“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m going. Are you coming with me?” This is a quote I read a few days back and it took me back to my recent Euro trip. Being a person who always likes planning things and keeping a track of stuff on the calendar, the trip was an eye opener.
Due to a busy schedule I was unable to plan details of my trip. All I knew was which city and hotel would I be living at and what flights or train I would be taking, that’s about it. The excel sheet which was always filled with details was pretty much blank this time around. There were only 3 things I had booked in total.
I felt a bit uncomfortable about it and was challenging myself but something told me everything would be good.
Starting the trip with a layover in Paris and then heading over to Vienna, the 26 day solo trip would cover 9 countries and about 11 cities.
The first few days of my trip included me just going through TripAdvisor in the morning to decide where I would start my day and which all places I would visit. Then I would mark the places where I would like to eat.
I was still planning stuff every morning but I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t spend so much time in the morning trying to plan the entire day. I however did not have enough courage to try it yet. Things changed after my train from Budapest to Prague where I met an aged Aussie couple. The couple had planned the first few days of the trip and for the second half they would visit the Eastern cities. When I asked them about the cities they would be visiting, the couple was unsure and the man replied cheerfully “We’ll just wing it”.
Those words had a big impact on me. I had heard these words before from S as well. Once during our chat when I had raised concerns about not being able to plan everything, she had said “Maybe you should just wing it”.
I could’ve just let it pass but somehow I had this thing whispering in my ear “Just wing it! Just wing it!”. “That’s it!” I said, I am going to relax and just stop planning every tiny detail of this trip.
After that day, I would just wake up in the morning, pick up one landmark from the list on TripAdvisor and start my day there. After that I would just check out landmarks nearby. Sometimes I would walk for an hour or two and just pick random restaurants as I walked by. Other days I would wake up and say, today I feel like having a relaxed day. Those days meant that I would just head to a restaurant and have a good meal and then just walk the streets to learn what the city/town offered.
This made the trip so much easier and made me so much calmer. All I had to do was to wake up, choose a place and just hit the streets. Did I have all amazing experiences? Maybe not. Did I miss out on things? Yes, I did. Did I enjoy what I was doing? Hell yeah, I did.
The point of this post is just to share the fact that sometimes we get so occupied with the details of planning everything that we miss out on the fun bit. Traveling should never be stressful, it is supposed to be fun. The same goes for life as well. Since I have come back, I still plan stuff but don’t stress about keeping the calendar blocked for everything. This gives me a lot of time for myself; something which I struggled with in the past.
Planning is important but sometimes just let it go, sometimes Just Wing It!