palm trees

The Unexpected Joy of Traveling Without a Schedule

So many times, especially when traveling with young children, we need to follow a schedule when traveling. But, there are many unexpected joys to discover while traveling without a schedule.

I can remember when I was a young girl we would travel to Martha’s Vineyard as a family. My mom would tell me, “it takes at least one week to get into vacation mode, and then, unfortunately, it’s time to pack up the suitcases and head home.”

I remember trying to understand what exactly she meant. Looking at it now as a woman who has fought for those vacations, I think it means stepping away from my constant to-do list and getting some space from the onslaught of messages, emails, and demands pulling at me from all directions.

The fastest way for me to get to this place is to travel without a schedule. Maybe not no schedule, but definitely a very loose one.

Stepping into another world while delicately letting go of nagging thoughts can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

The Joy of Traveling – Starting with the Plane

The last trip we went on was a quick trip to Turks and Caicos this past summer. The island is such a great place to practice slipping into a sensory mode, and out of thinking mode. There are so many ways to experience all five senses, and many reasons to leave the smartphone in your beach bag pocket all day long.

Even before landing, it’s time to just gaze out the airplane window. Looking at the marvel of those pristine turquoise waters makes everything else feel lightyears away.

view out window airplane excited to arrive

The Joy of Traveling Without a Schedule – Leaving All of My Cares Behind

We arrived at our resort, Amanyara. 1 The entire resort is so visually simple that I felt automatically pulled more deeply into relaxation mode. The beach chairs and umbrellas are so simple and so inviting.

joy of traveling beautiful scene


The water was uniquely soft – we kept saying it felt like silk. Looking at the beautiful water and being in it were sublime. I felt the joy of traveling in these details.

turquoise blue water joy


We spent most of our time lounging on the chairs reading. There was a gentle, constant breeze. They served the most incredible piña coladas too.

pina colada fresh beautiful


The clean lines of the resort kept all distractions at bay. There was nothing to see but water, sand, and sky.

nothing to do without a schedule


The second day we took a boat trip to a remote area where snorkeling was recommended.


The feeling of floating on the water, drifting, was worth the trip.


Back at the resort we even spotted a stingray! It was so relaxed too. This water must do that to you!

stingray swimming


The sunset was quiet and magical. Beautiful golden light.

sunset beautiful golden light


Stepping out of daily life, and not having to follow a particular schedule, is the fastest way to a reset, especially when needing a vacation from the busyness of my mind. Forgetting the time, it’s blissful to escape the noise of what I “should” be doing, and step more deeply into what I felt like doing in the moment.

looking at footprints joy of travel

Reminders to Take Home With Me

Leaving the island, I remember that I can choose to experience that sense of unplanned and unscheduled living at home, even if only for one day a month. Slowing down long enough to savor an early morning sunrise, a late afternoon bath, some beautiful fresh cut flowers. I can take that experience with me wherever I go.

traveling without a schedule relaxed woman on beach


Ps: Are you looking for more zen in your life? Find the middle way with this close look at Verse One of the Tao Te Ching.

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