Bangkok, Thailand

May 1, 2016

Try Everything

This week, I hit a major milestone.

I sat down in my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant (give ‘em a like!), and had the usual banter about the sweltering record heat wave with my friend, the chef and owner.

Then she asked what I wanted to eat.

I wasn’t sure. “What haven’t I had?”, I asked.

She paused, stumped.

We each grabbed a menu, and looked through. Nothing there. We talked through the stuff that’s not on the menu. Nothing new there either.

We both stopped. I’d eaten everything.

It had taken me two trips to Thailand and almost four months, but I’d finally made my way through the 60+ possibilities.

I was delighted, and to be really honest with you, I felt more proud in that moment than I have about almost anything else this year.

Of course, it hadn’t happened on accident. Since heading out on these adventures, I’ve defaulted to a simple rule when I’m not sure:

Try everything.

Both in food and in life, it’s served me well.

Back in the States, when I went to a restaurant, I’d only order the things I thought I’d like. But how could I know?

One of my favorite dishes here is paak buung, and I never would have ordered it. A plate of stir-fried watercress in oyster sauce? Nah, I’ll stick with the curry that I know and love.

But try everything doesn’t give me that luxury, and because of that, it introduces me to new things to love that I never would have guessed.

So this week, I invite you to try try everything with me. Find some place where you’re a little curious. Maybe it’s your favorite restaurant, a style of dress, or even different toothpastes. Pick one thing, and make a pact with yourself to try every option.

You might be surprised by what you find. :)

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I read all week was this piece that shows off some of our brain’s biggest blind spots. It has gorgeous graphics, and shows the ways that modern storytellers are getting around our wiring problems and connecting us with what’s really going on. I so love stuff like this. :)

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