As we move ever closer to the start of our new life out on the open road, I am slowly adjusting to the reality of an open future as well.
I say slowly because there is one small, ok – make that rather large, problem I am struggling to overcome.
What’s an eternal planner to do when faced with a future of un-plans?
The notion of travel is like magic to me. All I have to do is think of some faraway location, and suddenly my heart is singing and my soul is on fire.
I know that I have always been destined to become a traveller, and now the time for me to step into that role is nearly upon me.
So how can I not plan?
We are the chosen generation. Our grandparents, and even our parents, didn’t have the opportunities to travel as easily or as freely as we do. History has governed that we be the ones to go forth and experience this beautiful world to the fullest; to run our fingers over her surface as easily as that of our own palm.
Surely it would be rude not to do a little prior investigation?
I lose myself for hours in the endless pleasure of a Google search; Indian adventures, train times, ashrams and festivals. I bookmark travel sites like www.flightcentre.com.au and spend hours researching possible itineraries. It’s all food for my soul.
A search leads to a website, which links to another website, then another, revealing before me an abundance of new experiences and destinations to be sequestered away for future planning. I click and double click, bookmark and store to Evernote.
It’s my version of crack.
Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.
― Mary Oliver
The first six months of our new life on the road will be spent in India and Sri Lanka, and have already succumbed to my planning obsession.
Welcome to the planned section of the un-plan.
We board our flight to Mumbai on Sunday 30th September and will visit friends in the city for a few days before flying down to Goa. This will be our home for the next three months, and we hope to rent a simple beach hut or villa in Palolem.
On 27th December I will be leaving Lee for a few weeks to indulge in a soon-to-be-revealed adventure with two fellow bloggers (stay tuned for my exciting announcement next month!).
Lee and I will reunite on 14th January in Kerala, where we also hope some friends might fly out to join us. I have never visited this part of India before, so I am really excited to explore this beautiful state and indulge in some post-adventure relaxation.
After this we will be making our way down to Sri Lanka, before heading back to India to experience the Holi festival; the perfect ending to our time in India. From here we will fly to Thailand, and the next stage of our journey.
And here the un-plan resumes.
Where we go next and for how long will be entirely determined by two things: how we feel and how the weather feels. The plan will not be visiting South East Asia with us, and I think I’m ok with that. Bye bye Google.
Because at the end of the day, these planned variations of our grand un-plan are just that; variations. And as the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
There will be wrong turns, delayed flights, misadventures and tears. But there will also be new friendships, unexpected invitations and unmissable opportunities that will all serve to shape our journey in ways I never could have predicted or planned for.
I welcome the many twists and turns that life will carve into our open road.
Deep down inside, I know that the perfect plan isn’t one of my daily creations, it’s the plan that life itself will slowly reveal to us. And I have every faith that it is going to be a million times better than any plan I could ever make.