Travellers all have a different style. Some plan thoroughly while others spontaneously figure it out as they go. I am in the middle, but much prefer knowing certain elements like where I am staying and how I am getting to my destination. Sarah is similar. A planner, a list-maker, and a meticulous organizer, she has set a New Year’s Resolution to lighten her planning, care less about what others think, and Travel Worry-Free.

More from Sarah of Suitcase Six:

I am a compulsive list-maker. Any project I begin requires its own task list and I have paper scraps with to-do lists for each day, week, month, and year. My travel bucket list is extensive, organized by category, highlighted by region. I’ve calculated how many countries I need to see annually to visit them all by retirement. My goal is to spend six months in at least three different countries, one month in twelve others, and one week in sixty more. You get the idea. I’m a planning freak.

Everyone Can Travel the World
Everyone Can Travel Worry-Free

I know this isn’t everyone’s style. But, while I swear by my lists to keep me sane, I have to agree there are a lot of benefits to travelling in a more flexible, go-with-the-flow approach.

In 2018, I’m taking a six-month trip around the world. My resolution is to be true to what I want to do and not what I feel like I need to do. To plan less and listen more to my intuition each day. I do have my countries picked and an estimate of how long I’ll spend where, but I’m trying to limit my lists to packing and spending, and leave room to change my mind.

Packing for Travel
Packing to Travel Worry-Free

I’ve realized that on longer journeys, it can be difficult to predict what you’ll need months down the road. Sitting here today, I anticipate I’ll want to be hiking a lot and won’t mind spending tons of time alone. In reality, I know I’ll probably feel this way at some points but at other points feel extraordinarily lonely and craving some social attention. Sometimes I’ll feel so tired after tracking down that famous monument that I won’t have energy for the walking tour I’d planned. Other nights, my cultural evening spent reading a book from the country I’m in seems painfully boring when offered the chance to join a pub crawl with new friends. Still other nights, just the opposite. Unexpected illnesses crop up, demanding a reservation at a hotel with more modern comforts for a night instead of a cheap hostel dorm. New friends emerge with different travel plans that seem more exciting than my own.

travelling brings unexpected adventures
travelling brings unexpected adventures When you Travel Worry-Free

Rarely have I returned home regretful that I missed a museum or tower or statue. It’s uncommon that those are the moments I remember most from a trip. The surprise attractions we saw on a taxi drivers’ recommendation, or the spontaneous hike with hostel guests have always been the memories that are most strong. Those unexpected things that weren’t on my to-do list, that I didn’t know I wanted – those are always the times I remember best and hold most dearly.

This year I want to stop worrying about what other people will think of my journey. If I want to hike every mountain and never see a single major city, I want to give myself the freedom to do that. If I want to pass the day in my hostel with a book, party into the night, or enjoy the sunshine in a remote Airbnb somewhere, I want to follow that urge. I’m excited to experience more unexpected adventures when I resolve to give myself a chance to change course. And maybe I’ll even cut down on my paper-usage from all my to-do lists along the way.

Sarah Swank - Suitcase Six
Sarah Swank – Suitcase Six


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Sarah is a travel bloggers who graciously shared and affirmed her New Year’s Resolutions with our readers. All views expressed in the letter component of this post are hers and were not influenced by Fill My Passport.

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