A planner, a plotter, a manager, a schedule-drawer-upper. Ask anyone who knows me. I get very nervous without a plan. My idea of "going with the flow" is actually to have two plans, so I don't have to worry about the first one not working out; this is my idea of "letting it go."
This first part of the trip, though, the leader asked us all to "set an intention" (this is yoga-speak, so if it's too woo-woo for you, just ignore it and move on), and mine was to let go, stop trying to manage my own experience (which often translates into managing other people, and I've found that other people would prefer to manage themselves; imagine that), and just be open to whatever comes.
Well, I've had plenty of opportunities for that. On excursion X, the pretty bit of architecture we were supposed to be able to see was closed. Event Y did not happen due to factors beyond our control. Our leader got sick for two days. Minor injuries and allergies abounded. And guess what? Up until yesterday, the weather in our little corner of southern Italy has been cool-to-cold, with leaden skies and rain at least once a day (including one freak hailstorm). It looked like this:
In so many ways, this was Not Part of the Plan. But you know what? I had an excellent time anyway. Rather than sitting by the pool, I sat in the living
room. I bought a light cardigan in town. I timed my bike rides with the weather. And I took some lovely gray-weather pictures. Today's last-day event was cancelled due to illness, so I'm riding into town after lunch for a last-day espresso granita with real whipped cream that must be half butter.
All things considered, letting go of the plan has produced a wonderful trip, and if I could carry one thing home with me, into my life in general, but especially into my writing, it would be this: chill the fuck out. If it doesn't go according to your plan, it will go some other way. And chances are that other way won't be disastrous.