Why Most Unplanned Adventures are Often the Best Ones

Why Most Unplanned Adventures are Often the Best Ones

Pack your bags and take everything with you—except a concrete travel plan. You're about to have the best adventure of your life.

“I guess sometimes the greatest memories are made in the most unlikely of places, further proof that spontaneity is more rewarding than a meticulously planned life.”

― J.A. Redmerski, The Edge of Always

If you’ve been travelling for quite some time now, I know that there are times that you’ve been preparing for a particular travel schedule with all the things that you need to do, maps, your favourite random thing, everything, and then just like that, it gets cancelled for some reason. There is some kind of force that sometimes blocks your way and prevents those well-planned travels from happening. But you know what? There can be instances wherein you never prepared for a particular journey, yet it turns out to be one of the best that you’ve ever had. For travellers who love surprises, here are reasons why unplanned adventures are the best.

Unplanned adventures are (a lot) less complicated

The spontaneity of unplanned adventures makes everything less complicated. Go where your feet would take you. Sometimes, getting lost is not a bad thing, and it can lead you to other roads that often lead to better destinations than what you’ve been expecting. When things are less complicated, your focus centres on the overall experience and not on the woes of travelling.

Also read: 15 Struggles of a Travel Junkie with an Office Job

Unplanned adventures keep the element of surprise

I know that your inner-perfectionist will cringe with this. When unplanned travels materialise, you are definitely in for a surprise because you don’t know what to expect when you get there. We can have those pleasant surprises that await us, and they could catch you off guard and let you try new and exciting things along the way.

Unplanned journeys are less repetitive and less predictable. There are some occasions in which the destination is somewhere you’ve already been to, but you still don’t have any idea what to expect and there remains a persistent thought inside your head that keeps you excited.

Unplanned adventures make you travel light

unplanned adventures

Typically, unplanned travels are ideas that came to life in less than a day – sometimes even just a few hours – before the intended trip. It is basically a trip that is a “pack your bags and go” situation. Because you travel light, you can focus more on the things that you see rather than the things you carry.

Unplanned adventures open you to new friends and acquaintances

unplanned adventures best ones

While this is common in any travelling situation, the spontaneity of the moment can make the experience open to random yet meaningful conversations with strangers who are basically waiting to become your new friends and acquaintances. These unplanned trips will always spark an idea to start a conversation. Even a simple encounter of you asking for directions can help you gain a friend for life, and asking for a recommendation for the best place to get coffee can end up with you having a snack with a new buddy. The possibilities are endless!

Unplanned adventures usually have short durations but not short of excitement

Usually, when an unplanned trip comes to life, it is quite short-lived, such as a day-long road trip or an overnight stay by the beach. But despite this brief moment, it is almost always certain that the excitement never dies while you’re at it. Because unplanned adventures come from a surge of idea, that level of adrenaline that got you excited from the beginning will be sustained until the moment that you go home, and even beyond!

Unplanned adventures happen more frequently if you entertain the idea

I was able to converse with a fellow travel writer, and she told me that there was a month when she had only one scheduled trip, but ended up healthily peppered with more than ten unplanned trips. These trips ranged from easy hillside road trips to an escape to the beach for an overnight sojourn. The urge to go somewhere can be that little voice inside your head that has been rallying for you to have a break or that presents itself in the form of a friend who has been honing the mighty power of suggestion.

Sometimes, you just need to look around to find that moment. We’ve seen a lot of passionate travellers who used to be hardworking employees who don’t have vacation and relaxation in their books. But when they get to learn about the joys of journeys and tried travelling by themselves, the rest, as they say, was history.

Also read: Awkward Travel Situations and How to Handle Them

Unplanned adventures can be less expensive than planned ones

Because unplanned travels generally have short durations and lean towards destinations that promote more participation and less spending, these adventures are usually a lot cheaper than planned ones. You will notice that when you plan a certain trip, the expenses are already there even before you reach the place. If you are the overcritical type of traveller, your experience is already inhibited by the pending expense. Free yourself from the trouble, and just go! Marvel at what you can do with so little, and be amazed at the generosity of strangers.

Unplanned adventures are far more memorable

If you managed to go on an unplanned trip several times already, there is a good chance that you can still remember what happened during those experiences even more so than the instances when you travelled under a certain itinerary or plan. This is because the experience is raw when the adventure is unplanned and spontaneous, and it is not simply because of the destination, but also because of the journey and the events that happened during that time that have become wonderful memories you can relive over and over. The memory never fades, and the adventure never gets old.

Also read: 10 Brilliant Responses When People Ask Why You Travel So Much

Unplanned adventures provide you a deeper perspective in life

The reality of appreciating the randomness of your travels gives you the idea that not all things that come unplanned are bad things. It makes you a more resilient individual who, no matter how random and unexpected things happen in life, can remain steadfast and calm. When you experience these unplanned travels, you broaden your horizons and deepen your understanding about life. Sometimes, you just need to smile about random things, both good and bad.

Unplanned adventures change you for the better

Because of the experiences that you gain during the process, these spontaneous adventures can actually change you for the better, even if you don’t initially notice it. You gain confidence, courage, and positivity. You become a wiser individual, and you can test your communication skills, especially if you will be travelling alone. When the unplanned trips are embarked on with a group, it promotes better socialisation, and it can even enhance your street-smartness.

Also read: 15 Definite Signs It’s Time for Your Next Adventure

When we look forward to the things we plan about our life, it would be great if we embrace the unplanned parts as well. As you move along with your day, who knows, maybe an unplanned adventure is waiting for you.

About Author

James Aquino
James Aquino

After visiting more than fifty international cities in three continents (and still counting), James is on a quest to visit at least two new countries each year. A registered nurse, a stage father, and a grumpy husband, he has always believed that travelling offers something that you will never learn from school. His best advice is to always take pictures along the way, but never forget the stories behind them. Read more of his travel stories and his passion project at The Panoramic Soul.


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