You Only Live Once. YOLO.
I am not a thrill seeker. I do not care for roller coasters, hang gliders, fast things or parachutes. I para sailed over Honolulu at the end of a 500 foot rope this past summer. Not for me. No fun. Will never do it again. If I want thrills, Six Flags Magic Mountain is 5 minutes from my house.
I am, however, an experience seeker. I love new, odd, different experiences that do not make you scream in adrenaline-like fashion, rather experiences that make you inwardly scream and live in the moment as you feel fully alive. Experiences that change you. I like those.
You Only Live Once. YOLO.
Those moments when you utter to yourself, “This is so amazingly cool. How did I even get here?”
So I bring you my 7 Wonders of Life Changing Experiences…and I solicit more of your wonders to put on my checklist.
Any strange city with no plans, preparation or pals. It is amazing how the universe frequently rewards people who place trust in it. Most of us really do not live because we have never really tried to live. We set up safe boundaries and work comfortably within that box. This type of safe lifestyle is great if you do NOT want mind blowing experiences. I do. I would not recommend this in a foreign city for a novice thrill seeker (though my son Jordan would strongly disagree) rather in the friendly and known confines of America, go for it. You’ll be fine. Turn off your fear inducing media and live. YOLO.
Touch Therapy, ie, Cuddle Party. Stop thinking what you are thinking, dewty boys and girls. CP’s are not that AT ALL. The fact of the matter is these sessions are therapeutic lessons in both learning to assertively set up boundaries for yourself as well as learning to ask for what you want in life –using touch only as the tool to learn these things. The group ranges in size from as small as 10 to as many as 50 or so. Clear guidelines are set and well, you just have to be there -definitely an experiential mind blower. I actually do NOT like them, as they are very uncomfortable, though this experience was needed for the development of my damaged psyche, probably stemming from a non-tactile mother. And uncomfortable can be good. Apprehensive to touch? Have trouble setting up boundaries in your life? Perfect. YOLO.
Pere Lachaise Cemetary, Paris, France. This haunting humongous cemetery is one of the trippiest places you will ever go, hands down, and the home of Jimmy Morrison’s grave as well as many European dignitaries, along with Oscar Wilde, Alice B. Toklas and about 3 million others. My suggestion: Cue up The Doors’ song “The End” to loop, plug the ipod in your ears and begin walking through the eery old cemetery trying to find Jimmy’s grave. FREAKING AMAZING. It is as if the dead guide you…weird…and awesome. YOLO.
I would be remiss if I did not include the Grand Canyon South Rim. Ok…cliché sorry. Though take the Bright Angel trail down about 7 miles and then turn around and come back up. In contemporary society we forget what REAL silence sounds like. Amazing. Properly prepare yourself, gear up and go. Alone. Such a retreat. My experience with the Grand Canyon is inexplicable. So humbling and revealing as if this Canyon was placed on earth just to put me in my place. Nice. YOLO.
Venice Beach Drum Circle. Freaky deeky. Every Sunday afternoon from about 3pm to sunset the drum circle rages, year round. Professional musicians meet the homeless meet curious tourists meet Jimmy (and my Communication 174 classes). Dance, sing, chant, crawl, worship, it’s all good. I would recommend going for at least an hour, stay as the sun begins to set, leave before it gets dark, and then stop at the Venice Beach Bistro to listen to The Doors cover band, “Peace Frog” play. If you need a tour guide, you know how to reach me. YOLO.
Just run. Pick a city and run. I have run the Snake River Canyon in Idaho (come on Evel Knievel fans, you know where I’m talking about), through the streets of Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo, and many more. What an experiential way to see a city…during a runner’s high. A freaking experiential delight. There is perhaps no greater way to see a city other than to run through it. Even if you do not run, just walk….fast. YOLO.
Walking the streets of San Francisco, specifically Colombus to Van Ness to California to Embarcadero back to Columbus. Ipod is a must. A slight buzz is optional, though never on your first walk. Don’t run, walk, as you get so much more of the culture. This is THE greatest walking city on the planet -so much culture, so much vibe, yet, unfortunately so much SF hippie elite shitty attitude. My advice? Touristy places are the best and you can meet cool people from around the world. Fisherman’s Wharf rocks. No locals there. YOLO.
Sure you can opt for a roller coaster though emotional, mental, mind stretching experiences will stay with you for the rest of your life. Get out of your comfort zones, however big or small they may be, and live a little. You Only Live Once. YOLO. And I would love to hear how you experientially YOLO…cause I’m probably down.