Outrageous Travel Lesson 2

Be open to all possibilities- don’t pre-screen

When you move up to outrageous travel, you have to shift gears.  You are no longer a tourist.  You have stepped; up to lifestyle travel.  We are all trained to screen.  We screen for quality.  We screen for appropriateness.  We screen for cost.  We screen because we have limited time and resources.  And we never question the cost of that screening.  It is what careful people do.  It is what responsible people do.  It is what frugal people do.

But it is also what timid people do.  It is what cheap people do.  It is what you do when your biggest worry is that you will look foolish.  There is a time and place for screening.  You screen when resources are limited and the cost of a bad decision can sour an otherwise beautiful experience.  If you have limited time, by all means screen your options to get the maximum pleasure from your vacation. With One Month Travel, this all changes.  When you step up to giving yourself the luxury of a one month travel experience to get to know a place, you need an entirely new approach- go for it all.  You want to experience outrageous travel.

On a short trip there may be some justification for screening.  There is a lot to see and you don’t have much time.  It makes sense to exercise judgment and set priorities because you can’t afford to waste time on second rate or negative attractions.  You don’t have a moment to spare.  With one month travel the situation is completely different.  You have plenty of time so you can afford some failures.  You can take some risks and when you take those risks you quickly learn that no experience is truly a failure.  Even disappointments can turn into great stories and memories once you get back.  Thinking about those disappointments, it becomes clear that the real issue is avoiding embarrassment or looking foolish- at least the fear of looking foolish.  And who is to know?  Your friends are all back home, bored to tears while you are experiencing lifestyle travel  and having the time of your life.

We struggled with our vacation thinking the first week in Buenos Aires because we were thinking like tourists. It seemed so important to determine the ‘good’ sights and make sure that we visited them- and that we avoided the ‘bad’ ones.  As time passed, it became apparent that while the good sights were generally worth the effort, from time to time we stumbled into a great sight that the tour books missed.  Either it wasn’t highlighted in the guide books as important or it was completely unexpected to us.   We also found out that there really isn’t any ‘bad’ sight when you are half-way around the world.  We were moving into lifestyle travel mode.

There are two things to say about the unexpected:

First, the unexpected is what you are hoping to find but don’t know enough to identify- a delightful surprise that you stumble upon because you are out and about.  The unexpected will not come to find you at your apartment or hotel.  Being active and engaged is the only way the unexpected will find you.  Get out on the street.  Outrageous travel happens when you put yourself into the lifestyle of the place you are visiting.  This is what I call lifestyle travel.

Second, what you find exciting might well be something that the guidebooks dismissed.  You are a unique and special individual.  You aren’t average and because you aren’t average, you can’t assume that your judgment will be the same as the guidebook.  Check everything out.  With one month travel you have the time. You can often include several attractions as possibilities so that you can move quickly on when you hit a dud.  But never assume that anything you haven’t personally experienced is a dud.  Check it out.  You have the time because you chose outrageous travel. .

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