Travelling as the free spirit that I am has afforded me wonderful experiences – both in mountains and in cities. From meeting a handsome mountain man un-expectedly (he was riding a horse, I might add), to an impromptu afternoon pub crawl with a Soho music legend in London, to forming a wonderful friendship with an old man named Pepe in the mountains in Spain, these encounters (and there are many more) can be attributed to my willingness to trust, my excitement for the unexpected and my practice of living in the question.
Whether you’re planning a trip, or exploring in your own back yard, these recommendations can guide you to step out of your comfort zone and explore in a new way. I wonder what you’ll discover?
1. Explore with intention, not expectations.
When your intention is to have an enjoyable time, it allows for that enjoyable time to show up in wonderful ways. When you have expectations of what that time looks like, your actual experience might not meet those expectations, which could lead to disappointment. Expectations can be limiting and without them, your intention can be met with opportunity beyond your wildest dreams.
Set intentions through your energy, spirit and how you’d like to feel. See what shows up. Your intentions, whether you’re on a hike you’ve done a million times or visiting a new place, will bring about a totally new experience and allow you to receive in new ways.
2. Follow curiosities; ditch the travel guide.
Tell the itinerary to get lost. Or, at the very least, allow a day or two of your trip unplanned so you can explore the unexpected. (This tip is not to be misunderstood for not travelling safety. When you’re in the backcountry or exploring nature, make sure you’re taking care of yourself via maps and proper planning!)
Exploring like a free spirit is more about following energy than following what the travel guide says. Use your research to spark your interest and point you in the right direction. After that, follow what really lights you up and start exploring from that spot. Hidden gems and heartfelt memories usually lie in this sweet spot of unexpected encounters. And those hidden gems are not in travel guides—they’re waiting for you to be discovered.
3. Live in the question.
Living in the question allows for great surprises and beautiful stories. You’ve probably heard of “ask and you shall receive” and it’s true – when you live in the question, the universe is able to deliver in ways beyond what you could have imagined possible. Ask, don’t answer, and see what happens.
Whether you desire to meet an adventure partner or you’re contemplating a personal life dilemma, becoming a question will invite wild new opportunities and information your way. Here are some suggestions to get you started…
What magic could I experience today?
I wonder who I’ll meet?
I wonder what it would take to __________ today?
4. Keep your eyes wide-open and your phone in your pocket.
Wandering around without a map or the GPS on your phone allows you to discover what’s around the corner and stumble upon juicy finds. I wonder what you’ll see without your eyes glued to a screen?
The magic and beauty in these moments are attributed to letting go and allowing things to fall into place. So, use your phone for snapping photos and have it on hand only if you need to get yourself out of a pickle (like when you get a little too lost on your city tour). Set aside time later in your day to catch-up on social media and emails and spend your day living in the moment of what you’re experiencing.
What are some of your favorite memories or travel stories? Do you have any tips or advice for travelling and exploring free-spirited? Share your comments below.