Lose yourself in an “Old City” with quaint, narrow streets. Recall a bumpy bike-ride on cobblestones, feeling the age of a place on your buttocks. Listen to an ancient cathedral’s bell chiming twelve times while locals shop below its Middle-Aged spires. Admirable wandering.
For many of us, me included, “Wandering” is not a natural state. Before a trip we list the “Must See’s”. Our travel days are about “Where To Go” and what to accomplish. As “Planners” we focus. Well-organized planning.
Although there’s nothing wrong with a planned approach, an agenda can be exhausting. It can set us up for disappointment. Are you a Wanderer or a Planner? A little bit of both?
There are many ways to experience our “travel life”. When we stay open to possibilities and not too attached to one activity, unimagined opportunities present themselves. Life is much richer when we reach for broader engagement.
How might we cultivate an open demeanor as a traveler, planner or not?
What is it like to wander without feeling adrift?
Recently some girlfriends visiting New York City, The Big Apple, wandered admirably! They woke up whenever suited them, enjoyed breakfast at their hotel and then headed to Bergdorf Goodman, a “Must Go” for any shopper or admirer of beautiful things. Six hours later it was time to get ready for the evening. Yes, they spent six hours at this iconic store, fully enjoying the experience and whatever came their way.
Even if shopping is not “your thing” and or feels “superficial” much can be gleaned about the “Admirable Wandering” in this experience. Check out Three Tips for Admirably Wandering!
The two friends walked and admired the merchandise, sometimes trying a few clothing items. There was a sparkle in their eyes and happiness in their steps. They were “All In” visiting every floor (nine total). They were exactly where they were meant to be. Focus was on the moments evolving right then and there- not on what they would do next or tomorrow.
These two smart women readily conversed with the sales clerks and whoever crossed their path.The conversations were about more than the store’s stuff.
Life was happening inside the store. For example they witnessed a husband lovingly help his wife shop for a dress. They took advantage of a different environment to catch up on a basic human desire – the need to connect.
Admittedly post-pandemic so many of us crave “live” interactions. In New York there’s an abundance of interactive experiences: buying the newspaper in the morning from the newsstand; admiring someone’s dog while out for a walk; grabbing your coffee and breakfast from a nearby deli; conversing with those near you at a restaurant; greeting people as you walk in and out of a building.
We’re all touched by whomever we meet. A whole world exists within each person…so long as we’re willing to engage.
3. Ease and Flow
Time passed. When hungry the two ladies stopped for lunch at BG’s, Bergdorf’s 7th-floor cafe which besides food offers Central Park views. What a perfect place to pause! They were hungry so they ate. Even without planning a schedule still takes shape.
In addition to staying present, engaging with others and “going with the flow”, here are some additional tips for “admirable wandering”:
- Pick a destination, study it a little bit and then go there. Some preparation is just fine. Not too much is necessary.
- Give yourself permission not to have to “see it all”.
- Before starting any day, especially if feeling pressure “to do something”, ask yourself, “What’s most important now?”
On The Spirit Road
The spiritual component of “Admirable Wandering” is to trust that you’re where you should be and that you’re amazing just as you are! It’s about creating more time with yourself and others. Admirable Wandering means noticing and listening more while letting worry and distractions dissolve.
My girlfriends’ day in Bergdorf Goodmans was the perfect sojourn. It became the plan and was concurrently unplanned. Visiting the destination was important as was enjoying the journey along the way.
Wishing you glorious wanderings everywhere you travel in life!
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THANK YOU to Lerone Pieters for the Bergdorf Goodman’s Image