Always say yes to travel - by Jillian Palmer

Always say yes. That's a motto that I try my hardest to adhere to, at least when it comes to travel. Last year one of my best friends and I were sitting at a bar when she asked me, “I’m going to go backpacking in the Grand Canyon, do you want to go?” Immediately, without thought, I gave her a resounding "yes!" 

She wanted to backpack into Havasupai Falls, a Native American reservation in the Grand Canyon. I was familiar with the picturesque blue-green water that I had seen on the internet, but I had never been backpacking before, nor had I ever been to the Grand Canyon. Nevertheless, I stuck by my “yes” and started planning our trip.  We had a whole year to get everything together. Reading every article and blog post we could find, we picked out our backpacks and put together a supplies list. I had gone camping with my family since I was three years old, so I had some outdoor experience under my belt, but backpacking was a whole world I had yet to explore. When the day came to load the car up, I wasn't exactly sure that I was ready, but I had to stick by my “yes”.

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This is why I say yes to travel


 The drive to the trailhead was very quiet. Up before the sun, we were both reflecting upon the wonderful things in our life that brought us to that point in time. The hike ahead was 10 miles. With three days worth of food and gear on our backs, we said goodbye to civilization, and began the descent into the Canyon. Bustling along, we arrived at the village and then to the campgrounds in under 5 hours. The first waterfall we saw filled us with so much affirmation. This is what we had been looking forward to for a whole year. “THIS is why I say yes”, I thought.

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Setbacks make for a funny story anyway


 That trip was definitely an adventure. We ended up losing all of our food on the first night (always hang your supper, even if the largest animal is a squirrel), we were sore, we had blisters, and we were tired of the heat. But everything we experienced and the lessons we learned together far outweigh the setbacks (and setbacks make for a funny story anyway). The fact that we worked hard for this experience made it even more enjoyable. So even if you’re not sure if you are capable, or you're scared of doing something new,  or worried the trip might not go as planned - remember it's better to try than to not go anywhere at all. And it all starts with saying yes.