I tend to get a bit carried away during the planning phase of a trip. As soon as my flights are booked, I start perusing Airbnb to scope out the best places to stay, consulting travel guides for sightseeing tips, and scrolling through Instagram to find hidden gems that may not be covered by the aforementioned travel guides. I like discovering restaurants frequented by locals and scouting out sites that are a bit off the beaten path.
While I admittedly enjoy the planning process, Jack Kerouac's novels make a strong case for the unplanned adventure. His impulse-driven plots have a romantic quality that my well-researched itineraries simply can't match. Living out of a backpack while mountaineering in Northern California, drinking whiskey in the back of a flatbed truck in Montana, hiking along remote shorelines in Big Sur. Kerouac's idealistic tendencies make for undeniably interesting travel logs.
Despite the fact that many of Kerouac's protagonists' adventures often border on misadventures, they're filled with an authenticity that comes from planning with a light touch. Though I don't necessarily want to scavenge for bus money mid-trip, I do want to leave more room for Kerouac-esque wandering during my travels.
Here are some tips for embracing Kerouac's not-all-who-wander-are-lost approach to traveling, if you'd like some travel inspiration for your next adventure.