How to Travel Without a Plan and Embrace the Unknown
HONeys, time is precious, we all run out of it eventually. So it’s best to spend it wisely. Especially your free time. During a holiday we want to get the most out of a limited amount of time, so we end up planning the whole trip before we leave home. Sometimes the entire route is scheduled beforehand, sometimes down to the specific hour. But where’s the fun in that? Is that really the way to get the best travel experience? I don’t think so and here’s why!
Planning kills magic, it leaves no room for adventure. People plan because they are scared to lose control. But the best things happen unexpectedly, so I’d like to encourage you to stop planning your trips. To let go and put your adventure mode on. Because the beauty of traveling lies in embracing the unknown.
My advice? Don’t travel with a set itinerary, instead ask the people you meet for recommendations. Go where the locals go, get to know the culture and really experience a country the local way. Decide in the moment where you want to go. You will have the chance to travel slow, spend some more time in that place you really love so you have the time to truly experience it.
So, wander around cities without going anywhere in particular. Observe your surroundings, the sounds, the people, watch the movement in the streets. You might just discover your new favourite coffee place, tucked away behind the touristic spots. It’s all about the journey not the destination right? Discovering these places yourself is way more fun than searching for them on trip advisor.
Lose sense of time when you look at a beautiful sunset. Spend the whole day in that cozy coffee shop, reading your book or writing in your journal. Wander around the streets instead of visiting the touristy aquarium every big city has. Hop on the first train/bus that leaves, get off at the 10th stop and discover that area. Ask a random person in the street what his or her favourite place to eat is and go there for a change. Put down your phone, unwind. Talk to people, smile at people and walk in the direction you feel like going. The one that makes you curious. Who knows where you’ll end up, what you’ll discover or who you will meet.
I love ending up in places I never thought I would, with random people I’ve just met. A few weeks ago I ended up dancing in the rain and playing games with locals during the neighborhood party of our Tuk Tuk driver in Sri Lanka, drinking red wine in the mountains and talking about life with two random people I just met the day before, laughing my ass off and having the best time. Those moments are the ones that stick with you.
I have changed my plans so many times I’ve lost count, but I’m so glad I have the freedom to do so. It was my initial plan to stay in Costa Rica for a long time to surf and work there but I left for Nicaragua after 10 days. Peru wasn’t really on my travel list, but I decided to fly there anyway to meet some friends. I ended up doing the most amazing hikes of my life. After this I decided to fly to Sri Lanka, which is not a very logical route but I did it anyway because it felt right.
So lose the plan, follow your flow and go! Book that plane ticket, the first night, have an idea of where you’d like to go and fill in the blanks as you go. Enjoy the adventure!
Yasmin aka Wander Lobster
stay in touch via instagram: @wanderlobster