Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Hello again, dear readers.

Way back at the letter F, I told you about the Female Nomad, my personal ambassador for living a life less ordinary.

Rita was kind enough to share twenty-six tips with us. Follow her suggestions, and you can have many adventures without leaving home. She says your comfort level with these exercises is also a good guide to see if you are ready for the type of experiential traveling she loves.

Do any of these tips sound appealing to you? Have you done anything like this before?

Rita’s Travel Tips:
Smile a lot.       Talk to strangers.     Say yes to all invitations.     Eat whatever you’re offered.
Some fun things to try that will help you break down your inhibitions and rewire your life.
1.      Start the day by brushing your teeth with the other hand.
2.      Eat dinner food for breakfast
3.      Take a different route to work or to the supermarket, down streets you’ve never been on.
4.      Buy a vegetable or fruit that you’ve never tried and figure out what to do with it.
5.      Sit at a different place at the dinner table.
6.      Serve dessert first; if there are kids, don’t let them eat the meal until they finish dessert.
7.      Talk to a stranger in line with you at a supermarket or bank.
8.      Have dinner alone in a nice restaurant.
9.      Spend a day without a bra and underpants.
10.   Wear sneakers or slippers or go barefoot when it is totally inappropriate.
11.   If you never wear tank tops, buy and wear one.
12.   Go to an event without make-up; or if you never wear make-up, put it on for a day, a lot.
13.   Buy a CD of songs from your teen years and sing along at the top of your voice…in the car or at home alone.  Especially if you think you can’t carry a tune.
14.   Dance when you’re home alone.
15.   Walk around with a sketch book, sketching, if you think you can’t draw.
16.   Invite a foreign family for dinner.  Ask them to teach you a song in their language…or a dance…or how to cook an ethnic food.  How about the owners of your favorite Thai restaurant?
(And when the dinner invitation is reciprocated, accept.)
17.   If you are in a university town, invite a couple of foreign students over for Thanksgiving.
18.   Go away for a weekend alone.
19.   Go for a motorcycle ride.
20.   Try parasailing.
21.   Buy a hula hoop and practice until you can do it.
22.   Blow bubbles in a park somewhere.
23.   If you are a non-stop doer, spend a weekend doing nothing.  (Just what is nothing?)
24.   Eat a quart of ice cream instead of dinner.
25.   Take a walk in the pouring rain.
26.   Go to Clown Camp. (Google: Mooseburger Clown Camp)
Come up with a list of things that are outside your personal comfort zone, things that make you feel foolish or silly.

Then do them! And have fun.
Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Rebecca Douglass

    Great list! I’m pretty sure I could practice until doomsday and not learn to hula hoop, though. But I appreciate the reminder that our comfort zone can be a prison, too.

    Thanks for stopping by my place 🙂
    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks, Rebecca. I’m not great at the hula hoop, either. Perhaps something else on the list would work for you? 🙂

  2. Rhonda Parrish

    I’m currently reading Rita’s book because of your blog 🙂 So far I’m enjoying it quite a lot.

    • Holli Moncrieff

      That’s awesome, Rhonda. I’m glad I found her a new fan. She has a compilation, “Female Nomad and Friends” that includes recipes. I’ve got it, but haven’t read it yet.

  3. Cat

    I caught your blog from a mention on Twitter. It’s now on my blog list, and I chuckle, as I was trying to decide about a choice that will put me out of my personal comfort zone… Hmm.


    • Holli Moncrieff

      Welcome to my blog, Cat. I’m glad you found me! I have six more days of this A to Z challenge, and then things will get back to “normal”.

      Did you see anything on the list that speaks to you?

  4. Susan Scott

    So great Holli thank you! Much to not only ponder but actually do! I HAD to brush my tooth with other hand while writing hand was injured – it can be done. Much other bathroom stuff as well – from necessity. Doing ‘nothing’? how do you do nothing? I agree, getting out of comfort zone is so essential from time to time. I will give some of them a try. Thank you!
    Garden of Eden Blog

    • Holli Moncrieff

      You’re very welcome, Susan, and thanks for the kind words. You’re most appreciative. 🙂 Sorry to hear you injured your hand, but at least now you know some of what is possible. Let me know if you try anything of the other suggestions.

  5. Chrys Fey

    Be adventurous at home? I love it!

    I have breakfast for dinner all the time. Does that count? 😉

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks, Chrys. It definitely counts. Now you can try having dinner for breakfast! 🙂

  6. melaniegobledvm

    Great ideas. Some of which I do. Others, I will have to work on!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Glad you got something from it, Melanie. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Stephanie Faris

    Great ideas! We eat breakfast food for dinner sometimes. Does that count?!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks Stephanie, and welcome back! I missed you. 🙂 And yes, it totally counts. I challenge you to try the reverse sometime.

  8. Frank Powers

    I’m more adventurous than I thought. I never wear a bra!

    Kidding, but I have done an awful lot of those things. I think most people would find my comfort zone a bit uncomfortable.

    Good suggestions though. It’s amazing how a simple change, like taking a new route to work, can give you a different perspective on things.

  9. Holli Moncrieff

    Hmm…so you may have to make your own list to push yourself. I wonder what would be on it?

    Thanks for commenting! And happy day after your birthday! 🙂

  10. Tui Snider

    What a fun list! I already do quite a few of those things, especially when I feel that I’m getting stale. Others on there I had not thought of – like inviting a restaurant owner over for dinner! (Luckily, my hubby is a good cook. I’m the house barista.)

    I grew up in university towns and the older I get, the more I realize how fortunate I was for that.

    I will check out your link to Rita and see what she’s all about!

    ~Tui Snider~ Dropping by from the A to Z challenge! 😀
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!


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