“So, where are you going next?”
“What’s happening after this?”
“How long are you staying for?”
These questions and many more in the same vein have been the opening to most – if not all – of the conversations we’ve had with family and friends since we returned home at the beginning of May to Franca’s South Italian UNESCO hometown of Alberobello.
“Ummmm” I reply, lost in a world of Latinglese (my name for the faux Italian I try to converse with).
“Non lo so” says Franca with a shrug of the shoulders and arms flying everywhere in true Italian fashion.
Try as we might to explain, sometimes people aren’t too sure how we can possibly succeed in seeing the world using our ever so broken planning system that we’ve had in place since we failed miserably to get our Russian visas in Kyiv last September for our planned trip from Moscow to Beijing along the Trans-Mongolian railway.
You see, our planning system is something we’ve spent hours and hours over; having spoken to veterans of the travelsphere, worked over maps and guidebooks with some of the best travel agencies and also a conversation via a psychic with explorer Leif Ericson.
NOTE – okay, you got me, I’m lying. It was really minutes and seconds
In reality our plan is quite simple:
Our Plan Is Never Plan
We learnt the hard way that the more time and finances you put towards that dream journey of crossing the width of the Russian landmass seeing some of the worlds best views whilst having the chance to meet and make new friends with the locals, the more likely and increasingly frustrated you’re going to be when you’re nowhere near reaching your goal.
From that day we decided; “lets take each day as it comes, plans can be disrupted, so let’s just not plan at all” and that’s been our driving force every day.
Because we have no plan we can take a look over flights, find a bargain and complete that dream to visit Japan and make our own impressions of the country.
With no itinerary or agenda to follow we can extend our one week stay to four weeks volunteering at Elephant Nature Park Dogs without the worry of forthcoming plans or anything else (apart from the visa, of course) and because we don’t plan should someone message us via our Google+ page that they’re in the same town, would we love to meet up tomorrow? The answer can always be yes.
Not For Everyone
We understand not everyone can be that flexible, not everyone likes to be that flexible.
For some people part of the relaxation of their travels comes from having paid someone else to have taken care of the arrangements for transport, a guide, the timetable for seeing the sights and having a place to sleep at night so you’re not wandering around for an hour hunting out a hostel – we totally understand that.
Not everyone is able or wants to do everything. Some people aren’t able or don’t like the idea of skydiving or bungee jumping, some people have no desire to ever step a foot into the sea past their ankles to watch the sea life on the reef, but just like them we don’t ever want to or ever intend to plan to plan.
We love the infinite possibilities and the idea of the unexpected in our ongoing travels, what we aren’t keen on is the one unexpected hiccup at Step 3 in the plans that creates the cascade and downfall of your idyllic week (and Steps 4-10) relaxing and recharging your batteries in the sun, sea and sand.
So, the next time people decided to ask us, “Where to next?”.
Happily, and with a smile on our faces and the possible dreams in our head we’ll reply;