Oct 092019

Returning from a wonderful adventure, I’m acutely aware of time. I think that’s something travel does for us, especially “adventure travel.” Don’t get me wrong: I’m not referring to trips that involve bungee jumping, whitewater rafting or the like but another type of adventure. The “follow-your-nose-throw-away-the-schedule-see what-comes-up” adventure.

Sometimes Favorite Husband would describe me as “clock challenged.” I prefer to think of our relationships with time as different styles.

If he doesn’t arrive at a local appointment at least 30 minutes early, he gets antsy. And we refer to me as the queen of “one more thing before we go.” Now that one more thing could be anything from an extra restroom trip to starting a load of wash or reading one more chapter. And, from time to time, I’m not all that great at estimating a project’s time to complete.

Never leave ’till tomorrow which you can do today.

~ Benjamin Franklin

How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives.

~ Annie Dillard

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

Favorite Husband sometimes considers me “clock challenged.” I prefer to see my relationship with time through a different lens. Click To Tweet

So travel can make either or both of us a little nuts. There’s the highly structured time (primarily airport schedules) and then there’s the rest. As you might imagine, air travel — with its sometimes rigid and occasionally capricious scheduling — makes me a little nuts. Especially the part where I don’t get to do or check “one more thing” the day of. (Having grown up with my time craziness, my son used to call me around midnight before a big trip: partly to wish me safe travel and partly to tease and send me to bed.)

As you might imagine, air travel — with its sometimes rigid and occasionally capricious scheduling — makes me a little nuts. Click To Tweet

All great achievements require time. ~ Maya Angelou


My most recent adventure was with a friend. She and I travel well together — but usually by car. It’s a better fit for our flexible approach to travel. But Prague was on her bucket list and the only way to get there involved some significant air travel. But once on the ground? The schedules went out the window.

Neither of us cared what the clock said. Instead, we trusted ourselves to eat when we were hungry and sleep when we got tired. There were only two or three activities scheduled. Instead, we walked for miles, stopping at any and every place that piqued our interest. Meandering and discovery feeds my soul.

It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length. ~ Virginia Woolf

Perhaps sandwiching days of discovery between large, toasty slices of potential airport hell is part of what makes them so sweet. Click To Tweet

This is the travel style that makes space for serendipity and surprise. Coffee shops and bakeries. Conversation with friendly strangers with their recommendations of “don’t miss” places. Those recommendations are rarely for the big attractions but for “the building with the great statues on the front,” or “the best take-aways in your neighborhood.”

Perhaps sandwiching days of discovery between large, toasty slices of potential airport hell is part of what makes them so sweet. I don’t know. And, as I’m planning another short trip that will probably include a lot of airport-resembling schedules, I’m searching for ways to make space for serendipity. Always.



  10 Responses to “Time and Space for Serendipity”

  1. Clock Challenged – I love it! There’s a few members of my family that fit that statement. I rarely travel with an itinerary or anything close to a plan. Amazing synchronicities rarely follow a time-table. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  2. I agree with Favorite Husband that early is on time for scheduled appointments. But when no agenda is present then slowing down, relaxing and just following my nose is the best way to travel.

  3. Love adventure & serendipity of it all, love all the quotes, they fit perfectly & your post calls out to my soul

  4. I feel as if I need to sandwich some “in my own good time,” days between the other kind just to feel that call to adventure again .

    • Are you familiar with The Artist’s Way? I loved the artist dates with myself. I may start journaling there again. Thanks for shaking loose that thought!

  5. You captured what I love most about travel…the serendipity of it all. From noticing divine coincidences to losing track of time, it takes me out of my head which measures time to my heart which measures experiences. Beautiful article Andrea and can’t wait to travel to Prague again. One of my fav cities!

  6. Clock challenged…. oh my Andrea! That was me and my sister when we were younger. My parents could time their watches with my punctuality while my sister was a Late Latif. Things are different now – she’s the time keeper (motherhood changes us) while I’m more relaxed. Though I must admit, we did have some great times doing new things when we missed the outings that I had planned for us. Love your post.

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