Sam and I used to do it all the time. We would plan entire trips around doing it. We would plan each activity because of doing it. Doing it was basically running our travel lives. Which is why we’ve stopped doing it, and now we’re as happy as ever.
What on earth am I possibly talking about? Well, my friends, I’m talking about checking the weather. I used to be a complete obsessive control freak over checking the weather before any big trips, plans or even just for the day before work. I’d carry around a big umbrella because the weather man told me to, just to see that it rained for the ten minutes I was indoors. I would change or even cancel plans on vacations because there was a 60% chance it would pour down, but there’s still a 40% chance that it wouldn’t. And that 40% usually won out.
I was a neurotic freak before my family arrived in Sydney around Christmas time last year. Every day for at least three weeks before their arrival I stalked the National Meteorology website for any sort of change. It had rained in Sydney for 18 days straight and was closing in on my family’s glorious reunion. I was freaking out, even almost crying at work because I was so stressed about the weather. I mean I had planned each and every day to the tee, and booked the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb on a day that now had 100% chance of thunderstorms… I was asking the weather gods what had I done to deserve such madness!
Of course, as it always does, everything worked out the way it should, and I was able to take a deep breath for the first time in over three weeks. See, checking the weather just leads to you second guessing your decisions. You may be able to change the day of a planned activity to one that seems to have sunny skies, but since when is the weatherman right? You can save yourself a whole lot less stress, and gain a bit of adventure by just cruising through without touching the Weather App on your phone.
Since Sam and I have gotten to Asia, we haven’t checked the weather once. Not when we drove three hours from Surat Thani to Krabi by motorbike, not when we booked our dive trips in Koh Tao, not even when we took a longtail boat through the Khao Sok lake for six hours. The weather is going to happen whether you checked it or not. Things are going to canceled, plans are going to change. You can make your life a hell of a lot easier if you do what you want to do regardless of what the Weather App says.
I mean, sure, if there’s a huge thunderstorm happening right then, you probably won’t hang out on the beach that day. But it’s worth the shot to head to the beach if it’s not raining yet, as opposed to staying in because of the threat of one. Sam and I have spent every day carrying on with each of our plans being slightly modified depending on the weather. Sure, it’s been cloudy and a little rainy every day, but We’ve found some of the best bars in Koh Tao and made some new friends because we had to duck into them during an all out monsoon that snuck up on us! We got caught in the rain on Shark Bay, running across the beach only to find a beach bungalow where we hung out for an hour. But most importantly, we truly appreciated the sun when it finally decided to show.
We could’ve sat in our rooms all day because each and every day the weatherman has called for rain, and while each day it has more or less rained, we still adventured and explored and carried on.
I guess there may be an overarching theme of not letting the little things (like rain) get you down. There are worse places in the world to be stuck in during a rain storm than an awesome little beach bar that makes great tacos. (Shout out to you Taco Shack!) The more we try to beat the weather the more our plans kept getting screwed up. It’s much more relaxing to just let what will happen happen, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun to run in the rain to the closest bar!