Why You Shouldn’t Plan Before You Leave

Okay, so traveling can seem quite overwhelming at first, and without some planning it can seem impossible right? I say WRONG, I saved almost all of my planning for my last week in the U.S. and managed to get by just fine!

Planning can be the biggest reason holding you back from your travel dreams. During that last week I hit endless amounts of travel-bumps. Each more daunting than the last. Yet, every time, I put a little more thought into it, and found a way to manage. This mentality made me extremely flexible. Any experienced traveler will tell you that flexibility is probably the single most important ability while traveling.

How is Planning Holding Me Back?

Planning is the crutch on which all western cultures stand. We are ingrained to plan from the day we are born. School, jobs, parents, and friends will teach you that if you plan, work, and focus you will be rewarded with success. And rewarded you will be, but maybe your success is different from the success that our culture has to offer. After-all, you’re the one who wants to travel instead of investing in a car, career, or casa.

Planning is like bumpers in bowling. With planning, you’re definitely going to knock down some pins! However, when you have bumpers up, you’re using a tenth of your brain-power. If you can’t fail because you’ve planned, you don’t adapt. Here is where that flexibility comes back in. When you throw that metaphorical gutter-ball in life, you have to react, learn, and move forward. This instinct, which is in all of us, is rarely used in “1st world cultures”. When you have to use it daily, it can be exhausting.

Planning will make you over-think, fear, and delay your travel because it’s much easier for your brain to stay safe, comfortable, and conformed with your current life-style and culture. These are the things that I called travel-bumps. Questions come rushing into your head, like, “What if I get robbed?”, “What if I buy an over-priced ticket?”, “What if I can’t communicate with anyone?” … and eventually, “WHY AM I GOING TO TRAVEL?, IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO STAY HERE”.

Don’t believe me? Google travel planning and read to your hearts desire, you’ll end up asking more questions than when you started.

What Really Happens When You Don’t Plan:

With one week left before leaving, I had NO flight, NO health or travel insurance, and NO hostel booked…but I still ended up going on the adventure of a life-time!!!

Want examples? I googled cheap-flights to Costa Rica for two hours and found a one-way ticket for $266. When I was purchasing this ticket, (JetBlue flight, purchased from cheapoair) I was informed that when leaving the country, I may be asked for proof of a return flight.

Simple action and reaction. Then, I adapted and I booked a return flight from Peru for $318.

I also found a cheap clinic for vaccinations/immunizations, googled travel insurance policies and hostels, and with less than a day, all of my travel-bumps were over-come.

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