The difference between an optimistic and a pessimistic traveler

N O W H E R E. What is the first thing you read when seeing those letters? Is it ‘nowhere’? Or is it ‘now here’? When you’re out there, traveling the world, and you find yourself lost or stranded at unforeseen places, the space between the letters can make all the difference.

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If there’s one thing I learned from traveling and road trip planning, it’s this: things will never go exactly the way you want them to go. Somewhere along the line you’re bound to comprimise, make choices and deviate from the original plan, even end up somewhere where you had no intention or interest in staying. Well, that’s the moment you have to decide whether you’ll be an ‘I’m nowhere’ person, or an ‘I’m now here’ person. Will you be someone who sees the next few hours as an adventure into unknown territory, or as a waste of time? It takes just a small change in attitude but you won’t believe the positive affect it has on your travel experiences when you decide to just look on the bright side, make the best of where you are and stop worrying about ‘the plan’. I owe some of my best travel experiences to spontaneous encounters, unexpected stops and unplanned detours. You are NOW HERE so you might as well embrace it! Or at least laugh about it, depending on where exactly it is you are 😉

P.S. The light projection was one of the attractions at the Light Festival in Ghent, Belgium.

  • Sha

    I used to plan my itinerary down with lots of details..now, I just have a general idea of what I want to see and I go with the flow..spontaneity does reap good things sometimes…:)

    • Me too, I used to worry about my itinerary all the time too… I still worry, but a lot less now… Welcome to the now-here-world 🙂

      • Sha

        Haha….yes, everyone should join is as well…

  • This is exactly the attitude to have when traveling, but sometimes it is difficult to cultivate…especially when it feels like everything is going wrong. But I agree that some of the best travel experiences happen when you just let go and allow spontaneous experiences to happen. 🙂

    • True, it takes an effort, but every time you give in to the negative thoughts and go into ‘nowhere’-mode, you always wish you had instead embraced the changes from the beginning. I guess it’s normal to worry, to be alert and even to not automatically rely on the kidness or reliabilty of others or on the positive outcome of a new situation, but a plain bad mood is always a waste of precious travel time…

  • Clever!! Very very clever! And we are definitely a NOW HERE …. actually ever since walking the Camino, we live every day like that… no more thinking ahead beyond today. Taking everything as it comes and living in the now 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 I can imagine a huge project like that changes the way you look at things!

  • Anonymous

    Love your insight, love the attitude!! Thank you. I am NOW HERE.

  • Loved this post. I’ve seen (and felt myself) that travel is something which affects you at such a deep, personal level, that a lot of travelers find themselves in a desolate, introspective or pensive place from time to time. Thankfully, most of them pick themselves right up and head to the next destination 🙂 This is the attitude that takes them forward, no doubt. Perspectives can make so much difference.