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Make plans

INA WO(A)NDERS: About making plans

Have you already made a super plan that will ensure that everything gets better this year? More sport and a healthier diet, less screen time and stress, but instead lots of adventure and quality time? I also like to plan a lot. And I confess: I love it when a plan works. But while traveling I have learned that there is something much better out there.

Heave to, drop anchor, wow.

In 2019 we circumnavigated the wild and wonderful Peloponnese with our sailing boat in Greece. When we headed west again towards the end of the sailing season through the Gulf of Corinth, we had collected many nautical miles, hours of sunshine and food for the soul - and now we wanted to "home", to our winter port in Sicily. The route was set, the weather looked promising, the plan was made. Provisioned, fully fueled and fully motivated, we set off before sunrise and set sail towards the west. Slightly melancholic, our eyes slid along the Greek coast as we passed. And suddenly get caught. "Shall we stop for a moment? Just for breakfast?” Heave to, drop anchor, wow.

Hermet bay

Let yourself drift, without fixed plans

Between two perfect crescent-shaped beaches, crystal clear water reflected the outline of a small mountain. Although nobody was to be seen far and wide, instead of the usual suspects (garbage, garbage and more garbage) we only found an illustrious collection of footprints on the beach: birds, people, dogs and something with hooves. Enchanted by the scenery, we temporarily buried our crossing plans in the sand, enjoyed the golden September sun on our skin and listened to the distant calls of the seagulls. Everything around us seemed more intense, brighter, more magical than anywhere else. Because we didn't plan this. Because we hadn't made a picture of this place before, which we now had to compare with reality. Instead, we let ourselves drift in the water and let the tingling holiday feeling flow through us. Until we heard a rumble.

Crystal clear water

Be spontaneous and make friends at the same time

The rumble turned out to be a bark and came running towards us on twelve legs from the top of the mountain. Three dogs, one bigger than the other, approached at a gallop and would probably soon be… happily greeting us. Behind them two men, beaming from ear to ear. That's how we got to know Georgios and Spyros. Two dropouts who came to this place many years ago, despite all the plans, when the cities were too crowded, the people too loud and life too difficult for them - and just stayed. At the top of the mountain, they built what they found into a mixture of a cave and a house. And have been living off what nature gives them ever since. With hands, feet and a little English they told us their story. They cooked and inspired us and after a few days they said goodbye with the promise that we were always welcome here, on their mountain between the two crescent beaches.

How did it happen that we ended a wonderful trip a few more days Glück got it for free? For exactly one reason: Because we changed our plan at the right moment. Our weather window to complete the three-day crossing to Sicily under perfect sailing conditions had passed us by in those days. But what no one could take away from us was the realization that something magical could be lurking around every corner at any time. Plans help us move forward in life. However, if we hold onto them too tightly, they can become blinders. And then we might miss what sparkles and glitters so promisingly left and right.

Have you ever discarded a plan - and then found something great that you might not have been looking for? I am always happy to receive feedback, suggestions or questions – either as a comment or directly by e-mail [email protected].

Photos: Pexels / Bich Tran, Ina Hiester

Ina is a digital nomad and travels through Europe by land and sea. The journalist is always on the lookout for special places for Good Travel, philosophizes about travel in her column, takes photographs, makes music and writes articles on all kinds of environmental and sustainability topics.



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