Sometimes I travel with no plan, agenda and little knowledge of a place before arriving. I like the unknown, carefree part of this approach to travel. I also like the idea of picking a small place close to home and wandering into town to ‘see what there is to see.’

Canadian rock musician, Joel Plaskett, has a song called “Nowhere with you.” He sings about the old-school joy of wandering out for the evening and finding things to do along the way. No pre-plan, no goal or objective other than to hang around with someone you like to be with and see what happens.

You say you got nowhere that you’re going to
Can I go nowhere with you?

– Joel Plaskett, Nowhere With You

For a recent weekend get-away, my husband and I needed a ‘nowhere-for-the-weekend’ kind of place to chill out for a couple days without too many exciting activities to entice us away from relaxation and naps. Our only plan was to recharge with a pile of books, a sketchpad and our bicycles in a sleepy small town.

We chose Port Colborne, Ontario, which is less that two hours from our home. We knew it was beside the Welland Canal and had several beaches because the town sites on the north shores of Lake Erie. Neither of us had been there before. Other than that, we knew nothing and didn’t bother to do much research. It was only one weekend, after all.

Just like the song says, “we spent our pennies bumming around” with drinks on patios and a street art market. We “kill[ed] some time” watching the ships move up and down through Bridge 21 right outside our apartment accommodations at Pilot Landing. We biked to the beach to watch the kite surfers. We walked along the canal to watch more boats go by.

Our best discovery was the “Seaway Map.” This online, real-time map shows what ships are where within the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. Like tiny battleship pieces, yellow ships on the map are “downbound” (headed toward the Atlantic Ocean) and red ships are “upbound” (headed in the opposite direction, away from the Atlantic ocean). A handy reference list names each ship in the Seaway and includes details about its length, width and country of origin.

I never expected to learn the difference between a “laker,” a “deep sea freighter” and a “tanker” on a weekend getaway. I learned to spot the difference just by their shape and silhouette.

Plan less, explore more

I’m a big fan of planning less and being open to what ever adventures a places has in store. I will happily and confidently “go nowhere” for the weekend knowing that I have “nothing to do” when I get there. And, I’ll love every minute of it.

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