Personal Growth

Being OK with OK

Quoted The Life-Changing Magic of Ignoring the Ratings by Brendan Leonard (Outside Magazine)

When you go into something thinking it will be a five-star experience, are you setting yourself up for disappointment? I think so.

I wouldn’t turn down a day on any of the “Best Hikes Ever,” but there are only so many of those, and I’ve had a lot of days—actually, no, the majority of my best days—on trails that don’t ever make anyone’s list and don’t get rated on TripAdvisor.

I think that’s what I like so much about the idea of No-Star Tuesdays—something that requires creativity and imagination, instead of just checking a “best of” list, and also says, “We can have fun doing anything.”

— Brendan Leonard

I feel like I fall into the trap when traveling of needing to find an awesome restaurant and a great hotel and the best itinerary — and then when I don’t I feel disappointed or guilty that I’ve squandered the opportunity. Traveling is hard because you only have a limited time to be there, a limited number of meals to eat and nights to sleep. I’m drawn to this perspective of being ok with whatever you get, and sometimes saying screw the research. I’ve been working on doing less research for most purchases, but experiences are tougher, because I have also experienced the other way and gone somewhere and actually missed out on things because I didn’t do enough research.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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