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I used to live close enough to Venice to go for the weekend. Once, I went camping there, and spent a glorious afternoon seeking out the narrowest alley. We quickly moved away from all of the touristy stuff — which, you may be amazed to learn, is not all of Venice — and found ourselves in beautiful, quiet neighborhood after beautiful, quiet neighborhood. It’s not something in any guidebook, but it’s an amazing way to see the city, and turn the usual tourist trudge into an adventure.

Some people thrive when they have everything all planned out, with fully-researched itineraries and set times for everything. Some other people prefer to go where the wind takes them, and feel like too much planning might prevent them from seeing something amazing and spontaneous.

Well, I mean, kind of. It turns out the distinction between Type A and Type B personalities may be a myth. But some people definitely have more anxiety about winging it — or having things organized for them — than others.

I helped throw a birthday party for my sister this weekend. My contribution was to buy the food and drink, and do some cooking and driving. We floated down the Russian River, played music, ate and laughed together. And then:

“It’s lavender season,” someone said. “I want to walk through a field of lavender.”

So we packed ourselves up and found ourselves sat out at a picnic table in the middle of the countryside, with a few bottles of wine and some things to eat, surrounded by the smell of flowers.

It was a completely spontaneous moment that made the weekend. I’m still thinking about it.

I want more lavender moments in my life: moments of spontaneous beauty created by people with the wherewithal to look for it. Discovering new things, laughing with friends and watching sunrises and sunsets are some of the things that make life magical. And everyone deserves to live a life with a little magic.

Of course, you can’t plan for it. But you can find people willing to join in the adventure.

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Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.

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