A trip in the making
Before the trip comes the planning. And sometimes the plan is more fun than the trip.
Planning is a time for making decisions, which isn’t always easy. Settling on an itinerary, selecting lodging, figuring out transportation and choosing activities and sights. Sometimes that means making sacrifices. There’s never as much time as I want to go everywhere I want to go.
It’s also a time for anticipation, for imagining the trip and learning about the places I’ll visit.
When planning a trip, everything goes smoothly. I am never tired, my feet never hurt, I don’t get lost or miss a train or lose anything. Planning is like the perfect dress rehearsal.
Usually, the performance doesn’t end up going quite so perfectly. But that’s part of the adventure!
(Update to a version originally published July 23, 2018)
Today I sent in my final payment for my upcoming trip. I had most of the general itinerary locked in last July, and now I have added a lot of activities, local tours, and day trips. Some stuff I’ll still be leaving up to chance; serendipity is a great tour guide! But there’s so much I want to see and do, and sometimes advance planning and guided tours make things more efficient.
After I finalized the dates and cities for my trip, JayWay came up with several options for lodging in each city. But I was not really pleased with many of the options. I was really hoping for apartment‐style lodging, but in most every instance they offered only hotels.
So I asked them to come up with some different choices, and after a few days, they updated the list. This time, I was very happy, and I made my selections.
And now the countdown is on: 36 days until departure!
Two weeks from today I arrive in Costa Rica for my next big adventure, and my first excursion to Central America.
I am planning on blogging daily, or at least most days as long as WiFi is available. But I’m thinking of trying something new, or at least something I haven’t done in a long time. Read on for more about that.
When I finally decide to take a trip, I don’t waste time. I’ve now gone from dreaming of a possible trip to Costa Rica to having made (almost) all my plans! I’m taking two weeks at the end of December to experience some of the highlights of this country that’s been near the top of my bucket list for a long time. And I decided to work with a CR‐based travel agency, Anywhere, for my ground arrangements.
Some trips plan themselves. Others require thinking and rethinking, a lot of second guessing, trade‐offs, sacrifices in the name of time, and tough decisions for reasons of practicality.
Take, for instance, the trip I’m planning for next spring to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
Perhaps a post about where I’m thinking of going isn’t an imagined adventure so much as it is a plan for a real journey. But I’m posting this under “Imagined Adventures” because right now I’m imagining these trips over the next year.
You know that feeling you get when you’ve planned a trip that includes a one‐day jaunt into Brazil, and so you have to get vaccinations that cost over $300 and you have to pay an additional $265 to apply for a Visa?
Yeah, me too…
After my four‐week tour in South America this November, staying in fourteen different places and flying twelve separate legs, I decided I will need a post‐vacation vacation.
Luckily, I work for a company that closes our office for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Last year I went to San Francisco for the week and had a great time. But this year I decided to look for a relaxing getaway where it will be warm and quiet.
I decided to look for somewhere in Mexico. My criteria were that it had to be relatively easy to get to and it had to be a place that wouldn’t be overrun with tourists (especially American tourists).
I’m very excited about my next trip, which will take me to a new continent (my third after North America and Europe). I’m going to be spending four weeks visiting Argentina and Chile (with a brief jaunt into Brazil).
I decided to try a tour this time, and I have mixed feelings about it. I am sure there will be times when I miss the independence I have come to cherish when I travel, but I am also hoping that having all the arrangements being taken care of for me by someone else will make it less stressful. This trip also covers a lot of ground: in addition to my flights there and back, there are seven internal flights and some long travel days. There are also some cultural exchange activities that would be very difficult to organize on my own. It’s also a tour that is guaranteed to have no more than 16 participants. so that should make it much more pleasant than traveling with a large herd of tourists. I’m hoping all these elements outweigh the negatives of traveling with a group.