Magical Things Happen When You Have Nothing to Do - The Art of Doing Nothing

Magical Things Happen When You Have Nothing to Do

The Art of Doing Nothing

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There is no denying that with the overload of information we have in our hands, there is an urge to try and control everything around us. From planning your itinerary down right to the last detail to booking everything months before your travel. This gives us a false sense of control and expectation and when things don't go as planned (which often happens), you are usually left disappointed.

When you try to control your travel, you lose the opportunity to experience the unexpected, which is often where magical things happen that makes traveling worth all the trouble.

Being Bored is Part of It

On the 11th of September, 2014, I went on a hike in Lombok, Indonesia with a couple of friends. After the trek, we split up and I ended up in Bali without any plan. My initial plan was to go to the Komodo island but that turned out to be too expensive so there I was in Bali, not knowing what to expect. Since I was so crippled by the Mt Rinjani trek, I decided that the best way to spend my time in Bali was to do absolutely nothing. Boy, was that the best decision I made.

As I was bored out of my god damn mind, I started conversing with a fellow solo traveler from the Netherlands at the hostel's cafe. She was planning to go for a walk along the Kuta beach and since I had nothing to do anyway, I decided to tag along.

An ordinary day turned out to be an extraordinary adventure

Me and Verian stumbled upon a Balinese funeral while we were lost in Kuta, Bali.

Me and Verian stumbled upon a Balinese funeral while we were lost in Kuta, Bali.

We got lost on our way back. We stumbled upon an interesting Balinese traditional funeral. We had one of the best Indonesian lunch ever at the Warung Yogya restaurant. We talked for hours about the differences between our cultures. We hid from the raging sun and chilled out by the pool. We met up with other solo travelers and went out for the night. It was a magical day, all possible because I decided not to do anything that day.

In a desperate attempt to stop myself from being bored to death, I ended up doing much more than when everything goes according to my plan. According to a scientific research by Dr. Nikolai Axmacher, from the University of Bonn in Germany, unexpected events like these are more likely to be remembered than predictable events. I was not just opening myself for more opportunity to experience the unpredictable beauty of travel, but also to create a long-lasting memory of my travel experiences. That is a win-win in my book.

Do Nothing When You Travel

The next time you are traveling, try not to plan your schedule too tightly. You will not just end up being stressful before you even embark on your journey, but you will also lose the opportunity to actually experience the unexpected moments that come with travel. Leave a few buffer days in your itinerary and let the magic of travel unfold before your eyes.

It's Magic!


Remember, travel is not about going to places, taking selfies with the Eiffel tower and boasting it to your friends, it is about experiencing the world and as you know, the world is not meant to be controlled. Go forth and do nothing the next time you travel and let me know in the comments below what magical moments you had experienced from doing nothing.

Looking for more inspirational articles? Check out The Solo Traveler’s Inspiration section where we will discuss topics related to the nomadic and traveling lifestyle and shower-thoughts that will invoke wanderlust in all of us.

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