Traveling by intuition
Planning to travel to the Baltic states this summer to attend the Song and Dance Festival in Riga I realize I cannot get away for those dates. Disappointed to miss this festival which takes place every three years, I contemplate where else to go.
I remember a friend’s mention of Croatia.
Listlessly, I put in a search and am instantly electrified by the first Croatia pictures. My mind zooms into razor-sharp attention, the blah is dispelled, and I know I’ve found my vacation destination!
Now I ask you: Where does this ‘knowing’ come from?
Do you have such experiences? To know, full on – though not really knowing why or how you know. Still, you do, but without any factual evidence to support it.
Croatia, I’m coming!
Frankly, I didn’t even know where exactly the country was located. Yet I’m so confident about this knowing,that before long, I’ve put together a route, flights and first accommodations.
Once I’ve got my bearing for a couple of days within the culture, I like to travel on free of any pre-booked schedule.
From the get-go, I absolutely love my time in Croatia. It’s just a bulls-eye destination. And there are many know moments along the way that determine the route.
Half-way through the trip, I decide to spend the night at a hotel which had been recommended by new local friends. When I arrive at the hotel in the city of Trogir, I immediately know “this isn’t it!”
There is nothing ‘wrong’ with the family-owned hotel. Inside or out.
The manager is nice. It’s an atmospheric brick building – the oldest guest-house in town – beautifully furnished in regional antiques with a curved, red carpeted staircase leading to the guest rooms. The kind of place I usually quite take to.
Yet the visceral knowing that something is off remains. I’m unable to put my finger on it. So I take the keys and decide to look at the room.
It is fine, even a generous size. I’m not thrilled with the view into a cobblestoned alleyway, the next building just a stone-throw across, but it doesn’t matter for one night. Still, I can’t shake the queasy feeling.
I’m puzzled. And I’m tired.
I can easily talk myself into overriding my gut’s feelings. There is no visible cause. It’s late in the day. I have driven far. I really don’t want to carry my suitcase back into the car and start a new search!
But that’s just what I do, though I mutter under my breath while I drive myself out of the city – and really – where to now, Silvia ?!
As I drive along the rugged Croatian coastline – all the sky, ocean and land ablaze in the dazzling orange-blue hues of a setting sun – my tension releases and I return to inner peace.
I take a curve out of one of those roundabouts that all European countries are so fond of. On a country road I enter a hamlet & fleetingly think “where am I going to find a place around here?”
At the end of a laneway, quite unexpectedly, I find myself in front of a neat, tidy guest-house. Black letters & a design on the white-washed wall announce“Kleine Hexe” (German for little witch); – complete with broomstick and pointy hat!
It’s not only a curious name for a small guesthouse in rural Croatia, but the title to a warm-hearted children’s story by German poet Erich Kästner. I’m intrigued and delighted. I read all his books when I grew up in Switzerland.
“On” after all!
And just as I had known that the Trogir hotel was “off”, I knew this hotel was going to be totally “on!”
The stay proved that so much so, I regretted not being able to stay a second night!
If I’d opted for the Trogir hotel, I might have found out what my intuition was signalling to me. Or maybe it simply prompted me to move on to a more meaningful experience? Who knows!
Fact is, that as a result of acting on my intuition, I had a superlative experience in several ways. Not least of which was becoming friends with Zdenka, the guest-house owner, which also resulted in insider knowledge on how to assess the quality of olive oil!
Traveling by intuition: the improved experience
Seems to me that the value of intuition is in it’s uniqueness for each individual. Way beyond the best travel guidebook for Croatia – or the journey of life – intuition seems an impulse tailor-made for just that person.
Like the “hit” I experienced on the name Kleine Hexe. In an instant, I was brought back into my childhood & experienced a wholly submersive, pleasant family flashback. It warmed my heart and made me smile.
Many other times, on the cue of heeded inspiration have I enjoyed an outstanding, rather than “just” good holiday experience. In my travels through Croatia and elsewhere.
Experiencing really fun & funny moments; meeting exceptional people & developing a network of friends all over the world; making interesting discoveries in & outside the guide-book recommended places; all-in-all having enriching, meaningful & inspiring encounters wherever I went.
Come to think of it, it’s much of what travel is all about, isn’t it?
I wish you safe & intuitively joyous travels!