The Best Laid Plans ~

I’ve always embraced the belief that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.  A well-known phrase quoted by many, but a guiding force in my life.

I am very much a planner. I love a good plan; the details and the organization of a good plan are half of the fun for me.  But as I’ve grown older and hopefully, somewhat wiser, I am much more open to throwing said plans out the window recognizing that there are times when Plan B is, in fact, a better option.

While walking the Camino de Santiago in 2015, our best laid plans included experiencing the entire length of the Camino.  But, as life would have it, my feet became plagued with blisters and we were forced to stop in Leon, Spain where we rested for 4 days in order to give my poor blistered feet a much needed healing period.  As it turned out, stopping in Leon was the best Plan B ever.  We loved our 4 days in Leon, the city has such a positive atmosphere, so much history and such kind people.  If we had forced ourselves – and my feet – to push through Plan A, we would have missed so much.  I could have done without the pain, but those blisters served a purpose.

Plan B

100 kms more to go before we reach Santiago.

Has it happened to you?  Was there a time you thought you had it all figured out only to have it all fall apart?  If so, trust me, you’re not alone!

Scammed in Delhi – Rhonda & Jim of The Next Big Adventure

I sat in the car shivering in the night air. Around me cows and camels ambled by, while the streets, even at 1am, were full. It had been a long day, beginning with a steamy departure from Bangkok, only to arrive in Delhi to record low temperature.  I knew we were being scammed. Jim was in an “all night” travel agency, presumably to call the hotel that our taxi driver claimed didn’t exist and/or had never heard of our reservation. Reluctant to leave our backpacks unattended, I had stayed in the car, hoping for good news.

When I finally succumbed to the cold, and managed to drag all of our bags into the agency, I was instead told the hotel claims no reservation, there are no available trains for tomorrow to anywhere in India, and no hotels available at less than $2,000/night! What to do? We knew it was a scam. We called them on the scam. But they persisted and here we were, freezing, in the middle of the night, unsure where we were in this huge, overwhelming city. They offered up a deal. We had planned on going to Rajasthan anyway, right? Why not hire a car and driver for an 18-day tour? And said driver and car JUST HAPPENED to be available to leave right now!

Long story short. It was one of the most amazing, challenging, memorable 18 days of our lives. What began as a total scam became memories we will cherish forever. Thank you, India, for always teaching that sometimes you end up exactly where you needed to be.

Jim and Rhonda - The Next Big Adventure

Rhonda & Jim – The Next Big Adventure

From Spain to CroatiaAmy & Andrew of  Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

Our move to Spain at the start of 2016 was an absolute disaster. We’d planned to set down semi-permanent roots in Madrid, but almost immediately, I knew we’d made the wrong decision. To me, Madrid felt unfriendly and I struggled to find its beauty and adjust to Spanish culture. Apartment searching was a nightmare as we couldn’t find anything in our price range and potential landlords kept letting us down. Eventually, we called it quits and admitted that Spain just wasn’t for us. With funds running low, we booked a ticket over to Croatia and hoped for the best.

This time, we struck gold. Instantly, we loved Croatia’s UNESCO towns, turquoise seas, cheap living costs and amazingly friendly people. We spent a month in a beautiful apartment near the ancient city of Split and did some serious thinking about the future. During this healing period we decided that we wanted to move to Thailand and focus on building up a sustainable online income. If it hadn’t been for Spain, we may not be in the happy place we are today; loving life in Chiang Mai and making our digital nomad dreams a reality.

Amy & Andrew - Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

Amy & Andrew – Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

From Plan A to Plan B – Kim of So Many Places

I feel as though my entire life can be described by this Plan A/Plan B dichotomy. Plan A: cubicle job, marriage, mortgage, kids. Plan B: the great swath of possibility that comes with the unknown, of following silently harbored dreams. I lived Plan A for awhile and, though it probably looked like it was working from the outside, it wasn’t quite working for me on the inside. So, with a great deal of fear and internal resistance, I decided to draw up Plan B.

Plan B took me away from my cubicle job and my mortgage. It took me around the globe, to the tops of mountains and the warmth of oceans, to my career as an author and freelance writer. Plan B took my marriage to the brink and then pulled it back again. Plan B gave me a daughter. Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like if I’d stuck with Plan A. It might be a bit easier, a bit more comfortable, more predictable, more secure. Plan A has it’s allure, some days. But Plan B has a call I can’t quit hearing. It beckons me with it’s steady, true voice, toward those distant hills. 

plan b

Kim of So Many Places.

As we edge our way into a new year filled with equal parts of hope, faith, challenge and the need to fight the good fight, I will remember to embrace the potential of a Plan B because after all, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

What’s your Plan B story?

