They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem – so this is confession time. I hear time and time again that you need to be loose with your itinerary, allow room for things to happen, don’t over-schedule. Well my friends, I confess that I have a problem. I obsess over the planning phase of travel. I spend countless hours researching, reading guides, reviews, googling everything and anything related to the destination, and yes, I even analyze and study maps to see what is in the area and how to best maximize my time. While others stress over planning a trip, I pretty much live for it. I look forward to planning my next trip like an alcoholic looks forward to their next glass of booze.
I have many friends and even family members who dread independent travel, they do not want to “waste” time planning. They want all their details taken care of. They just want to show up and be taken from point A to point B and simply enjoy. There is certainly nothing wrong with an escorted tour, they actually do have many advantages. I just happen to enjoy independent travel.
The main reason is that planning and researching my trip is a big part of what generates joy for me. Yes you heard me right – planning a trip, every single last detail of it, gives me joy. It gives me a sense of excitement and builds my anticipation. Finding that perfect hotel, in the perfect location, at that perfect price point thrills me. Planning what to do by researching all the must see attractions, and also finding those little out of the way places excites me. Sign me up for travel planners anonymous – I did say I needed help!!!
Now don’t go thinking that all this planning means I am a control freak that must have her way. That is not the case – well not exactly. I do ask for advice and feedback from my travel partners (usually my husband and 2 girls). I do take into consideration what they are looking forward to do and see so I can make the trip a memorable experience for all of us. And trust me, it is not easy to accommodate the likes and dislikes of my crew, but somehow I manage. I just have to make sure I research it all and find the best ways to fit it all in. Which brings me to my next point.
I over-schedule. Yes many times I come home needing a vacation from my vacation. But God help me, there are just too many things I want to see and experience, and unfortunately not enough time to do it all. I am one of those who likes to get up early (how else will you catch that beautiful sunrise) and get to it. I do not normally go on vacation to sleep the day away. There will be enough time for that once I no longer have the energy to rove. How does that saying go? – The early bird misses the crowd! Yes, I am aware that is not how it goes, but it is the truth. And when you travel with school aged children you are faced with the reality that travel will most likely be during “high season”. This equates to high crowds. So getting up early is a good way to not only fit everything in, but actually enjoy part of the day without a gazillion people all around you.
Well, not sure I will be cured anytime soon. Thankfully this is not something that will kill me. Maybe one day I will take it easy and plan to not have a plan. But quite frankly we can all live with more joy in our lives and if planning a trip gives me joy then so be it.
What do you need to confess? What trip are you planning for next?
Until next time and Happy Roving!!!