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The Perks Of Traveling Without A Plan (Almost) – A Wild Horse Rumpus

by Tony · 10 comments

Horse eye

Can you handle the uncertainty of traveling without a real plan?

I didn’t think I could.

But after a year of traveling to different countries with very little idea of what country was next… I have learned how.

I embrace the uncertainty.

I embrace the adventure.

But I still make sure to wrap that uncertainty with a slight frame of a plan. In practice, this means that we didn’t map out our route for our recent cross country drive, but we did piece it together while on the journey. We knew we were headed to Chicago first to stay with friends, so once we got to Chicago we then worked on planning the next leg.

I am fine not knowing where I might be staying in 3 nights… but I still like to have a slight idea of where I am staying tomorrow night.

While not totally carefree, this is how, using a term our friends at Traveling9To5 coined, a “corporate hippie” likes to travel.

And what do I gain from traveling with such limited plans?

I could write down a long list of adventures that never would have happened if we had meticulously planned our journey last year, but perhaps the best illustration of the what can happen when traveling without plans occurred during this recent cross-country trip from Boston to San Francisco.

Just Horsin’ Around

While in Rapid City, South Dakota, we decided we didn’t want to drive more than 9 hours the next day. There was a hotel in Green River, Wyoming which was the perfect distance away for the drive the next day.

What is in Green River, Wyoming?

A whole lot of nothing… but our hotel was on a road called Wild Horse Canyon. So without plans and without expectation, we had to take a quick drive up the dirty canyon road to see if it was aptly named.

Horsing Around - 3 Horsing Around - 4 Horsing Around - 5 Horsing Around - 6 Horsing Around - 7

And it definitely was.

It very well could just be the city boy in me being way too excited about coming across a wild horse playing by itself… but still. Pretty cool, right?

Travel without plans.

Travel without expectations.

Be ready for anything.

Horsing Around - Wild Horses

This philosophy served us well while traveling overseas and it worked beautifully during our cross country road trip. Do you think you could try traveling with less of a plan?

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

photo by: *~Dawn~*
Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 April 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Our only plans in the next year are to return to Hawaii with you in January for #ThinkTank2014 #corporatehippie #fetch

Tony April 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Love it! But fetch is never going to happen…

Liz April 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi guys So regarding your travel without plans…how do you go then if you are in Europe and need visas for different countries if you dont know where your going next… Even in USA you have to one for Canada dont you?? We are horse people too…breed and train pacers. Love your blog Thanx for taking time to share regards Liz

Tony April 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Great question, Liz! There were very few countries we traveled to that required us to have visas to enter. Visas were required if you wanted to stay longer than 30,60,90 days depending… but that was never really an issue.

In Europe, we just had to watch out for the Schengen Zone time limits which only let you stay in the zone for 90 of 180 days. This actually made our trip better as we had to go to croatia for awhile to get out of the zone… ended up being one of the most surprisingly great places we visited!

In South America, we just had to pay at the borders to enter and most countries gave 90 days allowance.

My advice would be to write down all of the countries you think you might want to visit while traveling and see if there are any strict visa requirements (like Russia). But having the freedom of keeping our options open while on the road let us visit places that we only heard about while traveling… so much fun!

Seeing the wild horse playing by itself affected me way more than I thought… so beautiful!

Thanks for the great question!

JR April 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

I am sure that most folks would agree with you that knowing where you will lay your head down to sleep the next day is a good thing. However, I think you captured the essense of having a minimal plan, just enough, to allow you the flexibility to maximize the experience. BE READY FOR ANYTHING,,,,,,,, LOVE IT!!

Tony April 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Yeah… many people travel without even knowing where they are sleeping that night but that is too much craziness for us!!!

Kipp April 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

you guys have to learn how to use a gif creator. I need to see that horse in action.

Tony April 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I used the hold down technique on the camera shutter so it fired off close to 100 shots… A gif would totally be workable!

cindy singer April 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I agree! Some of my favorite memories were of unplanned events. We have one-way tickets to Cairo and 4 nights reserved at a hostel. That’s it for reservations on our 14 month soujourn. We know what countries we’d like to visit, but we’re not sure how long we’ll stay in each place. We’d like to leave all our possibilities open. Love your site. Thanks for sharing.

Tony April 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm

That’s just what we did! This ended up causing us to miss a lot of countries we had initially planned on visiting… but only because friends we met on the road told us of even more interesting places. One of the perks of traveling without plans!

Have an incredible trip and keep your eyes and ears open for great places to visit that you might not have thought of. These kinds of detours were usually our favorite memories!

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