Following Inspiration Instead of an Itinerary

We just returned from a 10-day trip to Western North Carolina. It was our second trip there and part of my scariest, most exciting inspired idea yet. The trip was full of surrender, serendipity, synchronicity, and magic.

I believe it’s because we allowed each day to simply unfold.

We made a conscious effort to follow inspiration instead of an itinerary. While we had a number of things we wanted to accomplish to help us determine if we want to live there, we chose to trust we’d get done what needed to get done.

Even though I’ve been practicing following inspiration for 10 years, I was in awe of how everything unfolded perfectly. It also became instantly apparent when we started trying to follow a plan too tightly. Those were the times we got lost (and didn’t end up someplace fun!), got in arguments, and things just didn’t seem to work out. I’m telling you, if this trip wasn’t a full-on testimonial for living inspired, I don’t know what would be!

I think I’m supposed to do this…

That’s usually how it starts. I get an inspired idea, and in my head the thought is, “I think I’m supposed to do this.” This happened multiple times each day. Every day as we were getting ready, I would get an idea about what we were supposed to do that day. The first two days we spent driving to nearby towns we wanted to check out. The weather was clear and sunny and it was perfect driving weather.

Then the weather changed.

We had already registered, and paid for, an event about 20 minutes from where we were staying. Should we still go with a snow storm looming? Since we’re not used to driving in the snow, the cautious part of me began to worry. But inspiration overruled fear. We went to the event, met some really nice people, and had a great time. Flurries were just beginning by the time we got back to our Airbnb, and the storm didn’t dump its wrath until we were sleeping. We awoke to a four-inch white blanket covering everything outside.

It was absolutely beautiful.

We had picked up free passes to The Biltmore Estate from a new friend the day prior and were looking forward to spending the day there. Uncertain if we should, or even could, drive on the roads after the storm, our Airbnb host advised my husband we’d be fine, especially considering our rental car was a 4WD truck (which we did not reserve, but were given when we showed up at the rental car desk at the airport… of course!)

So, off we ventured to The Biltmore and because of the weather (the city pretty much shuts down when it snows because it’s not a regular occurrence) we had the place to ourselves and a handful of other brave tourists. It turned out to be the perfect day for us to be there. We were indoors most of the day and had zero crowds to deal with. And, the estate looked stunning blanketed in snow. In fact, our shuttle driver joked there would be no extra charge for the snow. It seems people often drive up from Florida just hoping to sneak a peek of this grand mansion covered in white!

The next morning my husband was raring to go explore.

However, there were warnings of black ice, and residents were encouraged to stay put until early afternoon. I reminded him part of living there would include having days we’d need to stay home, due to the weather. To me, it felt like a gift from the universe, to get us to stay put, even though there were plenty of things we wanted to go do.

That was also the morning I awoke totally inspired to start writing my book (no coincidence I’m sure!). I brought my laptop on the trip, feeling I was supposed to. After looking at it on the desk for four days, wondering why I’d bothered lugging it on the airplane, I opened it and began writing. The words flowed out of me… actually through me if I’m being honest. In less than an hour the Introduction to my book was written. And it was perfect!

We wanted to hike, but it was snowy and cold.

However, by the weekend it warmed up to 60 degrees and we were able to go on two amazing hikes. While hiking is the one thing we probably love most about North Carolina, we never stressed that we might not be able hike because of the weather. We trusted and we were not disappointed.

Those are just a few examples, but I could go on and on.

Every single day we were reminded when you allow yourself to do what you’re inspired to do, magical things happen. You end up exactly where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there. You meet people and have experiences you couldn’t have planned.

We accomplished everything we wanted.

Our visit was the perfect number of days. We met all the people we wanted to meet, and then some. We saw all the areas we wanted to see, and then some. And we got to experience the cold weather—actually colder than normal—to see if we could handle it, which was our primary reason for visiting in January. I’m happy to report, the weather is a non-issue for us. If anything it was a welcome change of pace from always hot and sunny, something we’re both growing tired of.

And, I was inspired!

Five days into our trip, I finally got the inspiration I needed to start writing the book that’s been inside me for two years. And, I now have a photo that perfectly captures the feeling of Living Inspired, to use with this project (the picture featured at the top of this post).

Even though I’ve been following inspiration for 10 years, I never cease to be amazed at what transpires when you let go and follow what shows up.

By the way, if you’re wondering if we’ve decided to pull the trigger on the cross-country move, we’re still in process. We’re staying true to following this inspired path, one step at a time. I’m convinced if we continue doing that, the answer will present itself when it’s time.

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