Christopher Tom Intervention: Solo Travel and the Yes Theory

The “Yes Theory” is a movement that encourages individuals to say “Yes” to activities or choices that take them out of their comfort zone. I decided to try implementing the “Yes Theory” during my solo travel trip to Thailand, to see how it would affect my travel experience.

In preparation for this trip, I traveled to Thailand alone, with one backpack, no itinerary, no housing, and no plans. Upon arriving to Thailand, I took a taxi into the city-center from the airport after my 2am arrival. For whatever reason, the driver was struggling to locate my destination. After circling the dark streets of Bangkok for about ten minutes, he asked, “Can I just drop you off here?” I looked around, recognizing nothing in this new country, and remembered my Yes Theory commitment. I agreed to be dropped off, grabbed my belongings, and set out to the streets of Bangkok to try and find a hostel.

Over the course of my travels, my commitment to the “Yes Theory” took me through the streets of Bangkok alone, getting lost on the Bangkok public bus system, flying to Northern Thailand on a whim, meeting two new friends with whom I would travel for six days, through the mountains and jungle of Pai, out into a Thai rice farm, and cliff jumping into a waterfall.

In reflecting on my trip and self intervention, the “Yes Theory” brought my more adventures and new experiences than I could have predicted. Eliminating choice based on fear or apprehension challenged me but rewarded me with new feelings of confidence, independence and autonomy that I cannot replace.

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