Thursday, February 15, 2007

Travel Philosophy

Over Sunday dinner I was mocked by another diner for my desire to plan my trips. She claimed that this kind of planning does not allow for spontaneity. I disagree. It is precisely the planning that allows me to be comfortable, informed, and open to serendipity.

Here is an excerpt from Rick Steves' website:
Traveler 'A' takes off to Europe as a free spirit, without much planning, no real itinerary...and returns home with a backpack full of complaints about how expensive and stressful it all was. Traveler 'B' prepares for weeks as though her trip were some kind of final exam, mapping out a detailed day-to-day plan...and returns home with rich stories of spontaneous European adventures. It's the classic paradox of good travel: structure rewards a traveler with freedom, and "winging it" becomes a ball-and-chain of too many decisions, too
little information...and precious little time to relax.

1 comment:

Leonard the Everypotato said...

I'm the B type, but having an itinerary doesn't mean you have to stick with it, it's just stuff you COULD do if you felt like it. A plan that I make for myself is more of a flow chart: If I'm in this city on this day, I could do this and this and then go to this other city. Or, if I'm in this city and I'm tired on this day, I'll do this, this, and, instead of going to this other city, I'll stay here and do this and this and have another night in the hotel.

A itinerary is an outline, not a completed work, with lots of contingency plans attached to it. Having a good, flexible itinerary makes me more confident. Here endeth the condethcending leththon. I'm going to go light some candles and incense in front of my Rick Steves picture.