Monday, September 8, 2014

#30daysofnew Challenge

A couple weeks ago I visited home for my nephew's 4th birthday party. One of the nights my sister in law made a comment to me on how she envies my life because its so carefree- I get to do whatever I want, try new experiences, and have the opportunity to meet new people. She went on to say that although she loves her life and her family, her day-to-day is very routine and it doesn't allow for much change.  I couldn't help but laugh because I don't think my life is particularly exciting, and coincidentally I was actually beginning to feel like I was in a rut.

Truth is I'm actually pretty shy around new people, so although I live in this amazing city and have a lot of different friends, more often than not I find myself at home  just vegging out solo with very little interaction with others on the weekends. I attempt to go to restaurants or shopping and will myself to talk to strangers, but it just doesn't go over well and therefore I just don't open up as easily as I should.

I always try to be appreciative of what I do have vs. focusing on what I don't, so I starting thinking that I should live my life more how others such as my sister in law view it. I could really start taking advantage of my situation of not having any attachments that prevent me from going out and embracing new experiences, meeting new people, and just living life.

I decided to try a social experiment to get me out of my shell, but to also bring some pep back into my life. 30 days straight of trying something completely new within the Nashville surrounding areas. It will be 5 years in January since I've moved here and there is still so much I want to do.
My hope at the end of this is to walk away more confidence is new social interaction thus making  some new friends I wouldn't have otherwise met, as well come across something that I would do again in my rotation of activities.

The two rules I have is it has to be an experience that is social and calls for interaction with others, and the actual activity I'm trying to keep under $20 since 30 days in a row can get pricey.

Recap of week 1 (9/2-9/7)

Day 1-  New Running Group
COST: Free

There is a running group that meets every Tuesday 2 miles from my current house, and less than 1 mile from my old apartment. Despite the proximity and convenience, I never managed to make it to any of their runs. Since it was a smaller turnout this evening, we all ran together--- that in itself is a new experience to run with 8 people and carry on multiple conversations. Everyone was so welcoming and LOVED the idea of #30daysofnew, a few even offered some suggestions for later in the month. I'll definitely be back (and the free beer afterward doesn't hurt)

Day 2
COST- $15
Ever since I've been in Nashville (and for many years prior to that I'm sure) Music City Roots has been a staple live music and variety show every Wednesday for bluegrass, folk, and Americana music. Often I would listen to it on the radio, but told myself I needed to see it live at some point. Up until a few months ago it was held at the infamous Loveless Cafe which is on the opposite end of town so I hadn't yet made arrangements to leave in enough time to catch the show. Randomly the show moved to the Factory in Franklin--- literally 2 miles from my house. The acoustics were amazing and I now have a new appreciation for banjos! 

Day 3
Johnny Swim and Cage the Elephant Show
Cage the elephant became popular when I was living in Louisville and my roommate and I were going through a 'party phase' after we quit our jobs and blared their self-titled album daily. I'm the type of person who attaches memories and periods of my life to music, thus they played a pivotal role of me coming into my own and my change in direction with my life. I've always wanted to see them perform, however like many other things I wanted to do the past few years, I was away for a race anytime they played nearby. 

Day 4
Checking out new restaurant in the ever popular 12 South neighborhood- Flipside 
COST $20 (Dinner + 1 beer) 
Initially I wanted to check out the full moon pickin party this day (everyone plays banjos, harmonicas, washboards etc under the moon light) however the rain kept me away so backup was to cross off eating at one of our newest venues in greater Nashville area. Everything on the menu features breaded chicken beat really thin with different toppings- I was more drawn to the 50s decor than the food itself, so as far as going back, it might be awhile before I return. 
Photo: Day #4- rain foiled my original outdoor plans, so instead checked out one of Nashvilles Newest restaurants Flipped #30daysofnew #50svibe

Day 5
COST:  Free
One of my girlfriends works for Nissan (who is one of the sponsors of the festival, thus they get a free boat), and they were looking for another girl to meet the minimum requirements,so a few days before the race I joined. Each boat has 20 rowers + 1 drummer--- out of the 21 of us. only 6 knew what we were doing or had any prior experience. Good thing we were all fast learners- our first and 2nd race we got 2nd in our heat. Out of 44 teams,  our combined average time allowed us to break into the top 12 which moves on to the semi -finals. We didn't do so well in our last race, thus we never made it to the actual finals. Such a fun and unique experience, I'll be back again next year FOR SURE! 
Photo: Day #5 of my #30daysofnew challenge - dragonboat racing! got 2nd in our first heat. Excited to race @beyondwingsemily in next run #dragonboat #teamnissan

Day 6- Grape Stomping competition 
COST: $2 to get into festival, $10 to enter in the competition
Fall is real big on different festivals, and since typically I've spent the last few falls out of town , I wanted to take part in what I've been missing. The draw for the Italian Lights festival was purely for the grape stomping competition.... I immediately knew this would be my Sunday's "new experience", and just hoped and prayed I didn't fall on my face and make weird noises like the blooper made widely popular years ago

I didn't fall, however I almost had to take a break. The competition was for 2 full minutes and man is that tiring. I TOTALLY one in terms of how much grapes were liquified after my stomping, however afterward you had to get the juice into pitchers via the side hole in the barrel--- I didn't realize there was a technique to this so my first 30 sec I was barely able to transfer any of the juice. I did end up 2nd though, so I'll take it! 
Photo: Day 6- entering in a grape stomping competition at the Italian Lights Festival #cardioworkout #30daysofnew #2ndplace #ilovelucy #feelssogoodbeyweenthetoes

I started my challenge on a Tuesday, thus my first week was only 6 days. Total spent was $47. I had an absolute blast with each experience, met tons of new people, and even met an actual Italian at the festival who gave me his number haha. Can't wait to see how the rest of this challenge will pan out... 


  1. Lisa I have been following this on Instagram and it looks so fun! What a great idea and way to get out and not only meet people but really experience the city around you! I may have to do this this winter with my girls...experience Cape Cod like tourists!

  2. Love all of this Lisa! I can't wait to follow along to find out what fun stuff I should be exploring here in our awesome city :)

  3. What a neat idea!! I'm super impressed...I'm an "in my shell" kind of person too but you've inspired me! :)

  4. Love this idea! Such a fun way to try new things!

  5. I love this idea so much! And you look stunning in that last photo (bottom right).

  6. I love this idea! I'm the same way (shy at first) and I might have to give it a try sometime. I've always wanted to stomp grapes (I think it's because of the I love Lucy episode).

  7. Hi Lisa!

    I just clicked over to your blog from Kim's post... I'm her "other" Tennessee friend. haha I freaking LOVE this 30 new things idea SO. MUCH. I would love to try it, but being in boring ol' stagnant Paris, TN, I don't know that I could find 30 things to do, new or not! I've lived here for 8 years and really haven't made any friends. Honestly it's not because I'm shy or inhibited... it's just your typical small town where everyone that lives here grew up here and they already have their own little cliques and aren't interested in adding an outsider. I'm incredibly jealous of you living in Nashville. I love everything about that city!

  8. I absolutely LOVE this challenge!! You will see the month will fly by! Can't wait to see what other adventures you have planned.

  9. i LOVE this. And seems like you are having sooo much fun. I miss coming to Nashville!!