This is Sonia, back from doing some solo traveling in Chile for the past six weeks. I got the intuitive hit to go to Chile during the summer of 2015, when I first saw a picture of Torres del Paine.
Once I saw it, something deep inside me told me I needed to go. My heart was 100% on board but my head had other plans. Actually, my head wanted all the plans- it wanted to know every single detail of the trip that didn’t exist yet.
It had all sorts of ideas such as ‘You need to vacate your apartment and go traveling indefinitely.”
But, that didn’t sit well with the rest of me. “Romantic as that sounds, that feels terrifying,” my heart argued back.
My brain wasn’t going to give it up and the more time elapsed, the more complicated it made everything until traveling felt…impossible.
Head: “You’ll have to put all your stuff in storage.”
Every other part of me and also another part of my head “But you love your apartment, so what if you hate your trip and want to go home? And now you have no home to go to because you got rid of the apartment you love because I told you to do that?”
Head : “Still, I could totally be wrong. Why are you listening to me?“
It was a shit show. I got so confused that I decided to put my whole trip on the back burner until I could get some space “figure it out.”
(IRL, one year)
My heart and intuition knocked again, saying “umm… hello, are you going to Chile or not?”
My head piped in “WE NEED TO MAKE A PLAN.”
Then the paralysis of analysis kicked back in and I did nothing. I didn’t buy a plane ticket (step #1) or map out my trip. I did tell every one who would listen my grand- imaginary plans to go traveling. I even roped my friend Brant into traveling to Cuba with me on my way to Chile.
Spring became summer, and then September rolled around.
I knew I needed to do something but my head made it so… scary. I did nothing.
One night, I was at dinner, drinking wine with my Godparents and talking about my imaginary trip to Torres Del Paine again. With a little liquid courage in my system, I thought, “I’m doing this. I’m buying tickets right now.”
I called Brant on my bike ride home and said “Let’s buy our tickets to Cuba – right now. Come over.” He was all for it and met me at my house. The minute I got home I got out my laptop and bought our tickets--his to Cuba and mine to Cuba, then continuing on to Chile, finally!
My brain got turned up again. “Now- we’ll make the plans.” But, that didn’t work the first time around. My brain just scared me and made me think of way too many things. So, I did the opposite. I pushed back. I decided I wasn’t going to make plans. Except go to Torres del Paine and backpack the W circuit to see the towers.
And that’s what I did. I showed up in Chile with no plans. It was awesome. I could tell you all about all the amazing adventures I had on my journey (climbing a volcano, buying the smallest and most expensive hat in the world, learning to be alone, making a bunch of wonderful friends).
The biggest thing I got from this trip is that I can make shit happen when I decide to make it happen. All you need to do is decide.
You don’t need to plan everything in advance in order to follow your heart. Your head might tell you otherwise. Mine did. But, too much talking just muddies the waters. (Okay to be completely honest, Chile is a very long country and a littttle planning could have helped) but going without plans was an exercise in trust- trusting in myself, in the Universe, in others, and in life. And, it totally worked out.
It’s easy to make things complicated. We convince ourselves that it’s impossible to follow our hearts without having a plan.
It’s so easy to believe that things can’t happen because of “xyz” or writing off what we want because “that’s reality.” I know I can be tempted to believe I need a million “game plans” or whatever before I follow my heart. That’s how I wasted a year.
Still, my intuition and my heart felt the call, and never let up. My mind just didn’t listen. I’m so happy that I finally tuned out my head and jumped off the diving board and followed my heart without a plan.
I got filled to the brim with awesome experiences that I could never have planned to have.
Once I decided to go, I no longer ran every decision through the gauntlet of “let me think about this for another year and then I’ll decide if the time is right. “
I encourage you to decide to go do that thing your heart has been telling you to do. That one that you’ve been itching to do for so long but got pushed to the background because life had decided that everything else is more important.
Get your creative juices going, tell your intellect it can sit this round out. Decide to just imagine what experiences you want to have. Then do it. Buy a ticket. Make a move.
So make a decision, get out of your own way and have a magical experience in 2017.
Pablo Cohelo said it best “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”