I was reading about the difference between otters and beavers the other day, and it got me thinking. What I learned seemed to correlate with travel and working with and enjoying the miles and points world. Before you rule out the way my circuitous mind works, hear me out and see if this analogy makes sense.
Otters are said to be the most playful of all animals. Life for them is one frolic after another, sunbathing on a rock, eating and then more playing and frolic. They have fun, seek out adventure, and make us say, “oh how cute” a lot.
Sounds like an ideal life, right? Sounds like many of us on holiday in Hawaii, right?
Image by animalhype.com
Beavers, however, work really differently.
There’s a reason for the label “busy beaver.”
They gnaw down small trees and dig pathways to transport the material they gather. They build their homes of sticks and mud and dams to maintain the water level of a stream or deepen a pond.
If beavers could get miles and points credit cards or hotel status, they would become award booking geniuses!
I can surely see my “inner” beaver when it comes out. I’m productive by nature so I can get overly absorbed in pursuing my goals. I can go through times when I’ll get up earlier and stay up too late in the name of accomplishment.
I want the best itinerary buck for my creatively assigned spending. And when I’m stumped, I’ll call upon my beaver teammates to help me out.
These days I’m looking to balance my inner beaver with my inner otter.
It’s great to be an achiever. And I still believe in a “whatever it takes” approach when I set my intentions and am looking for certain results for my travels. However, only on rare occasions and for limited time frames will I go full beaver and leave my otter behind.
Sure, there are times that call for FOCUS and making something happen. That’s when I’ll call upon my inner beaver.
However, I’m learning that there is NO NEED to be in hyper-mode all the time. With better planning, delegating, and healthy expectations, life and my travels seem to come together just fine.
Under ordinary circumstances, and in my day-to-day life, I find that it’s much healthier and less stressful to embrace my “inner otter”.
When I complete a task or finish a project, instead of rushing like a beaver would to the next task and project, I’ll take some time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished or take a time out and do something very otter-like.
When travel planning is stressful and gets a bit overwhelming, you can do something similar.
Next time you notice you’re intent on acting too beaver-like and the situation really doesn’t call for that kind of intensity, stop and think: how can I still get this done yet bring some of my inner otter out?
How can travel planning become more of a game and less of a chore?
Here’s the point: Play more!
It’ll help you bring renewed vitality and enthusiasm to achieving of your travel goals.
We’ve all had to plan, un-plan, and re-plan so many trips over the past few years, it’s time to sit back and take stock of what’s once again possible. Maybe it’s not the top bucket list choice, but if it falls anywhere on the list, it’s still in the bucket.
I’ve been inspired by travel stories I’ve heard about places I’ve never even thought of visiting. Maybe that’s happened to you, too. And you know what? When I let my otter run with it, those trips have turned out to be amazingly meaningful.
In other words, take yourself lightly.
You can do this even while taking your trip planning seriously. Sure, cross all the T’s and dot those I’s to create a smooth travel experience, but leave some room for the otter to add a few surprises.
This balancing act works for me and I know it can work for you, too. Hope you’ve found these trip planning productivity tips helpful!
Make your new motto: You oughta be an otter!
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