Nobody loves standing in long security lines and having to practically undress to get thru the scanner; and I don’t know one person who is thrilled by the fact that most airline seats only recline about four inches, if you’re lucky. No one really craves 4am wake up calls or figuring out which ATMs are safe to use and which one might scam you. When I think about it, there are all sorts of things about the act of travel that I have heard people complain about.
But you know what? I don't think ANY of that matters in the end. A true traveler knows that everything about the journey is to be enjoyed. Relished. Savoured.
I know TONS of people who love to travel, the whole door to door experience down to the last transfer from the airport home — they take every aspect of the trip as a grain of sand to put upon their castle of memories. The remember every minutet. I know people who almost always have a great flight, no matter what. I’ve talked to people whose trips got rained out, or who missed connecting flights, or who got lost, who even had passports stolen, and one who even had a health emergency — and when I ask them how their trip was, they smile and say, “It was great!” and proceed to tell me the full exciting tale.
So what’s their secret? I’ll tell you: they’ve let go of the Perfectionist Mindset and adopted the Adventure Mindset.
The difference between these two paradigms changes everything.
The Perfectionist sets unrealistically high expectations for themselves, others, and situations — and when things don’t go well, they often fall into self-blame or blaming others and let it ruin their trip. The Adventurer makes a plan and is prepared, but is willing to roll with what comes along that might not fit with “The Plan.” Their best accidents become their most precious memories.
The Perfectionist often avoids risk and only goes with the obvious path in an attempt to avoid “failure.” On a trip they might refuse to stray from the included tours instead of trying a day on their own somewhere. The Adventurer is less concerned with control and more interested in creative approaches and critical thinking when it comes to problem solving. This allows them to accept spontaneous invitations and forge new friendships while traveling.
The Perfectionist focuses on what isn’t working and is often impatient and critical. The Adventurer sees what’s going well and what there is to be grateful for and is quick to offer appreciation, flexibility, and help in tough situations.
As author and coach Naomi Teeter points out, the Adventurer knows how to ask “quality questions” when traveling and planning their free time, questions like:
What’s the best thing that could happen from this?
Hasn't everything worked out just fine in the past? Aren't I OK?
What if I chose to be happy and carefree about this instead?
What is this teaching me?
How can I use this experience to support others?
How could I turn this into a great story?
What can I do differently next time so that this doesn’t happen?
If I’m honest with myself, I know that there are times I fall into the Perfectionist Mindset, in travel and in life. But I also know that at any moment, I can choose something different and even before Covid I had adopted a more Adventurer's mindset. Not that the pandemic has kept us away from our favourite places for over a year, I vow to be even more relaxed and appreciative when traveling in the future. I can always choose an attitude of adventure.
And as a lifelong traveler, that can make all the difference to the future.
If you’re ready to plan your next great adventure or revenge travel trip, I’d love to help you get there. You can contact me today by clicking here.