Well, here are two: risk-averse.
Yep, I'm the biggest scaredy-cat baby ever. I like to have a plan. I like to know my surroundings. Before I travel, I still print stuff. Like, my flight and hotel info kind of stuff.
John disagrees: he thinks that I have an adventurous spirit and that I'm actually really spontaneous. Either I've got him fooled or he's been married to a different woman for the past soon-to-be-four (gulp!) years, because I'm the least spontaneous person I know!
But, I'm working on it, and travelling has been a terrific way to teach me how to be more spontaneous. My life has been enriched by my travels; not just because of the beautiful places I've visited, but because of the spontaneous decisions I've taken along the way: that moped I took on the busy streets of Hanoi (despite looking like a death trap and making me fear for the safety and well-being of my ankles); the two days we left to chance in Sicily where we ended up booking the most amazing agriturismo in the middle of nowhere; the sea turtle reserve we stopped off en route to another destination in Sri Lanka just because it'd always been a dream of mine to hold a baby sea turtle.
Over time, I realized that my dependence on itineraries and plans was nothing but a learned habit that could be unlearned; a crutch that I could slowly ease my grip on. Growing up, family vacations almost always involved plans and itineraries and routines (of course, I recognize that it's much more difficult to travel with children than as a pair!), so that's how I learned to travel. Going off piste in unfamiliar territory made me anxious; it made me panic.
Then, I met John. And although he never pushed me too hard (he could tell when I started to get anxious), he gave me a good nudge in the unplanned direction and I learned to love it. I especially loved it when I realized I could embrace spontaneity without anything going terribly wrong (for the most part!), and that, if I didn't like something, I could always change the situation. My fear was never really about the unknown; it was the fear of being trapped in a situation I couldn't escape.
Now that spontaneity has seeped into the little corners of my life: "Let's get an ice-cream at the corner shop!" "Let's go for a bike ride in the forest after dinner!" "Let's watch the sun set from our bedroom!" And I feel a little bit of pride every time.
What about you? What's your travel style, your M.O. when it comes to making spontaneous decisions? Are you a risk-taker or are you more risk-averse, like me? I'm curious to know!
This month's travel link-up is hosted by Emma, Angie, Jessi, and Nano. Head over to their blogs to read more stories about lessons learned while travelling!