I’m a planner. There are few things I love more than checklists and I often find myself wondering how anyone gets tasks done or stays organized without making a list. That being said, it was recently pointed out to me that I could be a bit more flexible, at least in my home life. Instead of always following a schedule or working my way down a list, I’ve decided to see what happens when I throw the plan out the window. That’s what I’ll be doing this summer, so I decided to make a list (of course) of five reasons I suggest you do the same and embrace wandering without a schedule.
Avoid a watch tan
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never had a watch tan (or really much of any tan for that matter). I’m an SPF 60 kind of gal, who has to reapply frequently to avoid becoming bright red. Though not a problem for myself, the watch tan is a problem often faced by my partner, who gets stuck each year with a permanent band on his wrist for the summer. With no strict schedule to follow, who needs a watch? Discover the freedom of getting away from the ticking clock and let your wrist breathe.
Allow time for unexpected detours
Even as a strict planner, I know that the best stories come from the unplanned detours. If you’re feeling intrigued by the sounds of nature during a walk through the woods, why not take the time to sit and listen? Or maybe a beautiful roadside lookout point is calling your name as you drive by. My advice: STOP. Later, when you’re laughing over the time your friend slipped and ended up covered in mud, or dreaming about the sweet butter tarts you bought at a roadside stand, you’ll be glad you did.
I love to be prepared, but I’ve been making an effort lately to try to curb my bad habit of over packing and focus on the essentials. Who wants to carry around an itinerary, or information packets everywhere they go? Leave them at home and let your curiosity guide you. Besides, if you really feel the urge to look something up on the fly, there’s always the trusty smartphone, which takes up a lot less space.
Feel like an extra 20 minutes in bed? Take it. Sleep in and enjoy your morning coffee as you watch the sun sparkling off the lake outside your window, without worrying about when you have to get to your next stop. As someone who loves sleeping and hates rushing, that’s definitely what I’ll be doing.
Who am I without my lists? Who are you without a strict plan? Follow your instincts and your cravings to discover a little more about yourself in the moment.
Storyteller: Jennifer Gilmer. Hometown: Port Hope, ON
Jennifer is a lover of cats, small towns, and everything chocolate. When she isn’t looking for opportunities to try out new recipes or dishes, or reading countless books, she’s busy planning her next road trip and encouraging others to search out hidden gems. Some of her happiest moments include basking in the sun at the end of a dock, laughing the day away at a backyard barbecue, or letting her creativity flow during an evening of sketching with a glass of wine at her side.