We often put in too much planning before a trip. Research about a place, its culture and cuisine, we ask for recommendations, we search in every corner of google about it and then we draw up an itinerary. Some pedantics make excel sheets about flight landing, hotel bookings, tourist site timings, and suggested eateries. While this may be a good way to explore a destination to its fullest, this can take the wander out of the wanderlust.
Have you ever packed your bags on a whim, hired a rental car or boarded a train without reservations, and hit the road with no plans? Have you called in sick at office because a friend knocked on your door with tents and plans for an impromptu trek?
Well, this may be the best way to satiate the travel bug. No plan may be the best plan.
Without an itinerary, you are free to take any path or route. You can stop anywhere for as long as you want. Want to watch the sunset, and miss the water fountain show? Let’s do that.
Such trips are less complicated. You do not keep your eyes glued to the GPS tracker, but actually enjoy the passing landscape as you do not have to reach anywhere at any time.
The element of surprise enhances the travel experience. You will not know what to expect from the eatery, you have not read reviews. You just talk to the waiter for their specialty, and eat what the locals eat.
Because you have packed at the last minute, you are compelled to travel light. No extra clothing if you get wet, and no torchlight in those star-studded skies. Just enjoy the moment for what it is. Such moments somehow make for the most memorable times.
They throw you out of your comfort zone. You meet new people and make new friends. Speaking to fellow travellers or local folks is more informative than reading travel guide books. Such hands-on experience makes for a genuine travel diary.
Unplanned trips can also be less expensive. No flight bookings and luxury accommodations. Just hope into the train, use the local commute and stay at tourist hostels or guest houses. This is another chance to get immersed in the culture. Like Ben Stiller in the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, you might be in for an adventure of a lifetime.
(Image credits: asset1)
Such trips harbour better opportunities to learn about yourself and others. They make deeper marks on the mind.
So, it is fine that your planned trips to Goa or Dharamshala may have been cancelled many times over. Because when that serendipitous trip will happen, it will be worth that much more.