Day 15 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
This is a post about plans, or, better, the lack thereof. As I quickly mentioned yesterday, when being a nomad, plans can be more of a hinder than a help. I know that sounds counterproductive, but I have learned from experience that it is better to not have too many plans when roaming about the world.
Yet, we all need some kind of direction or goal when we start a trip or a new lifestyle. We want to be able to grasp what we will do and make a plan. Plans are fine, as long as you are flexible and aware that many circumstances could alter that perfect disposition. If you are stubborn as a traveler and adamant about following your pre-set schedule and itinerary, disappointment might follow, and that, in turn, might ruin your experience or mood. It is better to “take it as it comes” when things just don’t seem to go as planned. Being relaxed about change and unexpected events is a mindset that doesn’t always come easy, nor is the idea of setting out without ever knowing what will be next…
I can’t help but make some plans whenever I go on a trip, and that comes with certain anticipation. I used to call it plantification. And, each time things didn’t go the way I hoped for (which happens a lot when you cruise on your own sailboat), I would be disappointed and scold myself for expecting too much or think all would go smoothly, once again. It just is a part of our life to want to be in control of it. But, being adventurous and searching out the unknown, invites quite the opposite! “Plans are written in sand, at low tide” a sailing adage goes. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” is another quote based on this reality. “Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best” sounds a bit too negative, and while I believe in the “No is what you have, yes is what you can get” attitude when trying to obtain certain things, I prefer the “Go with the flow” or “See what happens” motto!
Because of our flexibility and lack of plans, Mark and I have been able to extend every venture we started. Going with the flow has kept us in a camper and on a boat longer than we ever expected. With our camper in 2005-2006, we planned to visit Mexico and we ended up driving all the way across the Panama Canal and back to Texas in the span of one year. With our sailboat Irie, we intended to sail to the Bahamas in 2008 and never dreamed about setting out into the Pacific Ocean. In both situations, we exceeded any goals we had in mind and that attitude alleviated any stress related to starting out with big all-consuming plans. While we (I) do still plantificate, we are happier and better off when we keep that to a minimum!
Are you someone who likes to make plans and stick to them? What is your plan/intention for the next five years? Which circumstances might throw those plans off?
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