After having spent 2,5 days in total freedom and self-reliance in San Francisco, I made my way to the pick-up location for my 4-day-bus tour to Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas first thing Monday morning.
How can a freespirited individual like me subject herself to being stuck in the tight schedule of this “tour“? I honestly have no idea. Originally, I just did not want to rent a car and drive those huge distances by myself, nor did I feel keen on travelling alone for my whole time in the US. I naively thought the bus tour would cater to my needs: somebody else is driving, and I have company in the group.
In hindsight, I should have known that this was a bad idea. First of all, this bus has no wifi, so all the blogging I am doing can’t be published, which is frustrating. Second, the tour guide is exceptionally annoying and likes to hear himself speak though he actually has little to say. (Thankfully, I am not the only one that feels this way, and I have shared some laughs and knowing smiles with two fellow group members, best friends from the Philippines!) Thirdly, my group largely consists of people that could be my parents but are from Asia, so I do find it hard to feel part of it. Lastly, and this is something I had anticipated, yet does still annoy me: we have so little time at the actual places I wanted to see. I knew the distances and the length of travel, of course; but I wanna feel the places I visit, not just take a pic and have it checked off the to-see-list.
Take Yosemite. We drove for more than six hours there, and only were given 2,5 hours in the actual park. I felt my annoyance level rise with every “photo stop“. As if the beauty of this immense NP could be captured in 15-minute-slots. Fortunately, for my guide’s safety and my own sanity, the major part of these 2,5 hours we could roam freely. So that’s what I did 🙂 Stunning. I wish I had had more time there!
In order to keep my sanity, I vowed to be positive about this tour since I booked it and want to make the most of it. That is my game plan:
– write a “I am thankful for..“ diary (e.g.: the hotel room yesterday was luxurious, I had a hot bath and a huge bed to sleep in.. 🙂 )
– write blogs on the bus
– switch on the music when the guide is speaking
– try to connect to some group members, they might be cool
– avoid any additional activities I can join in with the group
– get off the bus as much as I can
– enjoy the landscape and try to empty my mind
– read inspiring magazine I bought at home
– grasp anti-stress ball I bought at home, too, on a hunch, when my annoyance level is rising
– breathe and meditate without wifi
Luckily, my brain can filter quite well, and just saves the more memorable moments over the annoying ones.
Finally, it occurred to me that I might have outgrown guided tours. That is an inspiring thought! 🙂