Frequently Asked Question #4: Why are you trying new experiences anyway?

why are you trying new experiences anyway?

**This is the fourth in a series of posts of FAQs.**

The idea of trying one new experience each week of the year came to me in late 2010. I had just gone through a painful divorce and was seriously depressed.  Someone told me to read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, a memoir about finding joy again after divorce and depression.   While the book is beautifully written, I resented the newly divorced author’s ability to travel the world for a year at her publisher’s expense.  I was stuck living in a house I could no longer afford with my two adorable but demanding preschoolers. There was no way I could eat, pray, and love like Elizabeth Gilbert, but I wanted to find my sense of wonder about the world again.

I was once the girl who backpacked through Europe, volunteered in the Amazon Rain Forest, hiked to Machu Picchu, and visited rural Mexico just to see the winter hibernation site of Monarch butterflies. I missed the excitement of trips like those, but most of all, I missed the sense of curiosity I once had.  The sparkle was no longer in my eyes.  I wanted, no, needed to find a way to love my life.  I was determined to have a little adventure in my life every week, even if it was something as small as a new exercise class.

My adventures ranged from the spiritual to the mundane, but I really looked forward to them.  As I tried new things, I felt my depression lifting and in its place, I found joy.

When 2011 was drawing to a close, I didn’t want my year of adventures to end.  I decided to try 52 new experiences with my children in 2012.  I want them to experience life to its fullest, and I want to be right by their side, doing the same.

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About 52BrandNew

I am a single stay at home mom who is determined to live life to its fullest.
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11 Responses to Frequently Asked Question #4: Why are you trying new experiences anyway?

  1. Jen Fischer says:

    I love hearing how your commitment to new experiences came to be. As someone who also used to travel and live and study abroad before we had our children, I definitely understand. We have decided to really enjoy all that Southern California has to offer realizing that many people from other countries come here when they travel, so we are trying to experience wonderful things right in our own (relative) backyard. http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/2012/06/ten-for-tuesday-family-friendly.html

    • 52BrandNew says:

      That is great, Jen! It definitely helps to live in such an amazing area! I’m lucky because we are between New York City and Philadelphia, so we get to visit both cities a few times a year. My sister lives outside of Washington, DC, so we go there, too!

  2. So proud of you! Most people would be content to sit and never change. Change scares most people. You are not normal. In a good way! You don’t want to be normal. :-)

  3. pleasantest says:

    It’s always inspiring to see which new experience you’ll share with your kids. This is a great idea- thank you for sharing and taking us along on your adventures. :)

  4. RR says:

    I love reading all your posts! I look forward to them and hope to see more as we go on. Great Job!!!! so proud of you xoxoxoxoxox

  5. Can I just tell you how much I’m enjoying this series? Thinking of how I might be able to do something similar over on my blog … BTW, I would love to hear about your trip to see the wintering Monarchs in Mexico. It’s on my bucket list, but I’ve never actually met someone who’s been there!

    • 52BrandNew says:

      Thanks, Debi! The monarchs in Mexico are simply amazing. Monarchs themselves are not endangered, but their habitat is. When I was a teacher, I received a grant to visit the habitats with the scientist who is credited with discovering the site in the 1970s. He showed us the sites, and we learned about conservation issues so we could pass the knowledge on to our students. It was one of the most memorable trips of my life.

  6. Cassie says:

    I love this post! I love that you are making life to the fullest with everything you have and taking your kids with you! I love it!

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