Last Updated February 21, 2023
“What is the point of traveling if you don’t fill every second?” some naysayers would ask, and they do have a point. After all, your goal is to experience newness all around you! Without scheduling every moment you may feel anxious that you will miss out on something. You will find this is simply not true. As time and travel wears on you will find yourself longing for those moments in between excitement to recover, reflect, and perhaps even wander a bit.
There are several problems with trying to “do it all” on a trip, but first and foremost is the lack of recovery time. During any journey undoubtedly something will not go perfectly as planned. In these situations even minor things can quickly feel stressful or overwhelming if you do not allow yourself a moment here and there to find your own personal level.
By building this extra free time into your schedule you will be able to absorb issues that may push you off balance that might otherwise not bother you. A good example would be supplies. If you find yourself running out of essentials, this extra time will allow you a quick visit to the store to make your purchase instead of trying to “tough it out” rather than face the prospect of slowing down your travel companions.
Another common use of your recovery time is to simply reflect on the events. Keeping a travel journal is a good way to accomplish this goal, but don’t feel limited by this suggestion. Reviewing photos, organizing your travel gear, and even taking a refreshing nap are all ways that will raise your explorer spirits! As you travel you might discover aches and pains arising and those golden opportunities to relax are the perfect time to let your body, mind, and soul come together and heal will refresh and rejuvenate you for the remainder of your journey.
Taking time for recovery and relaxation each day allows you to better enjoy the entire trip because your mind, body, and soul will be ready to fully take in all the new sights and sounds throughout the rest of your journey.
Every journey you take will constantly be beset by the same thought, “What is around the next corner?” and free moments in your day’s plans will allow you to do just that – find out exactly what is around the next bend. While it is wise to keep in communication with your guide during your travels, you will have opportunities to enrich your travels by following your own trail.
Those side treks are often where we make the most memories, the heady feeling of forging your way ensures that your brain records every moment in high definition, each decision reflected upon, and each discovery lovingly stored away for later reminiscing.
Now, before you seek out your fortunes on the side paths there are some basic guidelines that should always be followed:
Communicate with your guide and travel companions on your intended direction of travel! If something were to happen, plans were to change, or you accidentally miss a deadline it’s important that they would first know where to look. Your guide will also be able to advise you on what locations would best align with your interests.
Take a map. In this age of technology we often shirk analog methods of augmenting our abilities, but the tried and true method of wayfinding using a map is hard to beat. An experienced traveler knows that there is a big difference between being off the beaten path, and being actually lost. Our goal here is to wander, not generate a panic.
Set a time for your return. It is easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush of self-dependence and lose track of time. By making a decision as to when your return shall take place and adhering to it you decrease the risk of getting lost in an unfamiliar place, freeing you up to enjoy this new experience!
Ultimately your free time will do nothing but add to your overall experience. Whether you choose to take a relaxing nap, enjoy a cup of afternoon tea with your new travel friends, or wander around your new location, a free moment well enjoyed in travel is never wasted at all!