Since my job at 3B Medical Inc. allows me to travel, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several countries that have been on my list — Canada, Greece, Germany, and Italy are just a few. Although every country is different, one aspect remains the same: my travel philosophy. I’m a firm believer in traveling spontaneously because it provides a richer travel experience. Not only will you discover new places, but you’ll be doing so with no pressure, you’ll discover things other tourists will not, and the experience will push you out of your comfort zone.

It gets you out of your comfort zone.

With smartphones serving as a GPS everywhere we go, we’re always comforted by the fact that if we do get lost, we have a trusty smartphone to guide us back on track. Not only that, but GPS’s make it handy for us to know what restaurants, parks, bars and stores are surrounding us. Although it’s great to be in-the-know about your surroundings, it can inhibit you from finding places that aren’t on the map. Put the phone away and let yourself wander the area. You can also ask a local for help, which is something most people don’t do today since they have computers in their pockets. Although you will be put out of your comfort zone, you’ll be able to discover new places straight from a local.

There’s no pressure.

Given the finite amount of vacation time you probably have before going back to work, it’s easy to get yourself lost in planning to visit every important traditional and historical landmark as possible. Although it’s great to finally see these landmarks in person, it can be stressful to make it to a scheduled tour on time. In addition, scheduled tours can be stressful as well since you’re being quickly shuffled from place to place. Sometimes you might not have time to truly admire the views around you! By traveling spontaneously, there’s no pressure to stay on a strict travel schedule. Instead, you’ll have the freedom to stumble upon hidden gems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

You can stumble upon things you might not have discovered.

If you spend weeks toiling away at planning a trip, not only will you be pressured to get to everything on your travel agenda, but you will most likely follow the popular path tourists take. By traveling spontaneously, you can discover hidden treasures most other travelers may not find. Put the map away, step away from the guided tours, and meander down city streets where few people venture to. Let the city guide you by following the smells and sights of the streets. You might find yourself enjoying a local band playing amazing music or discovering a delicious farmer’s market selling fresh baked goods.

Do you use my travel philosophy as well? Let me know in the comments.