Having a plan is great, in theory. But, when it comes to travelling to places you have never been before, where you may not speak the language or understand the transit system, you always should allow room for change.
Sometimes, the hardest part of travelling is letting go. It isn’t easy to fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants when you are in a foreign country. But, the reality is, you are going to get lost even if you have a map.
Here are just a few things you should realize you can’t solidify:
–flight times (they get delayed and it screws up your whole schedule, allow for flight delays so you don’t miss connecting flights or meet-ups with potential friends)
–the weather (going on a sunny vacation? pack one warm outfit just in case!!)
–the people you will meet (whether you are travelling solo or with a friend, you will always meet people travelling – be as open to this as possible because the people you meet can change the course of your whole trip, if you’re lucky)
–your itinerary (having a plan is great! have a list of things you want to see in each place you are visiting BUT just be open to change and embrace it!)
–your emotions (you can’t plan for the ups and downs you will have on your trip, but acknowledge what your body is telling you, whether it is physical, mental or emotional and learn from it – I truly believe there is a lesson to be learnt in every hardship)
It is important not to get caught up in the parts of your trip that don’t work out as planned. Worrying about things that are in the past or out of your control are a waste of energy – and we all do it! My solo journey in Spain was an exploration towards my true self. I think that travelling, and definitely travelling alone, speeds that process up. I have always known that I love to be alone. Not all the time, but every day I relish those moments – however few and far between – where I am completely alone. Now, what I learned travelling, is that being completely alone for an extended period of time such as a week, is too long for me to be alone. I realized that I alone am not enough; I crave social interaction equally as much as my quiet down-time. But, even though there were periods of my trip where I did get lonely, I realized that it was okay to feel that way and it forced me out of my comfort zone to meet people I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to introduce myself to. So, did I plan to be lonely? No. But I discovered more about myself and grew from the experience.
The most memorable moments of all of my trips were ones that were spontaneous, unplanned adventures where I didn’t know what to expect, who I would meet or what I would see. The world is a beautiful place, so make sure you are paying attention because you will blink and the best night of your life will come to an end. Extraordinary moments are rare and fleeting, but don’t try to hold onto them, just enjoy them while they last.
Be receptive to what your trip has to offer you,