How to Travel when you're a Control Freak
Are you the type of person that plans a whole trip from A to Z? Or wakes up four hours before their 8am flight or checks three times before going to the airport if they have their passport?
Congratulations, you're a control freak. Welcome to the club!
It makes me feel safe knowing that I've organised my holiday, knowing exactly where I'm going, what I am going to do, and how I'm going to do it.
The thing is being very organised when you travel can be super useful because you're not wasting time trying to figure out what to do, but on the other hand, it can also put a lot of stress on you. I mean, you're in goddamn holidays ! You're here to enjoy and create some memories.
So how to let it go for a bit and how to spend our energy in the right way in order to have a great trip?
1. Understand that not everything is in your control
You're travelling to an unfamiliar territory, you're far from home, and let's be honest, nobody can predict the future. So things are going to happen, good or bad!
Focus on what you can control, and write on a piece of paper the top activities you want to do. And if something doesn't go as planned, embrace and accept it. Otherwise, you're going to find yourself stressing over things that you can't do anything about. Your flight got delayed? Fine, you'll have another glass of wine while you wait. This museum you really wanted to go to is closed? Fine, you'll go another day and do something else instead.
We think that planning every single day of our trip will make us happy and worriless because all we have to do is following the schedule. But it's not true. All it'll do is make you look constantly at the time and you won't actually enjoy the moment. Leave the clock at work!
2. Let your travel buddy take over
If you're travelling with someone else, the fact of planning everything isn't actually making it easy for them. They'll tend to feel oppressed and bossed around. Again, it is their holidays too! When I went to Bali with my boyfriend, I planned everything on a spreadsheet. I wrote down every single thing I wanted to do at the exact time at the exact place. It made me feel safe, but what about him?
Ask your buddy what they would love to do and see. Let them choose the restaurant. Let them take you somewhere they'd like to go.
We were walking around in Ubud and my boyfriend spotted this tiny little alley. We've decided to venture ourselves in, and turned out it led us to an amazing little cafe with the view on the rice fields. We loved this place so much we came back the day after.
If you're travelling by yourself, you'll obviously meet people. Let them guide you around, this is how make new friends!
3. Leave some space for the unknown
You know it now, planning a trip doesn't necessarily require sticking to an itinary. First, you're more likely to feel disappointed and secondly, you miss the actual experience.
I'm the type of person who needs to get up early on the morning and make the most of every second. It makes sense to me but honestly, sometimes we just need a break.
Don't focus on what you should be doing, but on what you want to do.
Also, you don't need to overbook yourself with a whole bunch of activities to do in one day. Do one thing at a time, and clear your schedule for something you didn't plan for.
What amazing thing can happen today?
It's great to do all the things you've seen on the Internet about the destination you're going to, but give yourself the opportunity to wander around and discover something new. The best travel stories are those you didn't plan!
4. Get off your phone!
It is by far the hardest thing for me. The first thought I have when I arrive at my hotel is "What's the password for the Wifi". Then I always want to take the best shot of everything and spend ten minutes choosing the right Instagram filters and tags. It's not because I'm addicted, it's because I just want to be Miss Perfect.
There's nothing wrong with using your phone to take pictures when you're on holiday. I mean, you go to a beautiful place, you take photos, this is also how you create memories!
Now that you have your picture, take the time to really admire what you see with your eyes. And let you social media feeds for after.
Getting off your phone will definitely help you relax and enjoy the moment. Everyone needs a digital detox, so allow yourself to disconnect and rest. Your inner self will thank you!
Wishing you the best travels and Let It Go!
Eileen - Pretty Little Mantras