Make Free Time Free Again
by: Marc Young
This blog is brought to you thanks in part to my coworker and buddy, Cade, who had a question I decided to answer in blog form. It's a fantastic question, and I figured all of you, the faithful readers of the VoyEdge RX blog, would like to hear my thoughts.
"If I am on a pretty uniform, itinerary-based group trick to a foreign land, what's the best way to handle free time? How do I make sure I am best utilizing that time?"
SLAMMA LAMMA DING DONGGGGGG WHAT A QUESTION!!
This is something that a lot of experienced travelers may certainly take for granted, because in a way they are so far past it. I really believe this question draws a line in the sand between an experienced traveler, and someone who has fallen in love with an at home routine. Allow me to grab all of you routine followers, and drag you over to the wild side of the line for a hot second.
Traveling should be an immersive experience. You are in a place unfamiliar, different from your home. Here, wherever here may be, routine is the enemy. It's time to get out of your comfort zone, and immerse yourself in what makes this new world special. Someone who is clinging to the itinerary may indeed find themselves lost when they get 1-3 hours of free time. What should they do without my amazing guides and kick ass itinerary to lead me?
Easiest thing to do in my humble opinion is walk.
Search. Explore. Get lost somewhere. Anywhere. It’s the only thing to do when exploring a new place. Trust me.
Take some money, and whatever else you may need with you (wear something fit for adventure) and go find your own adventure. The beauty of being in a new place is you have never been there before. Every turn offers something new, something different. Only by surrendering yourself to this exploration can you find the best times and make the best memories.
A perfect example is a group of folks who came to Croatia this past July. We were dropped off by boat at the Island of Bol, with 2 hours to kill. Nobody had been there before, and it was free time for all. A group of folks split off to do their own thing, and another group set off to explore the boardwalk-esk landscape. We had no plans, no direction, other than a time table. As we strolled along, we came across little shops, an outdoor gym, and a few small restaurants. After maybe 20 minutes of meandering, we found a massive inflatable playscape of sorts set about 25 meters offshore in the water.
We all had the same thought. Let’s play. And play we did. See below for the photographic evidence.
The group was so laid back, so go with the flow, so open to the adventures of the island, that we all knew we had found a gem. This group was made up of folks of all ages, shapes, and interests, but dammit nobody could say no to this thing. We went out there and had an absolute blast! We swam and jumped and climbed. I am sure that if you asked any one of those travelers, that would be one of their most memorable moments.
To give themselves to the vacation, to choose to approach the day with childlike wonder and decide to spend an hour playing out in the water made for a very special memory for all of those involved. It was the only thing to do.
So Cade, to answer the above question; You make free time count by exploring with an open mind. Sure, you could research, and plan, and set up tours for yourself. But I am of the belief that the very BEST fun is had when you least expect it. Find yourself by first getting lost.
Oh, and if you were wondering where these epic photos are from - they are from our Croatia trip. Sign up for our 2020 trip (and more) on our Trip Calendar here.
Want to chat with me more? Shoot me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment down below.