The original plan was to go to the UK.
I have never been to the UK and I have a few friends there I was looking forward to meet. Unfortunately, between the time I applied for my leave at work and got it, the plane ticket I was eyeing had gone up by INR15000.
A couple of cheaper options were available but they took more time. Also two of the friends I was supposed to meet told me they would not be available when I’d be visiting. I decided these were the universe’s way of telling me not to go to the UK just yet.
So I started looking around for cheap tickets to other interesting places. Bali seemed cool enough. I decided one evening and booked the tickets the next morning. I have a friend who lives not too far from the airport and she said she’d book a place close to her home for me.
Indonesia is very relaxed about visas when it comes to Indians, who get free visas on arrival. Consequently, I neither need to show a hotel booking or an itinerary to be able to enter the country.
At this moment, I have bought a return air ticket to Bali and I know where to head to from the airport. That is all I know at this point.
The idea is to go with the flow. Maybe I’ll make some friends at the first place I would be staying and maybe we’ll decide to travel for a few days together and go somewhere. Maybe I will not. Maybe I’ll go to the Gilis and spend a few days snorkelling or just sitting and doing nothing. May be I’ll try a bit of diving. Or maybe, I will do none of those. All I want is to keep the possibilities open — of making spontaneous decisions or doing nothing — to be able to just to go with the flow.
It’s not that I haven’t taken spontaneous decisions before while travelling. In 2014 when I was travelling in Japan, my ship was cancelled because of a typhoon alert and all flights — from the tiny island I was in — to my destination were full. Consequently, I had taken the only available flight out of the place that went in totally the other direction. I had ended up in the city of Naha in Okinawa. I loved the place while heading to the city from the airport by monorail and decided to stay an additional day. I met some quirky people and stayed in an interesting hostel. It was fun, which is why I am looking forward to my next trip all the more.
If you have never done it before, consider travelling without a concrete plan in mind. Let the new place surprise you. Take it slow. Take your time and absorb all the newness around you. Be open to making meeting new people and having new experiences. It’s not that I haven’t done spontaneous stuff during trips. But it has never happened before that I hadn’t even chalked out an itinerary in my head before boarding the plane to the destination.
Cheers to spontaneity!