We are sitting in Bali analyzing together how we got here from Germany.
Have you ever tried to let go of your expectations because you have painfully noticed that there is a high probability that your expectations are actually leading to disappointments?
To start off our journey, Gabe and I really promised each other to work on letting go of expectations. Mistakenly, lots of people confuse not having expectations with not being allowed to have any wishes or desires.
Is this true?
For us, that is not the case. We actually think that you can still wish for something and put all your intentions and efforts towards a certain desired outcome BUT – and herein lies the big difference – you are NOT ATTACHED to this outcome. You are open to whatever might come into your life instead. You are flexible to adapt to whatever situation.
Let’s put this approach into an example:
Your favorite artist is giving a concert. There is one last ticket. This ticket does not specify any particular seat. You know it is quite unlikely that you are even able to see your artist on stage and you do not expect it. But you know there may be a chance. You buy the ticket wishing that this chance becomes reality. If it does not, you are just happy anyway that you got the opportunity to be there listening and experiencing her music live. That is wishing with no expectations.
Returning to our travels…
Maybe practicing our approach of not having expectations was kind of simple this time because we bought the cheapest airfare we could get. Yes, exactly the one that “normal” people never buy because it makes you change flights several times and have long layovers in the middle of nowhere which all in all makes it take forever to arrive at your destination. Exactly one of those tickets we bought. People thought we are crazy but we thought, why not?
For the first time in our lives we felt that we had time. No rush to arrive somewhere because we only had two weeks of vacations and every single day counted and could not be wasted.
What a new, unique feeling.
So we kind of started our travels relaxed, with no tense expectations of getting enough value for the money we spent.
And this is what happened…
- Checking in at Stuttgart Airport, we did not have to pay the extra fee for our two surfboards. No clue why. We even went away from the Check-In counter waiting for someone calling us back, apologizing for the mistake, asking to please pay for our extra luggage. But nothing.
- Entering the airplane, nobody said anything about our way to heavy carry-on luggage (only 5 kilos were permitted). Yes, we decided to only travel with carry-on for many reasons (we’re happy to explain these in another blog post). Since the things we decided to take with us had to fit in our backpacks, we kind of were a bit nervous that they will stop us wanting to measure or weigh it. But the night before our travels we calmed each other by realizing that in the end the worst that can happen is an extra fee we may end up paying. So no reason to worry about something that has not happened yet neither is guaranteed to happen. We just tried to let go of our fear that everything has to work out perfectly. And, magically nobody asked or said anything during our entire travels.
- Arriving at our second airplane, departing for our 10-hours-flight from Amsterdam to China, we found our seats in the Economy Comfort class. We neither asked for it nor paid any additional fees but received more room for our legs, different food and service, and were constantly wondering what’s going on?
- Coming to China, we were already prepared to have an 11 hours’ layover at the Guangzhou Airport. But things unfolded differently. We received a free shuttle to a beautiful new Holiday Inn Hotel where we were even allowed to have a typical Chinese breakfast. For the next 7 hours we could take a much needed shower and enjoy our beautiful soft beds having a big nap. We felt like in heaven. Asking ourselves again, are we dreaming or is this for real?
- Arriving at Bali, everything went well at immigration. Nothing of those frightening scenarios we had prior read online happened, and our friendly driver was already waiting for us in the arrival area.
After having the Welcome Drink at our first B&B, we fell in our beds asking us again – How could all this happen to us?
Looking back, we are convinced:
It is the small and big wonders that happen when you are not having expectations. Just letting things flow in the way they are supposed to go. Swimming with the current of life instead of complaining and fighting against it. Letting go of the constant need to be in control of everything.
Would you have even bought the concert tickets or would you have stayed at home afraid of the uncertainty?
We bought the tickets.