This beautiful staircase belongs to friends of ours who bought a small villa in a town south of Sienna, Italy. I would never have discovered it had I not made a spontaneous decision during our European trip.
My son, Tom, flew to Budapest and picked me up at the Vienna airport to start our first weekend in Graz, Austria where he had taught English for five years. Walking from one end of the city to the other during the days, and sharing drinks and meals with his friends in the evenings, was the perfect beginning to our trip. And, it was the only part we had planned in advance.
It was unusual for me to travel without having places to stay along the way, but Tom convinced me that part of the joy of traveling is keeping your options and mind open for the inevitable surprises along the way. In other words, be more spontaneous! We left Austria at the end of that weekend and made Venice our first stop in Italy.
We found a place to stay outside the city without a problem and the next morning I wondered about some friends who were very connected to Italy. The last time we were together many years ago, he was planning and she was fantasizing about starting their own tour company in Tuscany. Maybe they’re here now, I said to Tom. Send her an email, he replied. To my amazement, not only were they in Italy, they had bought a place in a small town within driving distance of us! They invited us to stay the night and shared their story of how they moved forward on their dream, founded their Renaissance Company (http://www.renaissancecompany.com), bought this beautiful place, and were living there six months of the year.
The only way we would have connected is if I had made the split decision to reach out to our friends at that moment in time. Recent events have reinforced the wonder of spontaneity. Being spontaneous, finding humor in the mundane without judging yourself or others, and letting the true you come out in full force is a powerful way to live. I have discovered that there is a difference between living a productive life and living life to its fullest.
Trusting your spontaneity frees you from the constraints of other people’s judgment and from the judgment you may have of yourself. It is a much more powerful way to live.