If Plan A Fails There Is Always Plan B

Sometimes on the blog I fear like I sound like a broken record. I feel like I’m always banging on about how I don’t tend to plan very much – whether it’s travelling around South East Asia or bumping around the backroads of Spain in a campervan – my typical travel style is the ‘let’s see what happens, shall we?’ variety.

But here I am again. I suddenly feel the same as I did in those moments as a recent situation reared up to potentially derail me. Instead, I just pulled the points lever and redirected my train.

Where are you going with this train analogy, Meg? I hear you ask

Keighley-Worth-Valley-Railway-Yorkshire-England-steam-train

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, West Yorkshire, UK

One thing travelling has put into perspective for me again recently is how you can’t predict it.

From disruption to your journey through transport cancellations, delays (or missed flights!) to meeting a great crew and changing your itinerary on a whim, plans always change.

Sometimes they happen naturally and it doesn’t even feel like you’re making a choice. Other times, events seem to conspire against you whilst you’re on the road and you have to make what feels like A Great Big Decision.

Turquoise-beach-girl-sand-Australia

Turquoise Bay, Western Australia

I recently flew to Perth, Western Australia. Plan A was loosely formed in my mind: find work for a few months, get a house share somewhere in the city.

Call it timing, call it luck or just call it plain frustrating but for whatever reasons I struggled to find work in Perth. I went to view a couple of rooms in shared houses but came away feeling that they weren’t quite what I was looking for so I kept paying for a bed in a hostel.

I’m pretty flexible in terms of the work I’ll try whilst travelling and so in the end I tried a commission based role in charity fundraising. Never say never, I told myself despite the reservations I had about the job. It wasn’t something I had ever seen myself doing, but it was for a great cause and who knew, maybe I’d be great at it.

Perth-Australia-Swan_river-city-skyscrapers

Perth, Australia

It turned out I wasn’t.

By now I’d been in Perth a month and although I was enjoying the city I felt like I was failing to meet my own expectations. Clouds of negativity were rolling in and I was getting twitchy. This wasn’t how travelling was supposed to feel. Travelling was supposed to be an Instagram perfect picture of endless rosy joy, right?

That’s when the lightbulb moment happened.

If I felt like I wasn’t achieving my goals then why not move the goal posts? Or, back to my train analogy; change the course of my own journey by heading down another track. I’ve mentioned before about how I feel travelling is a pretty selfish activity. You are able to put yourself first and nourish yourself with the decisions you make and the things you do. I just had to remind myself of that. There was nothing holding me to Perth except my own stubborn mind-set.

As soon as shook off the shackles of Plan A I was greeted by the smiling face of Plan B.

Firstly, I reminded myself of exactly what I had come to Australia to do: travel. That boost of energy came in the form of a ten day tour from Perth up to Broome that took me to spectacular places such as Coral Bay to swim with manta rays and Karijini National Park to climb and swim in gorges.

Mountains-national-park-view-girl-hiker-Australia

Cape Range National Park

Plan C involved hopping on a bus that took me roughly two hours north of Perth to work in a restaurant in a town called Jurien Bay. I may not have my city-based apartment with a gym in the basement, but I share a room in the hotel with a friend with the beach two minutes walk from my door.

So here I am, working and saving money for a few months and planning the next awesome adventure in Australia. Not in Perth as I’d first expected but somewhere where the locals are friendly and views are pretty.

So the next time I feel myself getting frustrated that things aren’t going the way I wanted them to I will remember that: if Plan A fails, there is always a Plan B waiting in the wings. No judgement.

This is your journey. So what if you take the scenic route or go on a detour?

Have you ever felt the same whilst travelling? Have you ever changed your plans entirely whilst on the road? Was it the right choice? Let me know if I’m not the only one!

10 Comments

  1. May 19, 2016 / 12:18 PM

    So glad to read you found new motivation and positivity! Travelling is not always easy or as you said “a beautiful instagram picture”, not at all! But I guess that that’s why when travelling you learn so many things! Thank you for sharing your story! And no, you’re not the only one! 🙂
    https://fromdreamtoplan.wordpress.com/

    • May 20, 2016 / 8:00 AM

      I agree that you certainly learn heaps about yourself when travelling! It puts you into so many different situations and also gives you a lots of time to reflect on yourself. Glad to hear I’m not alone in the chopping and changing whilst on the road! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. May 19, 2016 / 1:06 PM

    Sometimes you just feel like crap. I worked really hard to pay for a nice vacation to Argentina when I was living in TX for work. I’m from CA and TX was a very horrible time in my life and on vacation there were parts of it that I just couldn’t be happy. It’s frustrating getting lost everywhere and realizing that in 3 days you have to go back to your crappy life. Or whatever you’re experiencing, that was just my experience. 2 months later I said screw TX and moved to Buenos Aires. I couldn’t be happier. Just because we’re on vacation doesn’t mean we just mentally check out. I do hope you enjoy the rest though. You deserve it 🙂

    • May 20, 2016 / 7:58 AM

      I saw on your blog that you were moving to Buenos Aires. I hope that you’re settling in well and loving it there? I agree, sometimes you just feel crappy for whatever reason, and that’s ok – for a little while. Then we have to pull ourselves up out of our funk, make some positive changes and get on with life 🙂

      • May 20, 2016 / 9:11 AM

        Yes! BA is lovely. Hope you’re doing well 🙂

  3. May 20, 2016 / 1:37 AM

    I’m the same Meg, I approach life totally unplanned and go with the ‘lets see what happens’ approach. Sometimes I curse myself for it, but I’ve reconciled myself with this is the way I am. Keep doing and things will fall into place.

    • May 20, 2016 / 7:52 AM

      That’s exactly right – keep doing and things will fall into place! Who’s to say that whatever happens isn’t exactly what was meant to happen all along? Thanks for reading and commenting! I’ve just checked out your blog and loved it – so much great stuff on there!

      • May 20, 2016 / 7:56 AM

        Exactly. And if they don’t fall into place the way you want there’s always Plan B! Happy adventures in WA and thanks heaps for visiting my blog. I’ll keep following.

        • May 21, 2016 / 3:15 AM

          Thanks so much! I’m loving what I’ve seen of WA so far.

          • May 21, 2016 / 6:39 AM

            Great to hear, wishing you lots of happy adventures in WA.

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