Great expectations

Published 11:01 am Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things rarely turn out the way I expect them to.

Take this weekend, for example.

In a quest to prove my freedom and fulfill a desire to have a great adventure, I packed up my Kia and headed north to the familiar territory of Northwestern Minnesota. My goal, at the time of its inception, seemed simple. I would find a campground, pitch my tent and spend the weekend taking in the last few days of summer in the great outdoors. I expected . . . complete bliss.

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But as I said before, things rarely go as planned.

Maybe I should have planned my trip out a bit more thoroughly — rather than just picking out random campsites from the Google ap on my Droid, I could have researched them to be sure the one I chose was everything I would expect it to be. But for someone looking for a spontaneous adventure, that seemed to take the fun out of it.

So, with my Droid/GPS in hand, I set out on a digitally enhanced adventure in the Detroit Lakes area.

My first stop? An RV park that looked more like a trailer court than a campground. This, I had said to my friend, who was accompanying me on my qwest, was exactly the opposite of what I was looking for. We couldn’t help but wonder who would choose to leave the comforts of their home to file into an RV park that offered no opportunity of respite from the hectic cycle of “real” life.

I wish I could say things got better from that point, but they didn’t. Each site was more claustrophobic than the next. And while the situation was frustrating, I was fortunate enough to be with a friend who I can laugh with — even when faced with the most disappointing of scenarios.

In the end, rather than settling for a plot of grass in the midst of a large RV park labor day party, I accepted my defeat and turned around.

At first, I felt like I had failed myself. My big plans had crumbled around me. But looking back, I realize that while my experience may not have been what I had planned, it actually may have been better. I didn’t freeze, I enjoyed some time at the lake, I ate great pizza and I had the chance to spend one last summer day with a great friend.

While I’ll probably continue to make plans and build up expectations of grandeur in my head, I’ll take comfort knowing that if my course takes an unexpected turn, things likely won’t be that bad — In fact, they might just be better.