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4 Words Every Travel Writer Should Say

Posted by on March 11, 2014


Try the dates!

Try the dates!

I was picky as a kid.

Actually, my mom would probably say that I was extraordinarily picky.

I would not eat tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, sour cream, anything that had large chunks of food in it, anything that was new and unfamiliar, anything spicy, anything…unusual. I ate my cheeseburgers plain and basically subsisted on Campbell’s Soup. I was beyond thrilled when I went to college and they had Campbell’s Soup on the buffet line as that was the only thing that looked good.

Gradually, very gradually, I began to try new things and realized that the things I had insisted I would not like, I actually loved. Instead of being a picky little brat I should have said just four words.

OK, I’ll try it.

Now that I am a grown and rational adult who travels the world and writes about those travels for a living, those four words have become my mantra. I’m still a little bit of a picky eater so when we were offered stuffed dates as an appetizer at the wonderful Oar House restaurant in Dahlonega, Georgia, I hesitated. Dates? Weren’t those kind of sticky, kind of chewy, kind of…I don’t know…weird? But instead of passing up something that had the possibility of being delicious – they were wrapped in bacon, how bad could they be? – I took one.

And fell in love.

Tender, flavorful, filled with cheese and wrapped with crisp bacon, they were amazing. The told us they sell out every night and we were not surprised. There may have been some fork fighting over the last date.

Just recently, I finally broke down and ordered shrimp and grits at the amazing Bistro Bijoux at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. Offered on many menus in the south, I had always ordered something else when they were available because grits? Aren’t they kind of bland, kind of soupy, kind of…weird? If you are ever at Bistro Bijoux, don’t order anything else because this dish was absolutely amazing. Creamy, slightly spicy, perfect in every way.

But it’s not just food that makes me say OK, I’ll try it.

When we were planning our very first cruise, the travel agent insisted that we had to try snorkeling in Grand Cayman. It was amazing, fantastic, unbelievable, we would be so sorry if we missed it. I thought OK, no. Because sharks.

I'm a natural!

I’m a natural!


But finally I gave in and when I put my masked face in the water and saw the incredible scene taking place under there with the colors you just can’t believe it, I was so very glad I had said OK, I’ll try it.

I had always shied away from kayaking. It looked so cool and effortless, just gliding along, but I knew that had to be an illusion. Wouldn’t it be hard? What if I tipped over? What if…Finally, I decided to try it on smooth and quiet

Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. If I failed completely and fell in, the lake was clear, clean, and beautiful and it was a warm day. I can swim well. It would be fine. And it was fine. I took to it like I had been kayaking all my life and I loved every single minute.

I had not been bike riding since I was a kid, over…uh…a lot of years ago. But when my SIL and I were in Florida a few years ago, we were offered the opportunity to ride bikes again. I hesitated. It had been a long time. What if I couldn’t do it anymore? What if I fell over? I could do it. I didn’t fall over. I loved it and have been bike riding numerous times since then. I’m thinking about buying my own bike. I would have missed so much if I had said no. No thanks instead of OK, I’ll try it.

Freaked out but game.

Freaked out but game.

It doesn’t always work.

I am terrified of heights but decided that I would attempt zip-lining a couple of years ago. I made it all the way to the first tower and even climbed to the top before I realized I simply could not do it. But I didn’t feel bad. I felt great that I had actually made the attempt. OK, I’ll try it became Hell no, never again.

And that was OK too. I had tried it.



I don’t know what great food we will have on our next trip. I can’t imagine what adventures we will experience.

All I know is that I will be saying one thing every single time.

OK, I’ll try it.

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2 Responses to 4 Words Every Travel Writer Should Say

  1. Linda Bibb

    I totally agree with that! Too often we place unnecessary limitations on ourselves and miss out on a new experience. With regard to food, I’ve tried quite a few weird ones – even durian, snails and frogs’ legs – by reminding myself that they haven’t killed other people, lol.

    On a side note, when my kids we little I encouraged them to “tell your friends what you ate and gross them out at school tomorrow.” Now they try just about everything.
    Linda Bibb recently posted..La Birreria in Andorra: A Beer Lover’s Heaven

    • Jan Ross

      Thanks for your comment! I have really learned to try new things from traveling so much and it’s been great overall.

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