Last night, I suddenly realized that the day of my departure flight is rapidly approaching. In just 9 days, I'll be flying out to a trip that I have been dreaming about for years!
Katherine at the office was talking about how people are the happiest right before their trips start as their expectation builds up. Once the journey actually starts, it all goes downhill from there! LOL. What am I going to do?!?!?! I want to be even happier than I am right now when I come back!
Usually when I travel, I don't do as much planning as what I am doing with this trip. There were awesome happy surprises and there were not-so-good surprises. However, since I didn't pre-shape my experience and end up forcing my trip experience into a box that I built up with expectation, all these surprises formed great stories for me to relive again and again long after the trip.
This trip, however, because of all the restaurants, cooking classes, wine/cheese/balsamic producer visits, I had to do lots of planning and research. With all this planning and research, expectation is formed. I am not used to so much expection building up for my vacation...
When I look back at my travel experiences, I have always been the happiest when I did things simply by just following my heart and wondering in the city/town that I was visiting with a camera in my hands. Chatting up with strangers and popping into a store following the aroma of freshly prepared food without knowing anything about them in advanced seems so much more attractive to me than looking at a spreadsheet every 5 minutes while walking on a foriegn road.
To make the most of the my trip, the best way is actually not to try making the most out of my trip. Instead, just wonder, and live in the moment. That way, I'll get to pay attention to the pattern of the cobble stones on the road instead of just rushing over it.
Yes! Live in the moment and just wonder! Let go of the expectation and allow any encounter on the road to shape my exprience.
I still have about 5-6 days of my trip that I don't have anything planned yet. I was getting a bit anxious feeling the need to do more research and find things to fill those spots. I am going to take another approach. For these "blank" days, I'm going to leave them blank. I'll decide what to do when I get there. I am visiting the capitol of "Slow Food" on this trip, and I'll take the spirit and slow down to enjoy every moment of it.
No planning for those few days for me! I know I'll come back and announce that I'm happier after my trip than before the trip. :-)
How do you deal with the anxiety and excitement as your trip approaches?
By the way, I haven't started packing yet. OMG! LOL.