Never does the term “go with the flow” apply more than when traveling abroad.
I’ve found that even the best planner can’t schedule around the inevitable surprises, oopsies and unforeseen adventures that the travel Gods have in store.
And for those of us whose daily lives revolve around outlook calendars, this can be daunting.
In order to ease into the reality shift, my travel friends and I have decided to just not.
plan that is.
Two of my best girls and I flew to Athens last week, booked our hotels and planned to unplug and see where a Greek Isles immersion would take us.
We’ve used wiki-travel for on-the-go recommendations, asked random locals for suggestions and followed the advice of friends’ texts from home.
Our easygoing attitude has led to some adventures:
– Accidentally seeing the entire island of Mykonos and doing some off-roading. On two ATVs that we rented on a whim after a 5 minute tutorial (the shop owner insisted on teaching us). We were busy laughing and enjoying bumping down the labyrinth of the two-way “highway,” big enough for one car, when we realized we were a bit off course. The promised 40 minute trip to the beach turned into 2 hours and 40 minutes. Woops.
– Unplanned hike through Santorini’s wine country. We made enough of a scene boarding the bus that asking for proper directions wasn’t in the cards. We got off on the last stop, asked a local for directions and promptly set out on what ended up being an hour walk up the scenic mountainous terrain. (The return trip was equally exciting when the same bus driver found us walking and picked us up between stops. Thanks friend!)
– Seasickness. We rented a catamaran with captain to do a private sail with six other new friends. We imagined a sail akin to a calm lake. Calm lake it was not. The Aegean Sea was so choppy that day, commercial ferries that shuttle hundreds of people between the islands were hiding out in calm coves. Our captains, on the other hand, thought riding the waves was a form of extreme sailing fun.
Our adventures on this trip have led to some great experiences thus far.
We saw the famous Oia sunset from the best seat in the house with tips from new friends and some dumb luck. We bonded with the sailing captains and spent the evening experiencing Santorini nightlife the local way. We took a tip and headed to town one night when our planned beach party fell through and met a fun group of guys we danced with all night. We tried the oldest family-owned restaurant in Mykonos where mama prepared fresh moussaka for us on request.
One thing has been emphasized:
Since life is largely unplanned (even with the outlook calendar), sometimes you have to hop on an ATV and see where the road takes you.
Looking forward to tomorrow.