It happened in May. I broke up with my boyfriend on a Monday, sent a resignation letter from an Uber to the airport on a Friday and booked a one-way ticket across the ocean.
I began my un-plannable life in Italy…
The clock was approaching 6PM, and I had nowhere to sleep for the night. All the hostels were completely booked and there was no available Airbnb on the island of Hvar.
I was on couchsurfing.com for the first time, considering requesting shelter with a man who had not replied to requests for the past 83 days. If you told me I would be potentially homeless for a night on a small island in Croatia six months ago, I’d laugh. Then, out of curiosity and a lack of strong geographical knowledge, I would probably look at a map to locate Croatia.
I’ve always been a planner.
I’m the person who picks my outfit the night before to make extra time in my warm bed the next morning, chooses my gym classes for the week before Monday arrives, decides what I’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at once. That’s me.
So, when it came to travel, I researched and weighed decisions before booking anything. I’d secure flights a minimum of two weeks in advance, but often times, months before takeoff. I’d do due diligence and read various reviews and scour the internet for the best Airbnb hosts and/or hotels.
That was before….
Everything changed when I hopped on an Air Berlin jet to Florence.
It happened in May. I broke up with my boyfriend on a Monday, sent a resignation letter from an Uber to the airport on a Friday, and booked a one-way ticket across the ocean.
I began my un-plannable life in Italy, so I could be with my mom as she crossed her dream city off of her bucket list before we flew to my sister’s wedding in Israel.
After the wedding celebration, most of the 200+ wedding attendees returned home to Los Angeles. To their loved ones, their jobs, their responsibilities, and their well-planned lives.
Instead, I continued on to test myself, break the walls of my comfort zones, see cities I’ve only heard about, satisfy my insatiable desire to travel the world, meet new people, hear personal stories, and find out what makes me feel most alive.
After Israel, I made my way to Barcelona, and initiated my first solo travel experience on the island of Mallorca. I had zero flights booked until a day or two before I would move on to my next destination.
From Mallorca, I went to Croatia because I had been told it’s beautiful and the flight price was within my arbitrary range. Thinking I’d stay there for about five days, I booked hostels as I went (and ended up having to change rooms in one every single day for five days because they were booked up), and then had to stay more than double my intended time as my phone took a plunge and my backup was delayed in customs.
So, that’s how I got in the position of searching for shelter at around 6PM for a bed for the night, only to find accommodations way out of my budget because it was high season. And, that’s when I realized I had really grown during my past month and half of travel, through both the highs and lows.
I didn’t panic.
Worse-case scenario, I’d sleep outside on a bench, or on the floor in the hostel of a new friend I had made that morning. Luckily, it didn’t come to that because a hostel nearby had received five cancellations that day and could put me up for the night. I discovered travel plans can come together, unexpectedly.
But here’s what I’ve really learned: You cannot plan for the future.
Things happen that are out of your control. While you can certainly take necessary actions and set goals to continue to be productive and prepared, nothing is certain. Once you embrace the beauty in uncertainty and truly open yourself up to change, opportunities become your strongest currency for capitalization, liberation, and immense gratification.