I’m writing today to celebrate the benefits of living life without a plan. Am I crazy? I prefer the term “adventurous”. 🙂 I’ve been asked about a million times throughout my life about my plans for the future. Where am I going to college? What am I going to do with that major? Where am I going to live? What am I going to do with my life? What’s your 6 month plan? What are your 5 year goals? One thing that’s certain is that I was brought up in a society that values plans and goals. I think plans and goals are good in theory, and I’ve always had plenty of them, but I’ve learned in the past several years that they are only good for me if I am willing to throw them away when I get new insight, new information, and if my intuition is telling me that’s not the way to go.
Several times in my life I have behaved like a train. I got on a track and kept going, and whenever I felt a sign of doubt or unease about where the track was going, I’d just overpower it with logic (aka the train horn). Have you ever seen a child with her fingers in her ears and yelling, “La!La!La!” to keep from hearing what someone else is telling her? That’s how my guides have seen me sometimes, I’m sure. 🙂
What I have come to value in the past several years especially is my gut feeling. Even when I’m scared and don’t know how everything is going to turn out, I know if I follow my gut feeling/intuition, I will experience even greater joy with each new step I take.
Here are some tidbits from our honeymoon to demonstrate my most recent experiences with following my gut feeling…
Mark and I bought one way tickets to Dublin a week before we left. We have been envisioning and calling our trip our “European Luxury Tour” for several months. When we bought our tickets, we only had enough money to fly there, turn around, and fly right back. However, we both felt that it was the perfect time to buy the tickets, so we did. Plus, we’d both seen signs as we were coming home from our wedding weekend that our first stop was Dublin, Ireland. In the week before we left, several events happened that gave us plenty of money to enjoy our trip for a month, provided we were extremely frugal.
Once we arrived in the UK, we threw our frugal mindset out the window, deciding we cared more about having a fabulous luxury experience than watching every dime/pound/euro. We traveled all over during the days and only knew where we were staying at about 9PM each night when we stumbled upon a beautiful bed and breakfast. We knew which places to stay because they were always tucked away from the main road, had beautiful views, friendly hosts, and great prices. We would decide earlier in the day the characteristics of the place we wanted to stay the night, and then we’d find the perfect place at the perfect time. However, lest you think I had no doubt we would find a great place, many days when we were exhausted, needed to go to the restroom, and we were on a mountain with the fog rolling in, I had my doubts! I was always certain we would continue to find great places the next morning when I was well fed and well rested, though. Isn’t that just how it goes? It’s when events look ominous that we sometimes begin to doubt what we know in our heart of hearts.
The entire time I kept affirming European Luxury Tour, and let me tell you, we ate like kings and queens! Everywhere we stopped, whether it looked like a nice restaurant or a shack on the side of the road, the food was the most delicious and beautifully presented I’ve ever eaten. In our entire trip of eating out for every meal, we only had crappy, overpriced food once, and that was in England outside the Lake District. We only stopped there because we were absolutely desperate for food and a bathroom. But in all those restaurants in 3 countries, one crappy experience is pretty good, and even that turned into a funny experience. My honey, who is a true gentleman and very considerate of other people’s feelings, was appalled at himself when the waitress asked how our food was at the end of the meal and he replied, “The salad was just okay, but the potatoes were so-so.” Ha! I told him we could have said a lot worse and that he was just extremely tired at that point. My wonderful honey 🙂 Just when we were about to leave I realized the reason we were meant to stop at that restaurant. As we were paying our bill, the lady helping us asked where we were from, and then got so excited because it is her dream to live in the US. Her face lit up as she was talking to us, and I knew we were there to help encourage that dream for her.
Luxury, luxury, I inwardly chanted during the entire trip. When we arrived in Scotland (I LOVE SCOTLAND!), we made our way to the rent-a-car center to pick up the tiny automatic car we’d requested the day before online. We requested the tiniest, least expensive car possible. When we arrived at the counter, the lady at the desk said, “I’m really sorry, but the car you requested online isn’t available. We only have one automatic available, so we’ll have to give you that one. However, you won’t be charged extra, even though it’s an upgrade.” We asked what kind of car it was. Guess, my friends. Guess what car we were given to drive all over Scotland and England with at the price of the tiniest, dinky car available? A brand new Mercedes Benz E Class Sedan. I AM NOT KIDDING!!!
Heated seats, navigation system, the works! Mark and I were in car heaven! We had only decided to go to Scotland two days before. Because we followed our gut feeling about where to go and when, enjoyed our trip without a plan, we were always at the right place at the right time.