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Journal #12: Beware of The 'Best' Game

Be careful not to get caught up in the "best" game. When traveling around the world, it's easy to assume the mindset of craving the best travel experience possible.

When we booked a tour out to the islands of Guna Yala off the coast of Panama, I wanted to make sure we were going to the best island. Mind you, there are over 300 islands in Guna Yala. My mind was getting caught up in thinking, "Oh yeah, we're going to these islands, but I need to make sure that we go to the best one of all the islands to have the best experience."

Some of you are probably thinking, "Uh, that sounds innocent enough. What's the harm in wanting the best?"

It’s ok to want to make the most out of a trip, but that self-imposed pressure was stressing me out. The possibility of venturing out to these remote islands and potentially missing out on the most excellent one gave me anxiety. Then what happens when we get there? I'll constantly be wondering, "This is cool, but are there other people on some other island off in the distance having a better time, doing cooler things, laying under doper palm trees?"

I needed to shake myself. I constantly fall victim to that mentality, which distracts me from being in the moment on any given trip. I shouldn't be fixated on going to the best island in Panama. I need to remind myself instead,

"Tay, you are in Panama. You get to go to an island in the mother-freaking Caribbean! That is amazing, and don't forget it."

Also, news flash, if an island is considered the best, then chances are there will be way more 'besters' out there crowding up that island.

Please create your own best experience by making it simply your experience.

In November, I almost completely switched up our Costa Rica itinerary just days before leaving California. Why? Because I heard from one person that Jaco was not the best spot to visit on the Pacific coast.

I panicked. How could I not have done enough research to know this? I want to have the best Costa Rica experience, don't I? No, Tay. You are here to have YOUR OWN experience - good or bad. You're in it for the ride. Plus, who wants to have the same best experience as the next girl? What's exciting and different about that?

Both these experiences turned out to be better than Brett (oh yeah, that's my boyfriend) and I could have ever imagined.

Without the pressure of trying to out-best ourselves and others, we were living, living in two incredible places – and we had an absolute blast doing just that.

Now, I must acknowledge that for Brett and me, it's different. We can afford to take things slow and let things happen as they may because we are traveling long-term. There is more time for us to stumble upon a fantastic waterfall on our 7th walk of the month. More time for us to finally meet someone cool a the hostel bar upstairs.

But I encourage you to stop out-besting yourselves and start living on your vacations. Assess what you need in your 1-2 weeks of PTO and do just that. If you work a job that has you on your feet all-day-everyday, then don't feel wrong about slumping into the lounge chair at the pool all-day-everyday of your vacation.

You are the one taking this time for yourself. Make it yours.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My boyfriend and I started our digital nomad journey in December 2021. We're just starting out and want to share all the ups and downs with you!

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