In the beginning, there was a plan.
In fact there were several. We had short term plans, medium term plans and long term plans. So many plans it seemed, that we started sounding like financial advisors. We made plans for when things went right, and we had plans for when they didn’t.
On the first night of our trip we had a plan to stay with friends. But that failed once we discovered our motorhome wouldn’t fit beneath the massive barrier like branches, blocking their driveway.
As became the case, the plan changed, yet everything still worked out..
Looking back now, 18 months on, it’s easy to see how different our voyage would’ve been had we stayed with our initial intentions. By now we should be somewhere in Asia -making our way back home, two years of family travel drawing to an end.
Had we been rigid with our early itinerary, we wouldn’t have spent so long in France; met the people that shaped us, showed us, and taught us what it’s truly like to live in rural Europe. Had we stuck to our original plan, the trip would have lacked character, spontaneity, friendships and flexibility
Sure, following a prescribed course of action offers every traveller security, comfort, even a sense of control. But is that what travelling’s really about? Is that what life’s about? – Maybe sometimes. But not always.
Travelling without a plan has allowed us to absorb new opportunities. It’s allowed us to change direction on a whim and head down to the Mediterranean or up into the mountains. It means we can move on, or stay longer. But more importantly, it means we can make decisions based on what’s happening in the moment -rather than what might be happening in the future. After all, it’s hard enough to know what the future will bring sometimes, let alone how we’ll feel about it.
Perhaps our best journeys are the ones when we let go of the plans, ideas and illusions that it’s all mapped out, and just allow the voyage to unfold. Wherever it may take us..