Have you ever noticed that it’s the times we do something unexpected or find a seemingly ordinary event take an unplanned turned that turn into the greatest memories? The unscripted stories of our lives are the ones we generally look back on as creating the deepest, most meaningful bonds with giriends.
Guest blogger NEDRA MCDANIEL shares her ideas for new adventures with old and new girlfriends as a great way of cementing friendships. What adventures have you experienced that drew you and a friend closer?
Sharing adventures together is a great way to take friendship to the next level. Whether it’s someone you just met, or someone that you have known your whole life, new experiences breathe new life.
When I worked with students and young adults, I found that involving a first time experience together (and chocolate) was the easiest way to get a group of girls from different cliques and demographics to connect. I would organize picture scavenger hunts to mix them up and force them to create a memory together. That memory would have laughter, inside jokes, and stories that involved some crazy experience that happened along the way that evening. It would take a group of strangers to a group of friends. Mixing them up forced them out of their comfort zone to talk to someone that they naturally might not have gotten to know on their own.
How else do you explain why there are pictures of you racing shopping carts in the Walmart parking lot or hugging Ronald McDonald??
So how can you share a new adventure with your girlfriends?
When you are invited to something outside of your comfort zone…. GO!!!
It’s so easy to get used to turning down things that don’t fit in your box. How many times have you been invited to something from a co-worker or acquaintance that you don’t know very well, to an activity/event, that is out of your zone? Variety is the spice of life and each person you meet has something amazing that can add to your life.
I joined a group of girls who were dressing up as bridesmaids to watch the “Bridemaids” movie at the cheap theater. Why not? I knew putting myself out of my comfort zone with others would lead to a funny memory. I didn’t know everyone who would be going, but I had a feeling we would get to know each other pretty quickly. It’s super embarrassing to do something like this alone, but there is safety in numbers. The pre-movie time was also fun because I got to share the experience of thrift store shopping for a dress and getting prepped for our big debut together with a friend.
I was really out of my comfort zone when I joined a group of women that I had just met the day before for lunch at a culinary school. I would be joining my new friends along with ten other people I didn’t know. I was scared out of my mind to show up, but I thought “What if I could have missed out on meeting some pretty amazing people?” Some of those people I shared lunch with that day also later shared a sprint triathlon for the first time together.
You never know how someone you meet unexpectedly could be in your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime.
Invite others to share a new experience. You don’t have to know them that well.
I took a person I had only met in passing at a conference on a brewery tour with me. We shared the experience of almost getting left in a tunnel and meeting a guy with a switchblade named Jimmy. We went from acquaintances to new six-hour friends because of the experience that we shared that day.
Switch up your birthday or regular meeting routine.
It’s great to have traditions but why not switch it up every now and then and try something new together.
I tried the trapeze because a friend and I wanted to try something new for our birthdays even though we were moms and getting older. We invited 25 ladies to join us on our trapeze adventure. I didn’t know everyone that well who went, but we all knew each other better after because we conquered our fears together and shared the other side of conquering the trapeze.
Last year a friend and I experienced the opera for the first time to celebrate our birthdays. It’s fun to try new things and make new traditions while sharing life together.
Let your friends challenge you.
One of my friends faced her fear of heights to try the luge with me. She later had me join her on a fly fishing guided trip. This city gal was WAY out of her comfort zone but had an incredible experience. Having friends with different interests can really add to your life.
I encourage you to challenge yourself and your girlfriends to share a first-time adventure together in the next few months.
Outside your comfort zone is where the magic is.
NEDRA MCDANIEL loves living to the fullest. Her adventures are of a wide variety in the quest to try new things, places, and experiences (underwater hockey, luge, curling, trapeze, fencing, riding in a pace car to name a few). Traveling, meeting new people, and trying new things make her feel more alive. Check out her site Adventure mom blog, facebook page and get the courage to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, too.
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