This guest post was contributed by fellow traveling Canucks Denis and K.T. (from London, Ontario). In August of 2012, they decided to ditch the office in search of a life with no limits. You can follow their adventures by visiting their travel blog TheLifescape.com.
The ‘No Plan Plan’: Stop Planning and Start Doing
When we set off on our RTW trip in September of 2012 we didn’t have a clue where in the world we wanted to go.
This is exactly what we wanted.
We decided early on that we were going throw ourselves into the wind and see where we land. So, we set off holding a one-way ticket to South Africa with two backpacks and our ‘No Plan Plan‘.
Like most, our life back at home was very scheduled, task-oriented and organized. We were both work-a-holics, pulling 70+ hours/week, and knew we had to bust out of our shell and never-look-back.
We needed to STOP planning and START doing!
So, we quit our life and gave ourselves a swift kick in the arse.
A wise friend once told us…
‘Life is not about the destination, but the journey. Be as free as you can for as long as you can. Free doesn’t mean free of responsibility, of debt, or people, or fear, or obligation. Free means free from unrealistic obligation and expectations. Free to live your life in PEACE and be open to the JOYS of just being loved and alive!’ – B.Weiners
Learning to be free is a life long process, but it is attainable. We decided to jump start our journey to freedom by traveling the ‘no plan plan’.
We’re here to convince you to do the same! Here’s why…
Traveling the ‘no plan plan’ allows you to:
Face your fears and live free . . .
Before we ditched our careers and left on our RTW trip we found ourselves hyperventilating thinking that we were voluntarily committing to a year where our days, weeks and months would be schedule-less.
For psychotic Type-A nerds like us, this kind of fear became crippling.
But, to be free you must learn to embrace the mania and face your fears head on. We learned that conquering fear makes you grow.
Witness the unexpected
By traveling with no plan, you never know what you might encounter. Our whirlwind travel style has taken us to places we never dreamed we would go.
We have had several ‘right place at the right time’ moments along our trip. Thanks to our ‘No Plan Plan’ we have been lucky enough to catch some of the world’s most impressive productions – Had we had made a plan we may have never witnessed such awesomeness.
Travel with no regrets . . .
The debilitating feeling of regret is the traveler’s Kryptonite. Our goal was to attempt to minimize this as much as we could. This is a hard task to accomplish.
With so many places to go and so many things to see, regret is often unavoidable.
But, if you travel with no plan, you are the boss of your time table. Don’t leave until you are ready. This, at the very least, will help bring these feelings of regret down to an acceptable level.
Our advice: If you LOVE a city, stay. If you HATE a city, leave.
It’s as simple as that.
You won’t hurt a city’s feelings for leaving, particularly if you aren’t loving it. So, why regret spending your hard-earned cash in a city you don’t dig?
We promise, there are no bonus points for toughing it out, especially when you had no plan to begin with!
FREE to go anywhere, any time . . .
Have you ever booked a ticket to ‘anywhere’? We did and.it.was.awesome. Booking the next cheap ticket to a ‘random destination’ sans plan is unbelievably liberating.
We scored a last minute deal to New Zealand and it was one of the best decisions we have made YET!
Save money so you can travel longer. . .
Gone are the days of cancellation fees. Airlines and hotels have very strict rules for cancellation and/or rebooking.
Many companies charge INSANE amounts to make any adjustments to your travel itineraries, while other companies don’t let you amend them at all. So, by not having any plans to change you can save money and travel longer – you have nothing to lose!
Grow as a traveler and develop your own style . . .
No, I’m not talking about getting fat or the newest trends in travel fashion… I’m talking about finding your stride and style. We are certainly not the same travelers we were back in September of 2012.
We are 8 months deep and damnit, we have changed. We don’t sweat the small stuff and we have learned to roll with the punches. Since we left last year, our ‘No Plan Plan’ has helped us grow a big set of balls.
Take advantage of other travelers . . .
This isn’t at bad as it sounds, honestly. Listening to other travelers has been a great last minute trip planning strategy. Google images and Lonely Planet, although helpful, can only tell you so much.
Nothing beats rolling up to a foreign city and sitting down with like-minded people. Listening to stories is a great way to determine your next location.
This haphazard travel-style we’ve adopted is empowering. Not knowing where we will be next week has become the most exciting part of our trip!
No plan is perfect
We’re not saying our ‘No Plan Plan’ is perfect and without flaws… Trust me, it has landed us in some pretty dodgy situations. Such as: caught in the middle of the 2012 riots in Cairo, accidentally over-staying our Thai visa and spending numerous nights sleeping in train station airports when we couldn’t find accommodation. Ooops.
But, here we are, stumbling across the globe, plan-less, doing things we never imagined were possible and we are happier than we’ve ever been…
There’s no telling what tomorrow might bring… But if you’ll excuse us, we need to get busy not planning it!
What do you think? Would you ever adopt the ‘no plan plan’ for your next trip? Do you think your way of travel is better?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Author Bio: Denis and K.T. (from London, Ontario) are two run of the mill financially minded dorks who, as of August of 2012, knew their lives needed a swift kick in the arse. Both work-a-holics, they decided to ditch the office in search of a life with no limits.
Stop on over to their site, TheLifescape.com, for tips and pointers on travel and see how they do their best to “go with the flow” and embrace a year of unplanned mania, all on the cheap. You can also catch them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.