Travel Blog: Ditch Your Itinerary

It’s July 3rd. I’m sitting in a small cafe just outside of Coba, Mexico.  It’s nearly 100 degrees, I’m swimming in humidity, I’m staring at blank computer screen and  I have a deadline for this blog later today. The rest of the IVY Adventures crew is hiking to the top of a Mayan ruin.  I a’int mad….not even a little.

This is my view:

 

Of course with this view and this adventure, it’s only obvious that I decided to write about travel (again), but more specifically, how I like to travel.

First off, I love to travel. Whether it’s for work, for pleasure or even just a day trip on my motorcycle, I love to get away from the routines of home.  However, the one thing I am not a fan of is making strict plans or itineraries. 

My planning for any trip usually goes a little something like this; pick a destination, find a date, book a ticket, figure the rest out along the way.  Of course, this works pretty well when traveling solo, or with my son while cruising through the redwood forests of Northern California, however when traveling with a group of 11 adventurers, like this current trip to Tulum, there has to be some compromises.

You see, travel, no matter how far you go, whether if it’s in your own state or half way across the world, gives you an opportunity to discover something new. Something new about yourself, something new about the humans you’re fortunate enough to be sharing this planet with, or something new about a completely foreign culture.  This is your chance to leave comfort behind.  To forget, if only for a few days, about everything you left behind and open yourself up to whatever comes your way. 

And this is exactly why planning your trip minute by minute, excursion by guided tour, sun up to sun down, doesn’t give you the chance to find out what you’re made of.  To lose yourself in this new place.  To figure your way out of a jam.  Or, as we recently discovered, how to deal with the police in a foreign country and trying to figure out how to recover over $7000 worth of camera gear getting stolen from your rental car (yes this actually happened) and how you can scramble to possibly get some full-coverage rental car insurance to lessen the blow.

All of this being said.

This is what travel is about. 

It’s problem solving.  It’s sneaking into an upscale hotel, and taking over their beautiful beach front and making it your own.  It’s meeting a random stranger in upstate Wisconsin who drives you around looking for a part for your motorcycle.  It’s taking a hard left up the side of a mountain in a loaner Jeep only to find the most amazing tree that you and your travel companions each hang a hammock in and share one of the most amazing nights you’ve ever had, together.

These are the things you will remember. 

These are the things that will make the stories that you’ll tell your kids or your grandkids. 

I have a notebook full of quotes and the first entry in that notebook is from the documentary 180° South; “The word ‘adventure’ had gotten overused, to me, adventure is when everything goes wrong.  That’s when the adventure starts.” 

So at the conclusion of reading this blog, I challenge all of you, to book a trip, ditch your itinerary and have an adventure. 

Get away from your comfort zone.  Leave the cruise ship behind.  Venture out from the Sandel’s All-Inclusive Resort.  Take the road less traveled and discover what’s out there.

Travel.  Discover. Adventure. 


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