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Why We Travel without Directions

Travel without Directions
Written by Carl Hedinger

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. – Lao Tsu

I’ve heard it all. Strong opinions come out when you’re trying to do something different.

“Do what works. Stick to what you know.”

Of course, that logic might work when one wants instant success or a safe way out. Yet that doesn’t work for me, as I want to push those ever-familiar boundaries as far as possible. I still feel safe even in these confusing surroundings. I recently talked with friends about how they do it. That is, how they have such fantastic times without a plan. It’s a goal I truly want to achieve—Traveling with no plan. Traveling with no destination in mind. This is why we travel without directions.

Why We Travel without Directions

Why Worry About It

Travel without Directions in Seoul's Dongdaemun Plaza

Why are we so worried about going to the same oft-traveled spots that get scouted by those who’ve gone ahead? I’m guilty of that, just as most of you are. It’s almost impossible to find a place that absolutely nobody has seen and if you have, whom would you tell? It’s too special to share and I appreciate that. It stays a secret to remain as beautifully untouched as how you found it.

Prepare for the Escape

Instead of locking into our navigation systems or smartphones equipped with Google Maps, just shut it all off. Follow your own path and travel without a guide, without direction. Prepare yourself for a mental and social escape. It’s time for you, and nothing else. Those pre-printed directions are controlling every step you take, so throw them down (into a receptacle of course) and walk with no assistance. You don’t need it and honestly, it’s time to put it away.

Put it Down and Walk Away

Travel without Directions in Kyoto

It’s impossible to keep up with all the suggestions, beautiful pictures, and equally inspiring words that keep me out there, always trying to find something different. It’s impossible. I can’t keep up, so a decision had to be made or else my sanity would die away. Put the guide down and walk away. It’s time to travel without directions.

Do you travel with or without directions? 

This idea didn’t come solely from my own brain. It would be impossible to say so. The inspiration comes from a truly inspiring set of friends whose wisdom is truly worth sharing. The stories and moments they walk away with cannot be replicated because those who seek the unimaginable find unique moments that touch the soul.

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I’m a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family’s travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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