Flexibility is extremely important while traveling, and if you are anything like me straying off of schedule can be very stressful. Yes, itineraries are great! They give you directions, tell you when that museum you’ve been dying to see opens, and how much it’ll cost. They are great sources of information, but life likes to remind us we have no control over the little things and throws a little curve ball at us.
Occasionally your bus driver will be late by five, ten, fifteen minutes. Sometimes that museum might close early due to an important event the Prime Minister is throwing. These are things you can’t prevent. Maybe instead of going to that museum you can find a hole in the wall coffee shop featuring local residences art work. It may not be the Mona Lisa, but connecting with locals will be more memorable than huddling with a bunch of tourists in a cramped corridor.
Being forced off a set schedule also helps you relax and enjoy the view. In my personal experiences being flexible ends up being more fun. In Costa Rica we were supposed to leave the beach at 10am. Instead our counselors let us take a last swim. Instead of getting back at 7pm we got back at 11pm and the whole ride home we sang songs and danced. I don’t know if that would have happened if we would have stuck to a 10am departure time.
Getting knocked off course a little is never the end of the world, sometimes its the beginning of a great adventure.