Some time after the rainforest adventure I shared a few emails back, my wife Setareh and I went to Amsterdam for our honeymoon.
Before we left, I wanted to do my research, look up reviews, and make an itinerary so we could structure our limited time and not miss any of the gems hidden in plain sight.
Setareh, on the other hand, felt that a trip like this was a rare moment for us to just let loose, be flexible, and explore this new beautiful city with open eyes. She preferred a more spontaneous approach that wouldn’t tie us to any kind of schedule.
After some lively debate, we ultimately found ourselves agreeing to an approach we called structured flexibility.
The concept is right in the name: have a general itinerary in mind, but be open to detours and random happenings that can’t be planned.
In our case, it meant taking the time to research the neighborhoods we wanted to bike to and even some solid restaurants to have in our back pocket for when we got hungry — but it also meant letting go of the feeling that we had to do any of those things.
For example, one day we were on our way to a museum when we spotted an epic outdoor farmer’s market. We decided to let go of our afternoon plans and walk the 5+ blocks of the market — and while we were exploring, I recognized Casey Neistat, an American filmmaker who came on my radar via his amazing video about biking the streets of New York City. We introduced ourselves and had a nice conversation about our respective travels through Amsterdam.
Having a clear direction to the day got us going, but it was being open and having an adventurers’ mindset that made it particularly memorable.
I don’t think this is revolutionary — but since it saved our honeymoon, I thought it was worth sharing with you.