Keep Calm, Plans Change: Tips to Successful Trips

Keep Calm

My first travel blog for ART Undone was going to be this comprehensive list of why you should travel and how feasible it is to do so. I was super excited to tell you all about my tips and ways I almost always have fun on a trip. No worries, I will still be publishing that blog later, however, just as I have learned many times before, plans change, even when you plan ahead.

It’s currently 1:15 am and I am sitting in the Orlando International Airport alone. Most of the workers have left except a couple of late night janitors. I was supposed to be in a comfortable king-sized bed catching up on all the sleep that I’ve missed these past two weeks. Instead, I’m waiting for my family to get here due to some technical difficulties.

I would say that I’m flustered, but I’m quite calm unlike the lady I just seen crying her eyes out on the phone. Clearly she was having a worse night than I am. I almost wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything would be alright, but you know that whole stranger thing. Instead, I just observed. After she cried on the phone, she hung up, fixed her face and posture and kept it moving. This occurrence plus my self-observation of being more sleepy than frustrated, I decided to open my laptop and talk about two things: the skill I gained from traveling and the life lesson I learned.

Without a doubt one of the most important skills I’ve learned from traveling is the skill of quick, critical thinking.  With all the fun adventures that come with traveling, people tend to forget the extensive planning that goes into having a good trip. Honestly and truly, it can be a headache. From coordinating flights, transportation and accommodations to staying within a budget, there is a reason why many people pay travel agents to do the work for them. Then once you have finally solidified your plans, there is always the possibility of missed flights, cancelled reservations, towed cars or even having the bank cancel your only debit card in a foreign country. It is not the time to cry and complain, it’s the time to jump into action.

Being able to quickly think of an alternative solution to your plans will decrease the amount of time you would spend crying and increase the amount of time you have to enjoy your vacation. When traveling, you are on timeline. You have a certain amount of time to figure out any obstacles that may occur. The quicker you think of the optimal solution, the more time you can dance in the streets, take pictures, eat good food and relax. Trust me, quick critical thinking and an optimistic attitude will take you far.

Now for that life lesson… If I told you all the crazy travel stories that have happened to me while traveling, you would probably question my sanity and willingness to still travel. However, since I love traveling too much to ever sit at home, I choose to be optimistic about all my travels. Every time I start planning a new trip I go in with a clean slate and a plan to avoid any mistakes I may have made in a previous trip. I go in with plans a, b and c and the mindset that even if something goes wrong I will make the best out of any situation that I can’t control. That’s a lesson that I’ve also learned to take out of traveling and apply to life.

I’ve found that 90% of the time, we allow things that frustrate us to overtake us. Once we have allowed ourselves to get frustrated, our judgment becomes clouded. Trust me, I know from experience. Like that one time I was in Rome at the airport until 1:00 am waiting on my luggage that had been lost not one or two, but three times. Determined to get to my hostel, I hopped into an illegal taxi. Illegal taxi as in it wasn’t a taxi at all; It was an old car with two big Italian men. [Don’t judge me]. Nevertheless, I could have been kidnapped because my frustration had caused me not to think through my decisions. Thank God nothing happened, but things could have ended a lot worse than me yelling at two big Italian men in a dark street at 1:30 in the morning.

So, what do I want you to get from this is quite simple; traveling is like life. When you think you have everything figured out, crap still happens. You can cry, but once you have gotten those few tears out, clear your head and figure out a solution. It is the solution that matters. Once you have found the solution, decide not to wallow in the event for the remainder of your trip, instead focus on how much more you deserve to have the time of your life. Focusing on the negative doesn’t move you forward, it just holds you back. So, what choice will you make? Rather it be on a trip to New York or a decision in life, traveling has taught me that the way you choose to live life is a choice. There are already so many decisions that are made for you out in this universe, I behoove you to take ownership of the decisions you can make and make the best out of them.

And that ladies and gentlemen that is called making lemonade out of lemons J.

Signed,

ART simply Undone

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