I spent some time this morning talking to my friend Jason about a trip we’ve been working for quite a while, a long while in fact. Needless to say it’s to a place that’s been high on our list or we wouldn’t have expended all this time and effort trying to make it work.
We could certainly throw a wad of cash at some well-known “adventure” company (which is essentially an oxymoron), but that’s not our style. We prefer to come up with an idea then figure out every aspect on our own, but without over-planning the hell out of it. That way, from start to finish, we own it. Like building a bike — if you build it from the ground up, every pedal stroke will have a personal investment in it because you own the entire experience.
In a nutshell, our trip outline started like this:
– Turn up at the airport
– Fly as far as we can
– Take a bus
– Walk the rest of the way
That plan was all fine and good but what we found was that airfare was insanely expensive to our destination of choice and wasn’t getting any cheaper. The airfare alone was close to the entire cost of our two months of travel in South Asia. Week after week I’ve been trying to connect the dots in different ways through different hubs here in the States, but the results were always the same, too expensive. It seriously got to the point where we had to start thinking that maybe the trip wouldn’t go off this year after all and we’d have to resort to Plan B. Sure, we could simply choke down the cost of the airfare and go anyhow, but we wanted to stay honest to our travel style and not just sell out to “easy”. By the way, Plan B was not all that bad!
Anyhow, our proposed departure date is coming up fast and we needed to make some serious decisions, pronto. That said, I recently started pondering my approach to our airfare search and realized that maybe I’d been walking too straight of a line with my thinking. Independent international travel requires us to think outside the box almost every minute of the day and when we do that, we can make things happen on the fly that probably we’d thought impossible before. Why we don’t think that way when we’re home is a mystery.
I can vividly remember me and Jason having a conversation with a lady in Nepal who was traveling with a tour group (I think it was Backroads). She told us there was no way she could just pack up and come to Nepal and start “traveling” on her own. First of all, yes she could. To do so though, she’d have to be willing to be uncomfortable, to think outside the box (again, almost by the minute), be willing to “let go” of control and be willing to learn something about herself. Linear thinking and self imposed limiations are definitely not your friends when traveling solo.
I honestly think trying to find air transportation after being back in a comfortable, in-the-box routine sort of led me down the path of NOT truly thinking creatively. With the balance of the whole trip now teetering on how creative I could be, I basically just set the box on fire and get serious about it.
The result? I managed to save us almost $600 per roundtrip ticket is what! Yes, now we may have to spend a night or two in DF or BOG coming and going, but added mini adventures in non-planned foreign cities has never been a bad thing in our world.
Getting back outside the box, flexing that adaptive travel mentality and coming up with a viable travel solution definitely gets my travel adrenaline flowing again. Certainly doesn’t help my work motivation or focus, but it definitely gets me excited! It almost makes 30+ hours of air travel seem fun, well, at least tolerable.
Tickets, passports, backpacks, open minds…ready, set, go.
Travel light, climb high, ski hard, pedal far, live simply.