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23 Responses to The Best Laid Plans ~

  • OMG I can’t believe Jim and Rhonda actually agreed to that tour!!! Hahaha India. I love you so.
    Kim recently posted…2016: A Year in PicturesMy Profile

  • Thanks for including our story Patti and Happy New Year 🙂
    Amy recently posted…How to Make your World Travel Dreams a Reality this YearMy Profile

  • Love this post, Patti. Not to be too “new agey” and mystical but it’s got a feeling that the universe will unfold as it’s meant to and makes me feel quite hopeful! I especially took to heart Rhonda and Jim’s phrase, “…sometimes you end up exactly where you needed to be.” Several years ago (in our previous lives) we made a New Year’s resolution to “Be more spontaneous” which was kind of laughable then but seems to be one of our best plans ever now!
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…All Roads Lead To SevilleMy Profile

    • Nothing wrong with mystical – some things are just meant to be whether we realize it ahead of time or not. I’d say you’ve become rather spontaneous!

  • Thanks for including our story Patti…. it certainly didn’t start out as our finest moment but wow… India is such a RIDE!
    Rhonda recently posted…Campground Review ~ Casa Pierre at PasajcapMy Profile

  • I’m so glad Amy and Andrew ended up in Chiang Mai, it’s pretty near perfect as a base for travellers. Our Plan B incident, the Nepal earthquake forced us to rethink our trip to Nepal. The flight was the day after the quake, the airport was closed. We ended up in Romania and fell in love. We still spend a lot of the year now and know of no better place to be, it’s like Narnia right now. We made it to Nepal this year instead, another wonderful experience.
    Alyson recently posted…2017 New Year New Theme! How & WhyMy Profile

    • Hey Alyson, thanks for stopping by. I’ve heard so many good things about Romania, I’m glad your Plan B led you there. And, I’m glad you were able to travel to Nepal.

  • What an inspiring post. There are little Plan B’s all around us. Maybe stopping to take a look at the options is the lesson here. You don’t HAVE to move to Thailand to be flexible. I quit my teaching job to return to my first love, writing. 10 years later, I am working to edit my 4th book for publication. Not much money, but a whole lot of satisfaction.

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    Buy Deadly Secret and Deadly Magic by Joy Brighton on Amazon.

  • I follow all the blogs that you mentioned above and have found their stories very inspiring. Staying positive and believing that all will turn out well in the end , having plan B and C or just going with the flow usually does the trick. When one door closes…another door opens….so true
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…Amsterdam A City Below Sea LevelMy Profile

    • That’s true, Gilda. When one door closes another opens, but we have to be in a mind set of looking for the door and being brave enough to cross the threshold. 🙂

  • Great post Patti and it brought some of my own memories back.

    I was CFO for a Canadian exporter in Montreal, a good job with nice people. I had been in the position 15 years or so and was honestly a bit bored. I had always dreamed of full-time travel and I was counting the years until I had enough saved away to embark on a life of travel.

    In 2010 things changed. A Swiss company bought out our company. I was suddenly the head guy in Canada and put in charge of a lot of things. I loved it, it was exciting and I got along well with the new boss. They talked of bring me and Lissette across to Geneva and taking care of their European operations as well. We were excited with the idea, it was our plan B – imagine being based in Geneva and being able to explore Europe?

    After 9 months on the job things changed. The new boss ended up being the type who needed to “own” you in and out of the office. He had no boundaries. He created conflict among employees then fired them. He had a Henry VIII th complex. We started fighting, it got ugly. I got myself (willingly) fired. Then I sued his ass.

    That’s how Plan B disappeared, really quickly.

    Sometimes plans change by choice, sometimes you don’t have control over the things that happen. And sometimes, like in our case, you go from Plan A to Plan B, then back to Plan A.

    Frank
    Frank recently posted…Looking back at 2016…and forward to 2017. And our Travel Oscars (and losers) for the year.My Profile

    • Thank you for sharing your Plan A/B story, Frank. You’re right, sometimes we have absolutely no control over what or who crosses our path. Sometimes we’re not privy to the reasons, sometimes the reasons become clear when we least expect it or we look back and say, “Oh, okay, that’s why.” The best we can do is to find a new direction and hopefully, learn something in the process.

      I wonder how many of us have endured that “boss.” I know I had one who caused me to completely change my game plan.

  • Great post! We always have a plan B… and a plan C and D, and E. Ben, as a strategist ( professionally) simply cannot go through life with one main track. We always have multiple tracks….Because yes life always deals the unexpected! Having multiple options is always optimal. And yeah things definitely have a way of working out the way they should.

    Peta
    Peta Kaplan recently posted…Jaffna, at last!My Profile

    • Thank you, Peta. I can’t count how many times we’ve had to move on to Plan B or C… It keeps life interesting, that’s for sure!

  • Such a lovely story, love your posts, Petti. The photos are amazing!

    • Thank you for stopping by, Agness, and for your kind supportive words. Greatly appreciated and safe travels to you!

  • It looks to be great experience 🙂 I really enjoy your post 😀

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.

 

2 years, 234 days ago!
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