An open travel plan would’ve suited me better

Before I embarked on my grand tour 6 months ago, I spent so much time planning on where I should be on specific dates. This helped greatly with knowing what was coming up next, how much I would need to spend (or could obsessively save) and it gave me time to research and read up on things.

All in all, it worked out alright however there were a couple of times I wished I could’ve been in places longer or shorter than I planned for. 

The first leg of my trip was the United States. I spent months planning my itinerary and calculating my budget. I booked all my bus tours and connecting trips between states before I even left Australia and even entered them in Google calendar so I knew where I had to be when the time came. While this was great for my bank account as I could pay it off beforehand while I was still earning, I realised soon this style of travel wasn’t really for me.

An open travel plan would ahave allowed me to stay longer at the Grand Canyon, America

I would’ve loved to spend more time exploring the Grand Canyon

For example, I thought I would have REALLY enjoyed San Francisco city. I did enjoy it but in hindsight, I would’ve enjoyed those extra days in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon a whole lot more. I ended up feeling like I robbed my own time and my prior planning was working against me!

After a month in the US, I was off to India. Again, it was a meticulously planned itinerary. I was to spend five weeks there to accomplish x,y,z and then jetset off to the next destination. As I got to Mysore and being patient with jetlag recovery, I came clean: I didn’t want this adventure to be in a schedule anymore. I wanted to just relax, enjoy each day as it unfolds and see what happens. So I cancelled everything I had scheduled previously and just stayed where I was. This turned out to be the best decision I made. 

Mysore Palace on Sunday evenings.

Mysore Palace on Sunday evenings.

Staying put in Mysore gifted me so many things. I reconnected with my yoga practice, met so many amazing people and indulged in many things (massages, meditation, and healing courses) I never allowed myself before.

Celebrating Lantern Festival with my big family

Celebrating Lantern Festival with my big family

And then one day, I just knew it was time to move on to the next destination. I changed my travel plans and headed off to where my heart wanted to be: With my family in Malaysia. Again, I stayed as long as I wanted. I spent more time with my dad, mum and extended family than I had before. I was present, grounded, and truly enjoyed and cherished it. I also got to eat so many delicious meals every day.

And then one day just like before, I knew it was time to get up and go. As I reflect on the last 5 months of my life, I’m grateful for all that has happened to and for me and especially for making that decision to change my travel schedule. It may not have ticked many things off my bucket list but it’s definitely checked many off my soul-nourishing list.

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1 Response
  • Soraya
    September 1, 2016

    An open plan is a great plan! I am a planner, so having an open plan is challenging for me….but I the last few months I have really learned how to just go with the flow…if I think somewhere I can stay longer or I can just push onto the next. I like that, because I have had too many times where I wished I stayed somewhere longer and somewhere else shorter.

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