Learning to let go

Years ago, I used to be the major planner on my trips. I’d do extensive research of the area I planned to visit, complete with restaurant reviews, entertainment schedules and seasonal activities. When my feet touched the ground in my destination, I intended to know exactly what I was going to do.

Skip forward to the present day, and I’ve changed a lot. I still do a good amount of research since I write about my travels, but I leave a lot open to spur-of-the-moment serendipity. If I planned everything out, I’d miss the magic of letting things unfold on their own.

That said, I still struggle with the “clipboard side” of my personality—as my family likes to call it. In packing my bags for a return trip to Colombia this week, I was plagued with the notion that I didn’t know enough about the bus trip from Bogotá to Villa de Leyva, where I planned to visit a friend. What if I missed the early morning departure? What if I had to wait all day to get on the next bus? What if I had the schedule all wrong?

When I stopped my brain from spinning like a hamster wheel, I realized that things weren’t a big deal. Sure, I might miss some quality time with my friend, but only a few hours. It wasn’t worth the angst I’d visited on myself, getting stressed out over a little bit of time.

It’s a valuable travel lesson, and I suppose life lesson as well, to constantly remind yourself where your plans fit in the larger scheme of things. Learning to loosen your grip on the steering wheel can allow you to open up and enjoy what’s around you. And that’s one of the reasons why we travel in the first place.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 7, 2011
Category: Lifestyle Design, South America

4 Responses to “Learning to let go”

  1. Learning to let go | Travel Guide And Holiday Says:

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  2. Tracy Says:

    On our last big trip we had a few destinations in mind, but definitely left a lot of room to see where the day would take us. I spent quite a few evenings looking up train schedules for the next day’s excursions once we heard of local haunts we wanted to check out while in the area. I do not think we would have enjoyed ourselves as much if we had planned every minute before we arrived there.

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