*The concept of “Negative Capability” was originally developed by Keats, which is examined in the book Mastery by Robert Greene.

“Negative Capability” is the ability to temporarily suspend a person’s ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert judgement, for as long as possible. 

I was so excited to read about this concept because that is how I plan travel for each of my clients.

While I first speak to people, whether new clients or repeating clients, about a new trip, I  suspend judgement and just listen to what the client is telling me in their own words. I hear their desire, their goals, and their wishes that have created this particular desire to travel. I hear their emotion and their passion.

I take notes. I note the emotion I am feeling in response to what I am being told. I note why the client has come to me  whether from frustration at the myriad of choices, to being a referral from a client of mine, to simply wishing to work with me.

All of this information I mull, often for days, allowing ideas and thoughts come to mind of the experiences, locations, and views  that match this particular request. I make notes on these thoughts and feelings, lots of notes, sometimes I do more research into a particular island or lagoon, or city, until I know that I have enough information and ideas to begin to piece together and itinerary.

The timing of when to begin to plan an itinerary is a feeling of “the time is right” a gut feeling, much like I developed while sailing around the world. When sailing you develop, if you allow yourself to, a gut feeling to everything that happens around you. You watch the weather, you watch the sea, you watch the wildlife, and you watch and listen to the locals. Not making judgments, but allowing yourself to see and feel and hear what is going on around you.  All clues as to how to plan your next segment of your trip or your life. I do the same with each itinerary. It is during the listening, seeing, and hearing without judgement that new ideas or concepts come to you. When listening to an engine you pick up signs of what might need adjusting or repairing to avoid problems later on. My dad taught me this when very young. He would always ask me what I heard in the engine when it was running, what I saw when it was running and when it was not. He did all of this without judgement until he had heard and saw what was necessary to know what was needed to do.

Which brings me to the travel comment sites which so many people use. My thoughts are these:

1.) Everyone is unique.

2.) Each unique person views the world from their unique point of view.

3.) Each person’s unique point of view is enhanced and expanded by that person’s learning, experience and accrual of knowledge.

4.) Anything else is advertising, something used to influence another person’s point of view. This is not knowledge it is persuasion to another’s point of view. Why? Because you do not know the motivation, the basis of experience from anyone else.

I use “Negative Capability” as coined by Keats, because I can only advise clients from a place where I suspend my “bias” “my point of view” while I connect with each client and hear, feel and experience their point of view. Then and only then can I create a unique trip for each unique point of view. Trips that touch the heart, express the explorer in each traveler, and expands the traveler’s learning, knowledge and experience.

It expands each traveler’s “Point of View” to new levels of uniqueness.

Let me give you a small example:

We have all heard of the saying, “If today is Tuesday, it must be Belgium.” If someone says to you that,”I have just booked a tour of Europe that has 8-countries in 10-days,” what would you say or think? Whatever that is, is your own unique bias. It is not bad or good, it is just the unique you, but it has nothing to do on the other person that is going to 8-countries in 10-days.

When you suspend that bias, you then hear and feel that other human and their uniqueness. That is very special, and human.

Enjoy the day!

Kleon