Changing Course... Lessons Learned Through Travel

Gut feeling… intuition… that little voice… How often do you have it or feel it?  Do you listen?  From the beginning of our trip we had a feeling about the leg of our trip between Manitoulin Island, Ontario and South Haven, Michigan.  8 nights of the trip that just didn’t seem right… but we weren’t sure why, or more importantly what would feel right.  We had great places on the itinerary… so what could be wrong?

A couple weeks ago we sat on Manitoulin Island looking at the next leg and reflecting on what had and hadn’t worked on our trip so far.  We came to the conclusion that we had way too much ground to cover in 8 days… too many miles and too many amazing spots… too much to absorb, enjoy, reflect on, and share.  So, we got the map out and re-wrote the itinerary. 

After much discussion we decided to skip the west shore of Lake Michigan… we’ll save that for another trip.  We spent 2 nights in Sault Sainte Marie, 4 nights exploring the “UP” (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), and 2 nights in Grayling in central Michigan on our way to South Haven.  2 nights was the right amount of time in Sault Sainte Marie, and the UP was awesome and totally worth the time we spent there (we could have spent more time!)… great experiences and great photos!

From the UP we headed south to Grayling.  We picked Grayling for two reasons… it’s about half way between Newberry and South Haven and it’s known for super fun canoe trips on the Au Sable River.  We booked the Grayling Yogi Bear Jellystone campground… a little treat for Daniel. 

As we drove we talked about how awesome the trip has been, but also how intense it’s been… we were tired and needed some downtime.  Our intuition told us that we should skip canoeing and spend the day catching up, which is exactly what we did.  The campground had tons of activities for Daniel and he was in heaven playing all day.

Looking back at how this unfolded… we were open to changing the itinerary… we looked at our options and went with our gut feeling… we continued to challenge our original plans and followed what was right at the time.  The 8 nights that we weren’t sure turned out great because we were flexible and open to following the spirit of the moment!

As we travel and have new experiences, open ourselves to change and challenge, are faced with questions, and pull ourselves out of our comfort zones, we can see more clearly.  We can see the power of flexibility and how important it is to change course sometimes.  We can see how embracing uncertainty reveals a whole new world.  And we can imagine possibilities that are out of the norm, the plan, and the goals. 

The true value of traveling comes when we translate what we learn when we travel to our lives when we return.  Being more open and flexible.  Changing course in our lives when needed.  Listening to our gut feelings and intuition… that little voice.  And imagining life full of possibilities and lacking limits. 

How do you approach travel?  Do you think about how transformative your next family vacation can be?  It doesn’t take much effort to bless ourselves with life changing experiences and come back renewed!