When new opportunities arise, it’s often been my default to say ‘no.’ Too busy, too tired, too late… Too many excuses. Sometimes, if we are lucky, those opportunities come again. The universe gives a nudge, to say, ‘come on, have a go!’
I’m on one of those second chances right now, leading a group of wonderful people for three weeks in North Vietnam. From humid, bustling Hanoi, we travelled west to misty, cool Sapa, and this week we head down the Red River and out into Halong Bay on a teak river boat. Magic.
Leading a tour group has its interesting moments, and I am grateful for their good humour and support as I learn the ropes.
The first time this opportunity was offered, I turned it down. Not my type of travel, I thought. The default ‘no’ is a reaction to how something fits into our perception of ourselves. I’m a solo traveller, not one for groups. But you can’t know until you’ve tried, so here I am. Turns out group travel is really enjoyable.
Before declining opportunities, take a second look at who you are. Not the role, but the kind of person who would do it. I completed the sentence, ‘I’m the kind of person who… enjoys exploring new places and cultures, likes to get to know different people and relishes great conversation. And given that, managing this tour group is a great fit.
The same exercise applies to your future prospects. Consider who you want to become. One who travels? One who is spontaneous? One who has more influence? Then ask what opportunities would help you become that person. And say yes, the first time.