"Do What You Can't"- Casey Neistat
Boy, have the last few months been crazy. I made a promise to myself in October of 2018 that I would start “doing”. By “doing” I mean deciding to “do” for myself. Not as if everything I did in life at that time was without purpose, but I needed to start finding fulfillment in the things I put my energy into.
"I needed to find my passion, what drove me, what gave me purpose."
Since college, which didn’t end quite as planned, I settled into a company where I’d still find myself six years later. Working full time along with a few part-time jobs here and there, hard work was not uncommon for me and soon became a trait of mine. I felt happiness making money for the sake of spending it in my limited free time. Soon realizing that those hours spent “working” pile up, I needed to find my passion, what drove me, what gave me purpose.
So here I am, fast forward to May of 2019, I kept my promise and quit my job. But here’s the twist: I have no clue what I want to do! I am extremely lucky to have worked for a company who supported my desire to leave the mundane 9 to 5 world and follow my dreams to become…something.
"I’ve realized that if I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life, I’m just going to do everything possible."
I’ve found that people discover what they don’t want to do in life, more often than what they do want to do. But in order to figure these things out, you need to “DO”. This is why traveling became a huge part of my life during these past 4 years. At first it was an escape from obligations and responsibilities, but later it became more than that. It became my main focus of trying new things and seeing what treasures this world has to offer. I’ve realized that if I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life, I’m just going to do everything possible. Whether that be getting PADI certified and diving the great barrier reef, studying martial arts in Japan, hiking mountains, volunteering with wildlife, or trying to land a part as an extra in a Vietnamese film. I’m just going to do it all until I have my realization moment.
And that is where the “no plan” comes in. I’ve spent my life planning and watching most of those plans fall apart in front of my eyes. So, I’ve decided to stop. In most of my travels I let everything unfold naturally. Some situations work out for the better, and others not so much. But each situation I find myself in, paves the road for the next variable thrown at me. For example, if I didn’t take a detour to Budapest, I would have never met a friend who convinced me to travel with her and face my fears bungee jumping in Poland. Not having a plan can lead you in all sorts of directions. Such as grabbing a last-minute flight to Morocco, arriving at 3am, and trying not to get robbed by five people in the dark streets. After traveling this way for so long, I’ve ironed out a few rules of thumb regarding traveling. Sticking to these few things, you should be able to travel without restrictions and improvise to create a one of a kind experience you won’t find with a travel agency.
The Four “Musts” to travel without a plan:
Weather. Essential Desires. Timeframe. Safety.
Weather: You’re going to need to know how to pack. Once a destination or area is decided upon, do some light research on the area and the season you are traveling in. This will give you a loose guideline of what you will need in order to be prepared.
Essential Desires: What MUST you do? Make a Hitlist of these items. If you’re going to Paris, do some digging and make a small list of the things you MUST do and see. This way you can find out if you need to book anything in advance or put aside a certain amount of time.
Timeframe: As I mentioned, I prefer to only know for certain the date I am departing. If I’m traveling for an extended period, and I don’t know where I’m going to end up, I typically decide my return trip more than halfway through my adventure. It’s best to know a general timeframe of how long you want to be away from home. But don’t forget the main idea here, a one-way ticket is a ticket to adventure!
Safety: This is a big one for me. There are tons of travelers out there who love sharing their experiences in other countries. You can use these strangers to your advantage when it comes to safety. It’s important to check government websites, news outlets, and I’d also suggest watching some YouTube videos, or reading blog posts about travelers’ personal experiences. Make sure the information you get is up to date! This is extremely important, as safety should be your number one priority.
If you have these for things locked down, your trip will go smoother than you know. Don’t be afraid to make changes on the fly! I embarked on a three-month European excursion, with only having 4 countries “planned” out. I ended up seeing 10. I was able to create relationships with new friends from around the world, such as exploring Madrid with a girl from a restaurant who helped me order when the waiter couldn’t understand me. Or a girl from Canada that I met in Budapest who convinced me to go bungee jumping with her in Poland during a snowstorm.
Most importantly, whatever gets thrown at you in your adventure, make the most of it! My most impactful realization while traveling without a plan is that whatever happens next, is contingent on every person you meet as well as what you learn from them in those moments.