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It all started with a bird.

“Adventurous” is not the word that anyone who knows me would use to describe me. My Bestie on the other hand is Miss Adventurous. She’ll go anywhere, do anything, eat anything, try anything. At times, it freaks me out, but most of the time, it impresses me.

I’ve never particularly wanted to be an adventurous person and didn’t set out to begin trying new things this year. It just sort of happened.

Well, this is how it started. I was on vacation last spring with my family in Hawaii when while standing in the lobby of a resort, I spotted a large birdcage. The door was open and standing beside the cage was an employee cleaning out the cage while a large, exotic bird rested on top of a luggage trolley. I walked over to get a closer look.

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Now, this for starters is out of character. I’m the type of person who prefers to stay on the ground, goes to the same restaurants and always orders the same thing.

I’m afraid of risk, of the unknown.

I want to be sure.

But here I was, walking toward this bird. All I could think of was how beautiful it was. It’s colors were so vibrant. It’s feathers so big and bold. Before I knew it, I was standing beside the bird. Right next to a live animal, out of its cage. This is oh-so-not-Kristina. The employee spotted me and he asked me, “Would you like to hold him?” “Yes!” I replied and held out my arm like I’d seen others do on nature shows. He took the bird from its resting place, held his arm next to mine and the bird walked over onto my arm.

A bird! On my arm! An animal! It was exhilarating! Right next to me, I could see the colors more clearly. My heart was racing. I could barely catch my breath. An animal (that wasn’t a house pet) was on my body! Then, the bird crawled up my arm onto my shoulder. I handed my iPhone to the employee and asked him to take my picture. While he may be very good at a great many things, taking pictures on this day was not one of them. Nevertheless, here it is. Me with a wild bird on my shoulder.

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My dad came out of a nearby shop and couldn’t believe what he saw me doing. I couldn’t either. I had him take my picture and then the employee let my dad hold the bird.

I did it.

Without realizing it, I suddenly began saying “yes” to new and adventurous things.

For the most part it’s been saying “yes” to new types of foods. The best part? It’s all been so delicious! I have so many new favorite places and dishes. With each new “yes,” I become even more brave the next time.

Here are some of the yummies I’ve been enjoying:

Nicholas Restaurant

Middle Eastern

Nong's (Vietnamese)

Vietnamese

Vietnamese

Vietnamese

Now you may at this point be dying of laughter. Either that or I’ve lost you as a reader because you’re thinking, “Who is this girl? It’s a hotel bird and some ethnic food!” I know, I know. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing, but for me, it’s a first step.

I’m still on this adventure and right now it’s baby steps onto the path of being a more adventurous person.

Looking forward to my next “yes!” (yet, I don’t want to know what it is).