Spontaneous Travel Vs A Planned Route

(Above: How I felt with my journey all planned out!)

Less than a week ago I was in Poland, about to depart for Russia, when I made the spur of the moment decision to take some time out from this planned adventure to go on a spontaneous one. This may sound crazy to some people, or just a bit stupid, but having the next 6 months of my life planned out was seriously getting me down. I felt restricted, stressed out, and I wasn’t enjoying nor taking full advantage of a trip that I really should have been ecstatic to be on! At first I just thought I was craving some sunshine, after some miserable weather in Berlin, but even beautiful weather in Warsaw wasn’t enough to take my mind off of the fact that all I wanted to do was just jump on a train to somewhere new, unplanned, and not on my scheduled itinerary. So after a week of thinking about it, I decided to take a little break from my adventure, and jump on train to Madrid, via Cologne, Luxembourg, and Paris!

I write to you now from my hostel in Madrid. I have another two nights of accommodation booked, but no transport or accommodation arranged for after that. I may stay here a little longer. I may hop off to somewhere else. I really don’t know. One thing is for sure though, I feel much happier have no schedule, and I am actually having fun again! It was only 5 days ago that I was in Poland. Since then I’ve been in Cologne, Luxembourg, and Paris, as well as having the craziest overnight train ride from Paris to Madrid which involved the train driver stopping every 20 minutes for a cigarette break, and some drunken debauchery at the bar(on the train) with my new found American/Mexican friends! Spanish rail conductors are also a crazy bunch!

Madrid has been cool too. I forgot that there was protests going on down here at the moment. As I stumbled down into the main square, I found myself dancing with gypsies, singing peace songs with protesters, hanging with hippies, and listening to motivational speeches while news crews stood filming behind. I wouldn’t have experienced any of this if it wasn’t for that decision to forget my plans for while and head somewhere new.

So with Poland feeling like a far distant memory now, and my plans very much up in the air, I’ve been thinking about other travellers, and whether or not it is just me who needs that sense of spontaneity in their travels? Are you the kind of traveller who prefers to just  pick a destination and go on whim, or do you like to have things planned out so you know exactly what you are doing and when? I’d be really interested to find out what you prefer, and whether or not I am indeed crazy! 🙂

2 Responses to “Spontaneous Travel Vs A Planned Route”

  1. Katherina says:

    I’m with you in this one. My day to day is pretty much planned out so I like my vacations to be spontaneous. Whenever I’m somewhere I like, I’ll extend the stay (and the other way round, too!).

    By the way, how cool you’re in Madrid now. I’m going from the 10th to the 13th… I lived there for 4 years, so let me know if I can be of any help or if you want any kind of recommendation (I’m a wandering restaurant and bars guide…)

  2. Natalie says:

    Oh, I wish I could travel to many different country as you did, planned or spontaneous. I like to do spontaneous, but the difficulties is sometimes if cost much, for the ticket, accommodations, etc.
    I only do the spontaneous travel for the cheap traveling, just do on a weekend , or public holiday, and I did if the destination is near.


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