I’ve got my travel mojo back and have been spending hours trawling the internet for ideas, itineraries and tips. One thing that strikes me is that there are a lot of organised people out there. People who actually prepare maps marked up with daily itineraries for their cycle tours and who want to pre-organise meet ups with others walking the Camino de Santiago de Compastella. Now, I know I’ve booked a lot of flights in advance (see What’s Booked Next page). But I haven’t actually given that much thought to my actual itineraries when I arrive in the countries. The only exception so far is Malaysia but that’s because we only have 11 days, a tighter budget than Thailand and needed to book car hire for a few days. But, by and large, I am finding it impossible to plan my itineraries ahead of time. The airplane on the way over to a country seems to be where I finally decide to look properly (in the case of Korea I just sort of made it up as I went along).
I often wonder whether I should be planning my trips more. Should I be looking at a route before I book flights? Or should I just keep spontaneously booking them when they are on sale (case in point – my upcoming trip to Cambodia that I booked because airfares were cheap)? Sheldon Brown suggests working out an itinerary 3-6 months before departure but I will be in Japan in about 3 weeks and all I know is that I fly into Osaka and out of Tokyo (and that some roads in the Japanese Alps will still be closed due to snow).
A big part of this period in my life is learning to accept me just as I am. Perhaps part of that is learning that I am too lazy to prepare itineraries and route maps. Or maybe I just have so many things going on at once that I can’t look beyond the next step; let alone to the specifics of a trip that I will take in 3-6 months time. Oh and then there’s the issue of me being incredibly impulsive. Sometimes I just go ahead and book something because I don’t want to overthink it.
So on that note, instead of planning my cycle touring itinerary in Japan, I might work out how many days I can spend in Swedish Lapland without going over my 90 / 180 day Schengan region entry allowance. And then I think it’s time to watch a movie. Because I just don’t feel like planning … I rather just get on a plane and go.
(PS: My post is not meant to offend those who do like to plan … you will see more “sights” than me and probably find cheaper more comfortable accommodations too)