Destination X: An Ex-Travel Agent Reviews His Anywhr Trip

Tanned, with a neat haircut, and checkered shirt tucked into his pants, Ron wouldn’t come to mind when you think: solo traveller. And almost everything about his personality goes against the [solo travelling] grain. A meticulous planner who seeks comfort in his regimen, and yet, he has 10 years of solo travel experience under his belt.

Like so many others, Ron’s first foray into adventure [probably a very well planned and deliberate adventure] came after a breakup. No better time to shake things up when you’re shook in my opinion. But for 10 years, he’s planned all his trips to run like clockwork, knowing where he’ll be at any given hour, and what he’ll be doing throughout his trips. “Friends said that travelling with me is like the army,” (he laughed) acknowledging his peculiar nature.

Related Article: Solo Tripping After A Break-up: An Unconventional But Effective Way To Heal

Ron — Travel Agent And Precise Planner

Source: Ron

Source: Ron

“Do you travel with an Excel Sheet?” (I interjected abruptly) before pausing in embarrassment for my lack of manners. Ron’s eyes widened [perhaps horrified] and he quickly quashed my assumption. “I’m old school… I use a notebook!”, before explaining where his fastidious habit comes from. “I used to work for a travel agency, so I started doing that for my own holidays.”

So 10 years ago, Ron planned and made the other peoples’ dream getaways happen. And by chance [or algorithms] Anywhr’s pink llama crossed his path. As with many others, stumbling upon the pink llama excites and sparks your imagination. It also makes you wonder “Is this a scam?”, the answer is, fortunately not. Reading the experiences of other Anywhr travellers published on #ProjectGOANYWHR, Ron was inspired and finally mustered the courage to—click, book and go anywhr. So, how did Anywhr’s take on travel (un)planning stack up to his expectations? Like Ron, you’ll have to read on to find out.

From Apprehension To Fandom

Ron had his doubts and reservations about Anywhr, and rightly so. A young band of travellers trying to share their love of travel with the rest of the world, under the banner of a space age-y looking pink llama logo and the lack of respect for vowels [Anywhr].

Once booked, however, Ron rose to the occasion and made a social media event of it. From creating Instagram polls to holding contests for his friends and followers, he called on them to guess where he’d be jetting off to. Maybe for fun, and perhaps his way of easing into the idea of letting the reins go.

Travel To Connect With Culture And People   

A self-professed culture-geek—it’s the culture, people and languages of a destination that Ron chases. For years his meticulous planning had him covering as much ground as he could, optimising his time to take in and learn as much about a destination as possible.

Source: Ron

Source: Ron

That’s one way of doing it, but we would like to think that we’ve got a better way to discover and connect with a destination’s culture and people. After years of streamlining his holidays to maximise his culture-geek desires by using the very complex equation of Activities√Time, Ron was ready to colour outside the lines.

Related Article: Destination X: On Chasing Challenges (And Local Buses)

“I wanted something different. I realised I’ve been too rigid… there’s more to life than routine… I was getting out of my comfort zone,” (he shook his head and stammered a little) seemingly like he wished he’d learnt to let loose sooner.

He let go, travelled to Destination X and discovered that being free-spirited opens you up to local culture and people. “With no plans, I just hijacked other people’s plans. I met someone at the hostel and decided to tag along with their plans.” (he said, leaning forward slightly, his pitch rising in excitement) It was a new experience for him. “Why did you come to Destination X?” many of the people he met at his hostel asked. Whipping out his Travelogue and telling them about how it was a surprise made his Anywhr trip a conversation starter.

Source: Ron

Source: Ron

Hop On The Anywhr Experience

But whoever goes on this experience “should be prepared to be taken for a ride whether good or bad, hopefully positive but things can’t be perfect all the time” after some deliberation. “Come with an open mind and have your eyes opened.” Everything from NOT opening your Anywhr mail before your date of departure is part of the experience, he [and so do we] insists. Or scratch the itch like Ron and start a poll to see if your friends can guess Destination X.

Finally at Destination X, Ron ran the gamut of travelling without meticulous planning. Besides the moments that went smoothly, the rough patches turned out to be highlights of his trip. A town-wide blackout became a chance to bond with fellow travellers at his hostel. A train station shutdown followed by a bus breaking down [while not offering a bonding experience] changed the way Ron handled things not going to plan.

Related Article: How To Never Have A Bad Holiday

Slowly Changing His Plans

Source: Ron

Source: Ron

While it’s not like Ron has given up on planning, his open mindset has him seeing things from different perspectives. “There’s more to life than worrying about what’s going to happen in the future… but I wouldn’t have stepped away from planning if not for this [Anywhr trip],” (he said cooly) recognising that sometimes—you might just need a push.


AUTHOR: MATTHEW

An advertising creative by day (and too many nights), I think, write and create for a living. Born in a city but raised wild, I’m a part-time outdoorsman, and when unshackled from my desk – I move.

An advertising creative by day (and too many nights), I think, write and create for a living. Born in a city but raised wild, I’m a part-time outdoorsman, and when unshackled from my desk – I move.