Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried. Really?

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

I remember reading the above quote and being inspired by it.  It is easy to feel inspiration when things are going the way one planned but so much harder when life throws a challenge or two your way.

I have been mulling over the saying “Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried” and finding it difficult to relate to.  We could have stayed in the UK and wondered about this trip but that was not enough for either of us, hence this attempt.  Failing (the visa situation has not changed and looks very unlikely to) feels….. well like failing.

I felt this long ride would open new doors, offer me opportunities I would not have had otherwise.  The reality is that by trying we have opened new doors, we will have to look for new opportunities and we did get off the sofa and give it a damn good shot!


Tim and I started back at school last Wednesday and we are learning Mongolian with some hilarious results.  Here are some of our observations and tales about the Mongolian language and the city Mongolians.

1) If you say someone is “windy” in Mongolian it means they are running around/being busy.  One of our teachers, Altaa told us Odnoo was “windy” to our great amusement and hers once I explained the English meaning.

2) Tim asked in a shop “Can I count?”

3) I have introduced Tim as my dog on too many occasions.
Husband = нөхөр Dog = нохой

4) The following words are extremely similar in spelling and pronunciation as Tim found out when he called a wall a princess.
Wall = хана (you don’t say the last a) Princess = хан King = хаан

5) When giving an example of the verbs “to fight” and “to beat” our teacher explained the difference being “to fight” is when two/more people engage in a fist fight and “to beat” as when one gets a stick and hits a dog. Hmmmm some cultural differences there I feel.

6) On Sunday Odnoo ended the lesson saying “Sam, your brain is demented so I think we must stop.”  I hope it’s a translation problem.

7) We have observed that Mongolians are not fond of holding doors open for others, waiting in a line (say for the ATM), waiting until another has passed through an entrance and waiting at traffic lights/pedestrian crossings etc.  They will slowly but surely push into queues, run pedestrians over, crash into each other’s cars or anything else that happens to be in the way; pedestrians, restaurants, sign posts etc.  We have seen around five crashes since coming here.  Our favourite is the lady in a 4×4 who very slowly but without hesitation reversed into a shop.  She broke the glass in the front door, moved the car forward and then rolled back again.  All very slowly.


6 thoughts on “Better to have tried and failed than to have never tried. Really?

  1. Better to have tried than to have been outsourced to a US/India “IT” company last Thursday. Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire might not be so bad if you look back at what was being cooked 😉

  2. Hi guys. Reading your blog and sorry to hear about your difficulties :-(. Really hope you can sort something out this time as you’ve looked forward to this trip for as long as I’ve known you (3 yrs almost ish). Fingers crossed. I’ll follow blog to find out and tim watching mma isn’t training mate. Take care gone but not forgotten. Mark

    • Thanks Mark. Good to know we’re not forgotten. Not that you could forget the couple whose husband shot his wife in the mouth on Valentine’s day! We are in the process of sorting things out. MMA watching isn’t training? Oh. Good job we’re doing Tactfit too!

  3. Just a thought – what is the £6000 fee for? Would the school extend your visa if you booked another set of lessons which you did not take – I am guessing the cost of this is roughly £1,500?

    • Hi Alex. Lovely to hear from you. Hope you are well? The school have to issue us with an exit visa to leave the country so if we did not turn up for lessons there could be issues. Also, they said that if we wish to extend our visa we have to pay for a year’s worth of lessons – $5, 700. We have some more leads on getting a visa. We are looking for sponsors for the independent research we wish to undertake and have 3/4 leads for this so finger’s crossed!

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