Learning to appreciate the Journey, not the Destination

Brooke in Ireland
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Travel means many different things to different people. Whether you enjoy luxury hotels or budget travelling in order to stretch your trip longer and your dollar further, you are nonetheless engaging in the art of travel – in whichever way you prefer to do so and wherever you have on your radar to visit.


But if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that travel – be it in the researching phase, planning phase, or when we are on the road, tends to focus upon the destination and not the journey itself. A very small percentage of people are happy to go without plans – book a flight or train last minute and arrive to a destination with no idea how long they’ll stay or what they’ll do, but for the great majority some extent of planning comes into consideration.

You might see a photo that grabs your eye or hear a travel story from a friend or family member and before you know it you’re convinced…. You simply must go there.

But no matter where you go and what you plan to do when you get there, it’s important to keep this attitude in mind in order to make your trip more enjoyable, memorable, and meaningful:

It’s the journey that matters in the end.


The truth is that things go wrong when you travel. Plans are disrupted, trains are missed, flights are delayed… and so on and so forth. But is it really that bad? You’ve got to remind yourself to always keep in mind that it could be worse. It could always be worse.

On a recent trip to Ireland I was fed up with ‘arriving’. I would arrive into a city, arrive to my hotel, arrive to the breakfast restaurant the next morning and arrive at a number of attractions that day to snap photos and spend a little time experiencing them. But was I really enjoying it? For a while there, no I wasn’t. I wasn’t entirely sure why I was starting to enjoy myself less – after all I was in Europe, on the other side of the world with the career I had always dreamed of. So instead of succumbing to the feeling of discontent and loneliness in big cities, I got off the grid.

I arrived into Dublin feeling a little apprehensive about my decision to try something new: I had planned not to make plans.

After a night in the city I made my way to a nearby car rental company and asked for a quote for the week. It was miserably expensive for a 22 year old to rent a car in Ireland, but I did it anyway. This would be the first time in 5 months that I had driven a car so I was slightly nervous getting out of the city, but once I hit the highway I knew I had made the right decision.


I didn’t have any plan of where I would go precisely, or even where I would stay that evening. It was surprisingly refreshing.

That week in Ireland turned out to be one of the best trips I have taken this year. I didn’t have any plans, nor did I care where I ended up. I just drove with the intent to discover some of the natural beauty in Ireland — which indeed I did. But on days where things didn’t quite turn out (which happens a lot in Ireland thanks to mother nature), I would just pullover roadside and read a book or listen to the radio and write notes on foggy windows like I did when I was a kid.

I ended up visiting some wonderful places in Ireland, but it wasn’t the destinations that made the trip – it was the journey. I just needed to ‘get away for a bit’ and trust the universe.

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    honeymoon ireland
    May 2, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Great read ! *love* it all as the messages, the pictures and the quality of the writing. Thanks for sharing !

    February 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Great pictures are about great light

    November 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Love your site! I usually pick the destination, go in the off season, and don’t make any reservations or plans. No crowds, no fuss. It lets me be spontaneous when I see something worth exploring. It’s also easy to stay another day, or leave early. Go with the flow!

    September 7, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I agree it’s best not to make plans – the one time I actually got organised and made travel plans when interrailing this year, everything messed up completely and my route home changed for the better!

    Stéphanie | Expeditie Aardbol
    September 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Well said! Unfortunately, for a lot of people it’s all about the destination.

    September 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    The universe takes us where we need to go 🙂

    August 29, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Really beautiful and inspiring post, it is in fact very true, not only for travel related topics but for any thing we choose to do in our lives, if we don’t enjoy the journey, we are missing more than half of the ‘thing’, we are missing those emotions and those experieces. xx

    Clipping Path Outsource
    August 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I can’t imagine how stressful this must be! I’m glad I haven’t had an experience like this.

    thanks a lot

    August 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    That sounds like an amazing thing to do. I reguarly travel down to Cornwall and it takes about 5 hours. I try to be as positive as I can but I get really bad car sickness so that is the only hard thing. I think I would love to do what you did some day and just go out and explore!

    T'keya Marquez
    August 26, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Hello there!
    I adore your blog, so I nominated you for the Liebster Award!
    Take a look at my blog post in the link below, for details <3


    Jim Mandolij
    August 25, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Gorgeous photos…your blog is very inspiring and I find myself coming back every time.

    August 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I definitely learnt that accross Pacific Coast Highway last April! 🙂
    xx ❤

    Best holiday destinations
    August 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for posting nice views.

    Betty J. Ogburn
    August 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    …I guess sometimes you just have to be like Elsa and “let it go”, :-)…

    August 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Again, great post! It’s nice to not have plans.. I mean to not have everything planned out and scheduled. It’s great to just go and see where you’ll end up. To me it’s way more relaxing. Also plans often change anyways, so it’s great to just go with the flow.

    August 25, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Maybe one day I will travel without big plan of journey but now I always need have some concrete information and plans before I leave the road.

    August 25, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Love this post. I don’t travel often but this really made me think about how sometimes I go through the week just waiting for the weekend. It’s important to be more mindful in the present.

    Dream & Scheme
    August 25, 2014 at 3:05 am

    I actually wrote a similar post a week ago:
    I love how you showed us that spontaneity is what keeps you wanting to explore. I can totally relate where constantly going from one place to another on a strict schedule can be tiresome and mundane, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and be present. 🙂

    August 25, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Ireland is my dream destination. I’ve always imagined my trip will be like yours – just driving around and soaking in the all of the beauty in the moment. That, plus a cozy little cottage to stay in….

    August 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    This is so true! You always see and learn so much more about a country when you are traveling to your destination! Don’t get me wrong I have been on trips where everything is planned for you, however I sometimes think you may as well be in your own country because you are not fully taking in and getting to know your new surroundings! When you travel around you sometimes get lost or you come across your favourite places you would have never experienced otherwise! I always try and hire cars or bikes etc when travelling and I only ever book for the first night and just go with the flow!

    August 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Wow, that is a beautiful thing to do! I have always loved the journey as much as the destination and the photos you are left with, but this was inspiring on a different level! Please tell me you have a link to a blog post about that trip to Ireland? 🙂

    August 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I am in Ireland at the moment and reading your story I can totally agree. It’s the best place to just “go with the flow” 🙂

    August 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Amazing pics!

    August 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    That sounds like a great plan! I’d love to take a roadtrip through Ireland once!
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

    Madeline Fedmont
    August 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    The photos are so beautiful 🙂

    August 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    i think the best thing to do is to plan a couple of things and then just go with the flow when you arrive at your destination!