How Traveling Without a Plan Can Change Your Life

Sasha on a dune buggy beach safari in Brazil: Translated: "If your star isn't shining don't try to put mine out!"
Sasha on a dune buggy beach safari in Brazil: Translated: “If your star isn’t shining don’t try to put mine out!”

Three times in my life, I’ve gone on a walkabout. These were long-term traveling adventures — through South America twice, and Europe once. Each of them has changed my life, and although I am a highly productive American writer/entrepreneur lady who loves her to-do lists, I cannot recommend highly enough uprooting yourself and traveling without a plan.

Traveling walkabout-style has introduced me to parts of myself that I had never known.

Traveling is not the same as taking a vacation. Traveling is an open keyhole to the future. When I travel, the courage is in the not knowing where the intuition will lead. I go on intuition, a faint desire in myself that I am trying to unearth to make more potent. I don’t even really know why I am going when I go. I figure it out later.

I tell myself I am seeking peace, insight, a new hobby, or hoping to fall in love. But in some sense those are all lies.

Travel is a future that cannot yet be known.

The answer will be clear later. That’s what makes traveling creative. I get to create a future with all these added inputs that I can’t control. The people and places that I can’t imagine before I meet them.

Travel is first and foremost raw, random experience. I put myself at the effect of the world. The world tosses me around, abuses, delights, surprises me. I amass power, courage, and wisdom by being tossed around by the unplanned, uncontrollable, unknown forces of the world. Through travel I gain wisdom and strength.

Demands cannot be placed on travel; travel has to be just what it is. Often I start out in a trip worried that it won’t be what I want it to be, that I will be disappointed. But travel is a way to know life more intimately and in more detail. We take away the automatic parts of living: a fixed address, kitchen to cook in, friends whom we speak with every week.

When everything is stripped away from our patterns of everyday life, we find a blank canvas.

What will we choose to do? In essence, what will we choose to create? This is what makes traveling without a plan so exquisitely creative. Your life truly becomes art.

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P.S. I am at work on a memoir about how I discovered my power through my sensuality in travels in South America and back in San Francisco. I also teach GetQuirky, a course that sets you about traveling in your everyday life taking photos, writing, and doing other creative challenges to celebrate the quirky in you and others. Please check it out!

4 thoughts on “How Traveling Without a Plan Can Change Your Life

  1. The difference between a vacation…and travel. So true. I have yet to travel as you have done but feel it in my soul and in my bones that this is something I am meant to do. It sounds like discovery and finding even when you don’t know what it is that you’re looking for, but something brings you to it. I’m inspired.

  2. Traveling without a plan terrifies me! That probably means I should try it–haha! I like to know where I’m staying and where I’ll find food. As a vegan, just “winging it” when I travel might mean I’ll go hungry.

  3. Hey Sage, yup, that is an extra challenge. Three years ago I got diagnosed as celiac which means I must be strictly gluten-free. That changes traveling for sure as I need to cook most of my own food. I’m taking it step by step though to keep traveling in an open and free way. You can do it as a vegan with the right mindset about making your own food. It requires more preparation but it’s possible. Happy traveling!

  4. I have also decided to travel. Today, I’ve decided to leave my home on the Texas Gulf Coast and travel West!!! I’m just gonna up and go…no plans, no destination, no expectations!!! Also in about a month I will be traveling to Salvador, Brazil! Talk about total freedom!

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