Monday, July 31, 2006

slow travel

I read about the notion of slow travel, and I realised that I had already been trying to implement it on this trip. Turns out it is very satisfying but quite difficult in practice.

I have been trained and socialized to aspire to "good organisational skills", "ability to develop strategic plans and processes", "co-ordination of multiple tasks simultaneously".

Slow travel, for me, has meant the resistance to all longer term plans - and by long term I mean more than 1 or 2 weeks! I cannot predict any movements 100% if they are beyond that time frame as I need to be free to follow the flow of the river that is carrying me along.

Good things that have happened from not having plans:
1: Met Phil at the end of the camino because, unlike everyone I met, Id made no plans on how or when to leave santiago. His email on the very last day set my direction to Salamanca
2: Because I met Phil, I also met Esther and Paddy
3: Because I met Esther I have a new and very cool friend who has helped me survive my post-camino shock at returning to a big city and has offered me a home when I return.
4: With no plans I could go to Paris to meet with Jose when I wanted to
5: By reisiting any plans out of Paris I was able to fly to Italy to meet Gunther at a time perfect for him.
6: With no plans to leave Italy, Gunther and I were able to take a last minute drive to Switzerland to visit Andrea
7: By procrastinating with my research, I was able to stay to joing Gunther and his friends on the Lake of Garda this weekend for their summer camping holiday.

Now, I have a flight booked and one nights accommodation in Cinque Terre and already the accomm booking is restricting me a little..... I panicked that its so busy at this time of year so made the booking, but should have had faith that it would have worked out ok without it.

But, Oh, how this strategy challenges me. I am constrantly fighting the urge to book and plan.... and panic.....

But the rewards are great! If you are an overplanner, try it some time!

Serendipity is much more memorable than Certainty anyday!