Tag Archives: Paris

“Take the First Step in Faith”

1 Apr

There is a saying by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”. This sums up my entire travel philosophy. Some people are planners, down to each and every detail. This does have a certain value. However, to me, the excitement in travel is the unknown, and the freedom to change plans on a whim.

My very first trip to Europe alone was planned this way:                                                                                                                                                          1. Purchase roundtrip open-ended ticket to Paris and Euro Rail pass
2. Buy a map of Europe and keep in mind some countries/towns/landmarks I want to visit
3. Go! And figure it out along the way…

And while life has brought me to the place where I no longer have to stay in hostels and fit my worldly belongings into a backpack for three months, I still enjoy the nomadic freedom of travel in much the same way as I did in my early 20’s. Only in nicer hotels. And with more luggage. And shoes. 🙂

If taking a vacation or even a quick getaway seems like a huge deal, there’s so much to plan, it has to be perfect, and so on… Let those feelings go. Planning a trip can be as simple as:                                                                                                                                                                  1. Decide on a destination and buy ticket.
2. Make a reservation at a hotel for one night with the option of extending. This way you have a place to check into and get some rest. If you love it, stay. Or, check out the other options and decide from there.
3. Get out and explore! Meet some locals and ask questions. Where do they like to eat? Are there farmer’s markets? What is the location known for?

Have fun with it and don’t feel like you have to do what everybody else does. In Florence Italy and don’t care to see the David? Don’t! (Although it is beautiful…) Customize your trip so that you enjoy it to the fullest, not like it was planned out by a tourism agency. The best times for me, are the ones that are spontaneous and exciting. Even though I buy a travel book for each place I go to, it’s mostly so I will have something to read on the plane and to put on my bookshelf as a nice memory when I get home. Once I am at my destination, it’s time to immerse myself into the culture and create my own adventure.

Another way to make planning a trip easier is to ignore the idea that a trip isn’t worth it if it’s shorter than a week, or two weeks. Who made up that rule anyway?? I once flew to Stockholm for the weekend. No rules, no pressure, not even time to get jet-lagged! I just found a really cheap ticket (it was Sweden in November) and decided to check it out.

As your trip is coming to an end and you are getting ready to head home, wouldn’t it be more fun to look back on all the amazing experiences you had instead of feeling regret that you only checked off certain things that were on your ‘list’, or wishing you had more free time?

Once you let go of the pressure of having everything planned out, and making sure you stick to that perfect plan, you will be able to enjoy a sense of freedom… Just take that first step.

Love,

Melanie

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