Travel Without an Itinerary

It can be scary but there isn’t really a downside.

Michael Wilkins


Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Travel is all about the stories you tell years later. Interesting stories come from emotions. Emotions come from the highs and lows of experience.

Planning a tight travel itinerary tries to take out the lows and keep the highs. Usually, it pares down both and robs you of your best stories.

Just wing it. Whatever you lose, you will regain 10 fold.

6 Top Aspects of Itinerary Free Travel


Meet a super cool couple going tomorrow to the museum you went to today? Go again! It will be different with your new friends. Why miss out spending time with people you connect with just to say you stuck to the plan.

Realize you are on a tourist trail with a group of irritating people? No problem, take a right turn, and see what is behind door number two.

It was early 1990. I was planning on going to Munich but the Berlin Wall had just fallen. Most of eastern Europe had been very difficult to travel to for decades. Suddenly backpackers could get a tourist visa at the Czech and Hungarian borders. The trick was you had to take the train, get kicked off, walk several kilometers to the land border, get a visa at the land border, find a taxi to the city without getting ripped off, and do it all with no local language skills.

It sounds bad but it was a fun adventure. I made it to Prague for their first election since the war. I sat with my best friend and a group of Czech students on the Charles bridge. We sang “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” as Paul Simon walked up with other dignitaries.

You never know when exciting experiences will present themselves. You have to be prepared to take them along with any problems they present.

Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

You have to talk to people

99% of the best memories from travel come from talking to people. Tours or even your own over-planned itinerary will minimize talking to anyone not in your…



Michael Wilkins

Originally from the West Coast of Canada. Living and teaching in Kobe, Japan since 2000.