My hand is cramping, my map of New Zealand is covered in days’ worth of purple pen marks, and I still have no idea where I’m going. How many calendars do I need to print off (so far the tally is three) before I can accept that all this planning is futile?
Then suddenly it hits me:
Why make a plan at all?
Okay, okay, it wasn’t suddenly. I got some inspiration from 6 Reasons to Travel Without A Plan on Matador Network. At first, the idea didn’t even occur to me. Every trip I’ve been on has been more or less planned out by my father. So not only do I lack sufficient planning experience, I also lack non-planning experience.
I have everything I need already. An idea. A visa. A WWOOF membership. Five months of free time.
For my mother’s sake, most of my time in Southeast Asia has been thoroughly planned with Stray Travel, who runs backpacker-type bus tours through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. But for the love of everything gap year, I do need some room to breathe!
That is why today, I have officially decided not to plan Part Two of my gap year. There are still necessary arrangements that need to be made: an unlimited travel bus pass from Naked Bus that needs buying, my WWOOF homestays that need arranging, and plane tickets whose costs are only going up.
But once all that is out of the way, I can take a deep breath, hop on my (scheduled!) plane, and embrace serendipity.