Plan­los ist das bes­te Plan

Es heißt nicht, dass man sich ein­fach durch das Leben plan­los bewe­gen soll, man soll­te aber in der Lage sein, sich ein­fach gehen zu las­sen, weil es ein bestimm­tes Wun­der gibt, in die unbe­re­chen­bar­keit der Zukunft. Und wenn man sich über­ra­schen lässt, der Welt wird ein­fach viel spannender.

Wir kom­men in Stock­holm an, nach eine lan­ge rei­se von 500 km unge­fär und der Plan ist nacher Oslo. Wir machen couch­sur­fing bein einem Mann, der kam zurück von einem Trip im nor­den von Nor­way und Schwe­den. Der kennt sich aus mit der Natur des Lan­des und da er gibt uns den Rat­schlag zu die klei­ne Inseln rum Stock­holm zu fah­ren, wir machen das. Und der Ort ist wun­der­schön. Wir ler­nen viel jeden Tag und etwas, dass immer wie­der kommt ist, dass manch­mal plan­los ist das bes­te Plan.

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One of the gre­at things about hitch­hi­king is that you get to meet a lot of peop­le you wouldn’t nor­mal­ly meet if you would tra­vel by bus or train and your desti­na­ti­on is a lot more vague and open to chan­ges. On top of that, many of the peop­le are locals, for which you get a clo­ser look into the cul­tu­re and the pla­ces. I have to say, the first time Cate and I enga­ged in a hitch­hi­king trip was in Spain and we took a week off to hitch­hi­ke to the north of the coun­try and as it was our first time, we had ever­y­thing plan­ned before­hand. We had our couch­sur­fers alre­ady wai­ting for us and the pla­ces we wan­ted to visit pin­ned on the map. We had to, I mean, it was decem­ber and alt­hough win­ter in Spain is not as rough as in other pla­ces, slee­ping out­side without a slee­ping bag or a tent was pro­bab­ly the worst idea ever. And thank­ful­ly we were lucky enough to find a place to stay every night after rea­li­sing that we were not always able to reach our plan­ned desti­na­ti­on. But we lear­ned a lot in that first encoun­ter with the road. First, you’ll defi­ni­te­ly need a slee­ping bag and pre­fer­a­b­ly a tent as well, if you don’t want to die of hypo­ther­mia due to the cold and high level of humi­di­ty on the ground. Second, you can plan as much as you want, the­re is no way on earth that your days will end up as plan­ned. May­be you get picked up, may­be not, may­be you end up cam­ping in the midd­le of nowhe­re or may­be in a dif­fe­rent desti­na­ti­on. All of the­se make of hitch­hi­king our favou­rite way of transport.

In this post I want to talk about plan­ning and why we avo­id it was the pla­gue. And alt­hough plan­ning can be use­ful most of the time (and necessa­ry) while hitch­hi­king, the­re are thousands of fac­tors that come into play for the deve­lo­ping of the situa­ti­ons we find our­sel­ves in. One of them is peop­le you meet on the way and the influ­ence they can have on your plan­ning. We were stay­ing at a guy’s place in Stock­holm, Las­se, who had just retur­ned from a road trip to the north of Nor­way after having quit his job for the hope to rewri­te his pre­sent. The won­der­ful thing about him was that he was an expert on the natu­re of his land and we tal­ked long about natio­nal parks and all what Swe­den and Nor­way had to offer in terms of cam­ping in natu­re. Our plans were to go to Oslo after Stock­holm and may­be stop in a nice place on our way the­re. But we got some advice from Las­se, who recom­men­ded us to try hitch­hi­king a boat to the islands that sur­round the area of Stock­holm. So our desti­na­ti­on chan­ged to Run­marö, pro­bab­ly the most famous litt­le island of that region.

We had no pro­blem hitch­hi­king a boat and becau­se the wea­ther was good, blue sky and the sun shi­ning bright, we wal­ked the ent­i­re island in search for the best place from which to see the sun­set. We always use goog­le maps in satel­li­te mode to see how the ter­rain looks like and whe­re we could camp and so on, and on the other end of the island the­re was a place with cliffs that faced the sun­set direct­ly  and loo­ked like a good place to put our litt­le tent on. So we hea­ded into that direc­tion fol­lo­wing the path. At some point howe­ver, the path ended and we had to go insi­de the forest. Dif­fe­rent paths would emer­ge and disap­pe­ar and we just kept going, fol­lo­wing the right direction.

At some point, we came to a litt­le hou­se with an old man and asked for some direc­tions. The­re is no direct path, he said, and poin­ted out some dif­fe­rent paths that should take us the­re but would pro­bab­ly take too long, sin­ce our aim was to see the sun­set on top of the island and it was slow­ly get­ting late. We than­ked him for his time and told him we would find a way somehow. And the old man replied: “I can see you will not take the path, you don’t look like the kind of girls that will take the easiest way out”. To which we respon­ded that we don’t necessa­ri­ly try to make it more com­pli­ca­ted nor look for the most dif­fi­cult path. If the­re is a path that can lead us to whe­re we want to go, we will most likely fol­low it, is just when the­re is no path to our desti­na­ti­on that we will open up one our­sel­ves. That’s all. And we kept on going. At some point the vege­ta­ti­on was get­ting more and more tight and we had to sort our way through bran­ches and bus­hes but we final­ly made it to the cliffs, and it was breathtaking.

The thing is, we have learnt that it doesn’t mat­ter whe­re you camp, it will most likely be a gre­at expe­ri­ence (the being in natu­re is alre­ady some­thing won­der­ful) but if you try a litt­le har­der, the­re is always a place that will blow your mind and tho­se pla­ces are the ones that real­ly make you see how much beau­ty you can find in this world. And the moment you arri­ve after all the effort is com­pen­sa­ted by a fee­ling of strength and enjoy­ment. We wat­ched a beau­ti­ful sun­set and got to camp in the most ama­zing place so far.

Total­ly unplan­ned, but a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence. And the fact is, plan­ning will somehow nar­row your oppor­tu­nities. When we plan to get some­whe­re for an exact date, we cut out all the other pos­si­ble desti­na­ti­ons. We deci­ded not to plan becau­se of moments like this, moments of com­ple­te spon­ta­n­ei­ty in which you get to sei­ze the moment and let yours­elf be taken away by whe­re you day brings you. And I think this can be app­lied in every part of our lives. Some­ti­mes orga­ni­za­ti­on is necessa­ry and will take you a long way but in other situa­ti­ons, being free to be spon­ta­neous will bring you so much more. Spon­ta­n­ei­ty is a gift, using it is what brings you to hap­pi­ness, I mean, at the end, all gets redu­ced to the act of accept­ing the unknown of the future.