When some friends invited my husband and I to join them on their trip to Las Vegas, we happily accepted. My husband had only been there on business trips, spending his time in meetings on the outskirts of the city, and I hadn’t been there at all. Las Vegas wasn’t a place we had a special interest in visiting, but getting out of town with friends seemed like a great idea, so we decided to give it a try. And we ended up having a wonderful time.
One advantage of traveling with friends is that they encourage us to try new things. Not only did we spend a few days in Vegas, but my husband (who is very uncomfortable with heights) actually joined us on the giant, 550-foot tall, ferris wheel on the strip. The first time we saw it, my husband said there was no way he was getting on that thing. But our friends assured us that each “pod” is huge and completely enclosed, and said the wheel moved so slowly that you don’t even feel it or realize how high up you are. To my surprise, my husband agreed to try it. It could have been peer pressure…even at our age, that’s a thing…or it could have been the glass of wine he drank at dinner. But for whatever reason, we all boarded the “High Roller,” and it turned out that they were right. It wasn’t scary at all, and offered a fabulous view of the city.
Talking about it later, my husband and I agreed we probably wouldn’t have visited Las Vegas at all if our friends hadn’t invited us. And I know for a fact that if the two of us had made that trip alone, there is no way we would have ridden that ferris wheel. I’m not as uncomfortable with heights as my husband is, but I tend to avoid them just the same. At age 64, I’ve reached a point in my life where I believe I already know what I like and what I don’t like, which is okay. But what is not okay is that sometimes I allow that knowledge to stop me from trying something new.
And that’s where friends and family come in. They can invite us to try something for the first time, or to venture somewhere we’ve never even considered going. I like to think of myself as a creature of habit, because that sounds so much nicer than “stuck in a rut.” Left to my own devices, I rarely wander out of my comfort zone. But when someone I know and trust suggests something brand new, that opens a door for me to expand my horizons, to experience somewhere brand new, and to realize that I can do more than I ever thought possible.
I guess sometimes peer pressure, from the right people and for the right reasons, can be a very good thing indeed….