Do This for an Awesome Vacation

You know what I did that really blew my mind as far as vacation quality is concerned?

What to do actually

I did something that a lot of people would say would be flat-out stupid. It’s definitely very surprising because not in a million years would I have thought that I would do this. In fact, if you asked a younger version of me, I probably would want to slap myself for doing it because it seems so far out of left field. It seems so stupid, unpredictable and crazy.

Before I give you the answer, let me just give you a background. For the longest time, I would go on vacations and by vacation, I use that phrase very loosely because I would take my girlfriend, and we would sign up for three-day packages. These are packages that would take you to Mexico, Canada. They even involve cruises. They would fly you to New York, so on and so forth. So, these three-day vacations are supposed to give you the low-down of a particular geographic location.

For example, in New York, you will go through the obligatory tour of Central Park, certain museums, certain buildings and, of course, the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty. Of course, you cannot discount those two. A trip to New York is simply not a trip to New York until you go and take a selfie next to The Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. You also have to take a picture of the Empire State because, hey, that’s what people do when they’re in New York.

However, that’s precisely the problem. I basically go through all these vacation packages and I have, in my mind, a checklist. At the back of my head, I would not allow myself to say that I’ve truly been to New York, San Francisco or any other destinations until I have cleared that checklist. What do you think happens? How enjoyable do you think those trips were?

Well, let me tell you right now, it’s a blur. Seriously. I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s like to be in the foot of Lady Liberty because I don’t remember. All I remember is that I was rushing through my list.

I raise this as a background because I’ve discovered in a really weird and impromptu way how to have a truly awesome vacation, and here’s a hint. It has nothing to do with lists. In fact, it is the antithesis of preparation. Are you stumped yet? Are you dying to know?

Well, here’s the secret. If you want to have a truly awesome vacation, pack nothing. That’s right. Not even a toothbrush. Pack nothing. Don’t bring a bag. Just bring your passport and your wallet. As long as you have access to your credit cards and your bank account, you’re good to go. That’s it. That’s all you need to bring.

I know this sounds crazy and to many people, this sounds downright irresponsible but, believe me, if you really want to have an awesome vacation, you should not let your stuff or your equipment define you. You definitely do not want your checklist to define you.

Instead, you just book a trip to a spot in the city or you take a train. That’s all you need because I remember going to Rome, the Eternal City, in Italy with just my passport and my credit card, and I had the best time in the world. Why? I was forced to explore. I was forced to talk to people, to find out about hotels and, of course, make responsible decisions where I would pay as little as possible while enjoying the best value possible.

In other words, I put myself in a situation where I had to live through the city, and I had to live through the experience. I’m not like in a rush to complete a checklist. I’m not in a rush to look at an item, size it up, take a few selfies and move onto the next. Instead, I’m just strolling. Often, I would go around in circles. Often, I would get back to the same spot, and the more I did that, the more I focused on the moment because this was what living is about. If we were to look at our lives as a mad dash to get from point A to point B, we would be able to live without actually living.

Do yourself a big favor. Come unprepared. It might just be the best thing you’ve ever done as far as travel is concerned.