Travel -A chance to improvise?

ralph_4The coolest thing about travel is the chance to improvise. To break away from the habits and expectations that keep us in a routine at home, reluctant to break away and do the unexpected, the untried, the not-recommended.

Most of us aren’t good at improvising because we don’t do enough of it. So when we travel, we may have to forcibly steer our minds off the grid of rigid plans and conventions. A good way to start is to think of improvisation as freedom.

An artist we know on an island not far from Seattle reports that many of the tourists who stumble onto his sculpture garden and end up buying a piece to take home are first-time art buyers. They’ve never considered it before, or taken the chance. Untethered from the mainland and home, they suddenly feel free to try something new and unexpected.

Same with giving in to the sudden impulse to try an introductory kiteboarding lesson. An appetizer of baby eels in Barcelona. The open-air opera in Rome.

The other side of improvisation is drawing on our inner resources or the contents of our travel duffel for a fix when things go wrong. High on the all-time great-example list would be the Alaskan bush pilot who repaired his plane with duct tape after a bear attacked it, trying to get to the fish dinner stashed inside.

There’s nothing with making a schedule and reservations for a trip. But when things go awry, it might just be opportunity instead of disappointment. Missed the connection to Fresno? Wait, what about that evening flight to Maui up there on the board?

We like what the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen said: “Adventure is just bad planning.”

Of course it helps to be prepared to improvise. At Bucky we make products that are inherently improvisation-friendly: sleep masks to help you grab a nap anywhere, inflatable neck pillows to relax those stressed neck and shoulder muscles on the way to Maui, and the Baxter back pillow that adapts in ways we haven’t even thought of ourselves. Recently a prominent National Geographic photographer blogged that he’d found a new use for a Bucky travel pillow: as an improvised beanbag for steadying his camera while shooting from the rail of a moving boat.

“Be prepared to improvise” may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. It just means being ready to let go of the picture stuck in the mind and make room for a new one.

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Bucky, Inc has been natural and sustainable since our first comfort accessories in 1992, using buckwheat and millet fill for every one of our pillows and heatable wraps.

It’s more than cool to be green, it’s essential. And when nature provides the finest comfort in the world, there’s no reason to look anywhere else.

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