When I look back over the travels of my life, the most memorable journeys have yielded new or stronger friendships and oftentimes were not expected to be SO significant. One would think that travels to foreign and exotic lands, or the ones with the most luxurious accommodations would be reason to rank a trip in the top 3.
For the Carpenter and myself, there are 3 common themes in super successful sojourns:
1. When we meet some cool, new people that turn into lifetime friends.
Shout out to our super special airbnb hosts/now friends from Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Colorado, and North Carolina! It really is about the people of a place that allow us to really know the place from the inside out.
2. Spending time in the wilderness and immersing ourselves in nature.
This is where we are nourished, re-energized and able to see things more clearly. We take a 1 week wilderness sojourn to the mountains every year for our anniversary, it is where we reconnect with ourselves and each other. On day 3 of these trips I suddenly realize I am breathing a little more deeply and my senses are heightened at the beauty of my surroundings.
3. When we allow space in our schedule to let the trip organically unfold.
These are the journeys that yield the unexpected 5 star reviews when we return. There have been so many surprises when every moment is not scheduled and when we don’t go into a trip with set expectations of what we want to get out of it. It’s amazing what we can discover if we hold things loosely and just focus on being together…and of course it’s all about perspective.
There are definitely times when we have crash n’ burns. You know….the times when you are in your hotel room on your near deathbed with a stomach virus when you had high hopes of visiting the acclaimed restaurants in the area or visiting the local dive bar with a great music scene. As the Carpenter often says from one of his favorite movies ‘Vanilla Sky’ ‘the sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour’. The trips with the bumpy roads sure do make the trips with no major issues seem like nirvana.
Then there are the trips you look back on and realize you gained so much after the fact. This summer we drove 4 hours to one of our favorite mountain towns for a Farm to Cycle 100 mile bike ride, only to be completely rained out. Not only did we not get to ride, after we had trained all summer for the event, but we ended up going home and losing quite a bit of money on our accommodations. Of course it was bright and sunny at home and the forecast called for rain the entire weekend in the mountains. Since we were forced to stay inside while we were there and had 8 hours in the car we had a lot of time for conversation. After we returned home we realized the weather detour had yielded some of the best conversation we had in months and we had connected in a much needed way.
Do you have an upcoming adventure planned? Whether a microadventure or the trip of a lifetime let go of your expectations, schedule space in your schedule to allow new discoveries and seek out the people of the place for a richer experience to unfold.