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26th March

Less rain dancing

On a recent road trip through Andalusia, Felipe and I decided to travel without a clear itinerary. We didn’t plan anything or make reservations, but were instead guided by recommendations from people we met along the way. The concierge of our hotel in Sevilla suggested going to Jerez de la Frontera for a local festivity, and a lady we talked to while watching the singing and dancing in Jerez was from San Lucar de Barrameda and she suggested visiting that town.

A gentleman we met in a restaurant in San Lucar had just spent some days in a nice hotel by a deserted beach in Mazagon. And so it went on for three wonderful weeks.


Felipe feels totally at ease travelling without planning, but I had to get used to it.

I worried about finding a nice hotel and what to do if the destination was not to our liking. But soon I found out that sleeping in an unattractive hotel for a couple of nights was not the end of the world and that if we didn’t like our destination we’d just move on to the next.


After a few days I started to feel that exhilarating sense of endless possibilities I had in my late teens and early twenties, when I lived my life without much planning. Most experiences were new and therefor alone worthwhile.


The openness to whatever came my way I had as a young man gradually evolved into a more planned existence. Work and social obligations made a far less spontaneous way of being necessary, but I’m also no longer as carefree as I was then because life has taught me that things can go terribly wrong.  Planning is not only a practical way to organise my life, it has also become a ritual to keep misfortune at bay, something akin to a rain dance. Up to recently I firmly held on to the illusion that the more I planned the more I kept things under control.


Finding out that life does not take my arrangements into account and very much goes its own way had not diminished my urge to plan. On the contrary it made me execute my rain dance even more rigidly.


The trip to Andalusia has changed that. Not thinking about where we’d go next made me enjoy where we were even more.


Now that we are back home, I want to hold on to that feeling. Instead of worrying about what might happen, I want to focus on the sense of freedom and adventure that can also be part of life. If I allow it.


From now on, less rain dancing and more swinging with the beat of the moment.

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