Setting Expectations for Enjoyment

My daughter is cooking up a storm and has company for it too.
My daughter is cooking up a storm ten years ago and has company for it too.

One thing that helps nurture my creativity while traveling is to decide ahead of time what my expectations are.  I recheck them nearly every day while I’m on  my trip.  Did I do what I wanted?  If not, do I still want to do that?  If so, what do I need to do to enjoy or try whatever it is on my list?

Sometimes, of course, other things came up that were either a better choice, more fun, or unavoidable.  When my favorite boy toy and I went to Maine last year, it rained nearly every day.  It didn’t stop us from taking pictures, but we had to work a lot harder at it to get good pictures.  The rain was unavoidable.

Two years ago, while we were in Charleston, South Carolina, we realized there were tremendous opportunities to do night photography.  There were a number of cool things and we didn’t have trouble with being watched or stalked.  That was an opportunity that we didn’t expect.  Because we were out so late each night, we skipped the morning photography even though we wanted sunrises over the ocean.  Actually, we tried one and it was a fizzle due to fog.  But once we started staying up late at night, it didn’t matter if we got up early or not.

A baby Vizsla!  This was his first weekend with us.  He's 12-weeks-old.
A baby Vizsla! This was his first weekend with us. He’s 12-weeks-old.

So what are my expectations for my trip with my daughter?

  • Spend quality time with her
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Shoot more extensive videos of the ocean and surf than I did last time (to see what I shot last year, click here)
  • Show her around
  • Enjoy some fancy meals with her

When I went to Asheville earlier this summer, I set this for my expectations:

  • Relax
  • Write
  • Take pictures
  • Explore
  • Enjoy nice meals

Hmm. . . the food, photography and exploration seem to be a common theme here!

For my trip to Asheville, I met those expectations nearly every day and I had a blast doing it.  For my trip right now, since I didn’t plan to write, I took no laptop.  I also took minimal camera gear since my goal is to spend time with my daughter.

I find it comforting to identify ahead of time what I’m expecting from vacation, then adjusting it as each day unfolds.  This way I can make changes if I’m not getting what I want and adapt if the circumstances warrant it.  It helps me have a better vacation and enjoy my travels more.

So that’s today’s message for nurturing my creativity!  For those in the northern hemisphere, I hope you’re enjoying this fall weather and maybe even some color change.  The leaves are still green here, but you can see the yellow is starting to come through.  A few more weeks and the leaves will be a variety of brilliant colors.

To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.

To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.