, and never wanted to eat it, but when I’m eating it with friends and family, suddenly it becomes more tasty, and I actually found that it’s pretty fun to eat because of everyone’s reactions. I still can’t eat really spicy foods, but compared to 3 years ago, I am much better!
So really, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that you should always treasure your first experiences and others’ first experiences, because you can really only experience something for the first time, once in your life.
For my friends, who have eaten Korean BBQ many times in their life, or gone to street food vendors a lot, I really appreciate that they wanted me to enjoy the experience and always looked out for me when I was trying things for the first time. They always said, “Emily! This is really good, you should try it!” and even if it was a small gesture, it actually made me really happy inside that they were thinking of me and wanted me to have the best first experience ever.
It’s your friends, family, and people around you that make first experiences memorable, so instead of trying out that new restaurant by yourself, or watching that new movie by yourself, I feel like instead… you should invite a friend! There’s nothing better than being able to share your new experience with someone else, who might even have a mutual feeling, and laughing about it with them.
Take the time to enjoy the company around you while you still can,