For the past few weeks I’ve been travelling across America during its harshest winter for 60 years, so as you might expect it’s been a saga of closed roads, cancelled flights and shattered plans.
I’ve spent a lot of time waiting on hold and in queues, chatting with fellow travellers who were (on the whole) unhappy, frustrated – even outraged. And no matter where they were from or where they were headed they were all angry about the same thing:
THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.
Yet I can’t help feeling when they finally get home and tell everyone about their trip it’ll be those moments of chaos and uncertainty, those times when the plan collapsed and no-one knew what was next, that make the tale worth telling.
Who wants to hear about a perfectly organised trip that went off without a hitch so everything happened as planned exactly to time and on budget with no surprises whatsoever?
Nobody. Which is why they made a movie of Apollo 13, not Apollo 11.
And anyway, isn’t the whole point of travel to open ourselves up to new and unexpected experiences?
It’s a key idea in science and invention; most of our major discoveries were things we weren’t actually looking for.
And it’s certainly true of life. Most of the best things that have ever happened to you were not part of any plan you might have had.
A plan is just a story you tell yourself to get you out the door and into the world… which is when the real story begins.