Yesterday, the blog, Positively Positive posted this quote by Joseph Campbell to their Facebook page. I love the quote because it is freeing and rings so true.
Immediately after reading Mr. Campbell’s words, I thought about how to apply this to my everyday life – my work life and my romantic life. And then it hit me. This is a perfect piece of advice for traveling.
I’ll just change the words around a little:
“We must be willing to let go of the trip we have planned so as to have the trip that is waiting for us.”
Certain travel companions of mine have been real planners. Every place of lodging, every restaurant, and every activity is predestined before they even get on a plane.
And if certain days or meals don’t have a plan attached it becomes stressful for them.
This is the opposite of the way I like to travel. Sure I’ll do my research about the region, have certain expectations and find a place to stay for at least the beginning of the trip. But I like to keep my plans open.
I never know what I’ll encounter and I don’t want to be too locked in.
Like a rigid, business model for a start-up company that doesn’t amend its practices when faced with the real world, a traveler that doesn’t stay flexible will miss out on some of the great riches that come from traveling.
To stay flexible, I keep my eyes open to what is going on among the locals. I’ll frequent the same venues and make acquaintances. And I find out what people in town are doing for fun. I ask where they recommend to eat or what to see that is purely a local hang out. And always, I’ll ask if there are any timely events going on.
This type of openness brings great leads that I would not have likely found online or in a guide book. And even if I could, this is much more exciting because it feels like I am discovering something myself.
Experiences I’ve had when I let my trips unfold without over planning them are often the most memorable. They include an impromptu stay in Ronda, Spain, taking a dip in a private cenote in the Yucatan jungle, and salsa dancing in the small town of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Oh, and, there are so many more.
If you already travel like this, you know what I am talking about. And you know that you have to also be smart and observe the situation -making safe decisions for yourself.
Personally for me, this way of travel has taught me to trust in the goodness of people.
So I’ll say it again. “We must be willing to let go of the the trip we have planned so as to have the trip that is waiting for us.”
Stay positive and read Positively Positive!