Back in August I announced and completed what is so far my favourite ever Man Vs Clock comfort zone challenge, ‘Destination Unknown.’ In case you missed it, I just rocked up at Newcastle airport, not knowing where I was going until choosing my destination at the very last minute. My heart said Poland and I ended up travelling around Europe for just a few days shy of a month, having an awesome time and learning a lot about travel and myself.
Nothing at all was planned – it was pretty spontaneous and pretty mental! Spontaneous travel can make you smile and scream profanities within seconds, here’s an insight into the awesome and what makes you swear when you opt for this particular chosen method of travel:
The Awesome – Excitement
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – spontaneity is just God damn sexy! The ethos of “what may be, will be” and dropping everything last minute is extremely exhilarating – perfect for life’s thrill-seekers. Welcome to the wonderful world of the unknown!
Things That Make You Swear: Risk Of Sleeping Rough
On my last-minute, not planning a thing at all adventure, I was extremely lucky to find accommodation even though it was the heart of summer (peak time)….but in Slovakia – my luck ran out!
Panic struck late at night after hours and hours of rejection from hostels and guestrooms, followed by an aggressive cock-grabbing prostitute who wouldn’t take “no,” or my favourite English swear words for an answer. ‘City hostel’ thankfully came to my rescue as the very last available place in Bratislava, during the early hours of the morning – this was stressful times!
The Awesome: Free From The Burden Of The “To Do List”
Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge bucket list. I also knew that I wanted to pay my respects to Auschwitz, but it was great to not have a rigid ‘to do’ list which can cause stress in itself when travelling – isn’t it just all about having fun?
Things That Make You Swear: Missing The Moment Because You’re Going Too Fast
My last-minute trip was nothing short of wonderful, but because I was speeding around Europe, I missed out on many things and the beauty of the moment. I missed out on visiting the salt mines in Krakow and I moved onto Prague when I was still pretty much in the honeymoon period with Krakow.
Against my will, I had to say goodbye to friends who I had forged a connection with and didn’t like it at all. I don’t like rushing about or having to cut good times short.
The Awesome: Upgrading Crap Hostels
If you book last minute, you should only book for a few days in case you don’t like where you end up staying. Take a look at this picture:
I personally found this ridiculous! I thought this was a hostel – not a nursing home! I have the utmost respect for my fellow travellers in a communal hostel and tip-toe around like a ninja stealth warrior, so I don’t wake up or annoy them. But the rules in this place were just plain stupid! I was out of there after a day! I upgraded to a hostel with attitude…oh and a sauna too
If you book last minute, you should only book for a few days in case you don’t like where you end up staying. You may prefer to upgrade to a better hostel or even a time share unit for more space and privacy. Hostels aren’t for everybody, and in many cases their rules, regulations and clientele can be a bit annoying
Things That Make You Swear: It’s More Expensive
No one likes to spend more than they need to and I can guarantee that if you go on an adventure like I did – you will overspend.
We are all different beasts. There are over 6 billion of us on the planet and our personalities are built for different things that make us tick. I know some people who would have freaked out, doing what I did and it’s not for everyone.
Whether you’re booking last-minute budget flights to New York, or even just going on a last-minute city getaway – you really need to take the points from above and weigh up the pros and cons to your taste. What is more important to you? Excitement, or looking after your bank balance? Do you get stressed easy? Are you a planner?
I’ll always be up for spontaneous travel, but when I start my next adventure in Asia this November – I’m definitely going to be travelling a lot slower than I did in Europe. The importance of enjoying and savouring the moments of travel is the most important thing to me.
How do you feel about spontaneous travel? Comments and opinions welcome