I ventured down to the sea with vegan friend Carolina just before sunset today. I’m so lucky to meet other like-minded vegans as I travel. I crave meaningful in-person conversation so much, so being able to chat with someone who’s so similar to me gets me thinking and makes my day!
After discussing how our expectations of Palma differed to the reality of living here (she’s also a newbie to Palma) I realised I need to relax, take life as it comes, and focus on the positives of my current situation. Some days I get frustrated because life doesn’t turn out the way I expected.
This is probably because I like to plan everything in advance. Planning trips early is the best way to save money, so I always purchase flights well in advance and book accommodations at least a month before I’m scheduled to arrive. This doesn’t mean my trip isn’t flexible, as I can always cancel or change flights and accommodations if I really need to adjust my itinerary.
While this early planning is good, I need to remember that it’s impossible for me to predict everything. Things will probably never be exactly as I had planned since I’m constantly visiting new places. I have to accept that I’ll be faced with unexpected circumstances as I travel around and that I won’t have any idea how I’ll feel in a new city until I arrive.
I had an idea about how this trip would pan out before I departed Scotland but most of it hasn’t gone according to plan. I’ve had to deal with several issues that I didn’t anticipate.
I couldn’t have predicted that my allergies would have hindered my trips to Berlin and Poland so much. Not only did I have a miserable time because I couldn’t breathe, I had to spend extra money on medication and tissue every day.
I couldn’t have predicted how unwelcome my boyfriend and I felt as we spent time with his family in Poland. On the plus side, I couldn’t have predicted how AMAZING it would be to spend two weeks with my boyfriend after not seeing him for three.
I couldn’t have predicted how I’d feel living in these hot temperatures without air conditioning in Palma, and that while I have plenty of clothes suitable for Scotland, they aren’t cutting it here because I’m completely sweaty the entire day. I’ll need to invest in a few more loose articles of clothing and lighter bras. The ones I have now are far too warm and uncomfortable in this heat.
I detailed the rest of my itinerary to Carolina as we chatted overlooking the beach. I mentioned that my next stop is Barcelona later this month and that I’m not expected much since I’ve been there before. I simply hope to revisit the same places I visited previously, take better photos, and maybe scope out a few vegan-friendly places. She guessed that maybe I’ll enjoy Barcelona even more this time since I’m travelling there with low expectations.
She’s right. Expectations are never a good idea since reality will never quite be what we had hoped for. Instead, we should leave all expectations behind and just take life as it comes.
My boyfriend also brought up an excellent point that the same holds true for expectations in relationships. Starting a relationship expecting your partner to be and act a certain way is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment. There’s absolutely no way this person could satisfy every expectation you have. You’ll become frustrated and inevitably try to change this person, which never works our and never leads to a fulfilling relationship. But, if you leave your expectations at the door, you’ll have no reason to be let down. You’ll start the relationship completely content and truly see your partner for who they are as a person.
Visiting a new place isn’t the same as meeting a prospective partner for the first time, but we should avoid expectations in both cases. I had high expectations of Berlin because I heard so many people rave about it, but come to find out it wasn’t the city for me.
We all experience places differently so I will try to keep my expectations low or get rid of them entirely before visiting the rest of the cities on my itinerary. Without expectations, I can’t be disappointed. Only then will I experience and appreciate new situations, learn from them, and grow as a person.