I know I have visited this topic before but I had a wonderful example I wanted to share.

We finally experienced our Mediteranean cruise!  We have been talking about this trip for the past 8 years and planning it for several months so expectations were bound to be high.  In Italy we visited Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Pisa, Rome, Taormina (Sicily), Amalfi coast and Pompeii.  In Greece we visited Athens, Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos and we also visited Kusadaci Turkey.  It was a whirlwind of activity and incredible scenery and we had an amazing time.

My expectations for certain places were particularly high – this included Florence, the Tuscan countryside, Amalfi and the Greek islands.  All of these places were beautiful but I noticed that because reality didn’t match my mental image of what they “should” be my experience was effected a bit.    This was in stark contrast to the experience I had in the places I had little expectations of like Rome, Sicily and Turkey as those were some of my favorite experiences.

My overall intention for this trip was to be “present” in each place, fully taking in all the sights, sounds and culture of each city and country, especially since we were seeing so much in such a short time – to notice the differences and celebrate the fact that we were here!  While I did that most of the trip, I found that when my expectations were high, it distracted me from being present because I was comparing it to something rather than seeing/experiencing it for what it was.

How will I used this awareness in future travels?  I will decide a destination by what it has to offer but will hold back from viewing images of what it looks like or others evaluations of the experience they had there.  This way I will be able to discover in the moment what each place has to offer, seeing it as it is, not what I imagine it should be.

How have expectations gotten in your way?

I am going to share some some images from each of the places we visited, if you don’t want them to shape your expectations of these places, don’t look :)

Florence

Amalfi Drive, Italy

Santorini, Greece

Rhodes, Greece

Tuscan countryside

Rome

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