Wednesday, 29 March 2017
I love to plan things. Especially holidays - they are my very favourite things to plan. I like to research my destinations, find possible adventures, and then fit as many of them into my or our ( if the whole family is travelling) trip as possible. For example, on my way to India in 2015 we had a brief overnight stop in Singapore - I'd already researched the best place to go for a run, so at 6am (after a midnight arrival), I took a taxi to this super cool park with monkeys & rain forest and did the Singapore equivalent of the tan track. It was really cool, and there's no way I could have done it if I hadn't planned it first - I simply wouldn't have had time to research and execute the plan in the small window of time that was available.
So.. my idea of holiday-hell would be something like a 'surprise' holiday - one where I didn't know where I was going, and thus couldn't plan at all. When we did the Three Capes Track last year, there was a large group of Belgian walkers for whom the destination was only revealed once they got to Dubai. Uff. Also my boss took her partner on a 'mystery' international holiday recently. Luckily her partner is not a planner, so he wouldn't have minded a bit, but I certainly wouldn't have coped with the pre-holiday-uncertainty and arriving without a clue about the destination. Also my favourite holidays are doing-things holidays, not sitting-around-the-pool-drinking-cocktail holidays - although we did have a nice time doing that in Penang on our way home from Norway a while ago - but it did take us about 2 days to get into the swing of it - particularly after the adventure-fest that was Norway.
I think I secretly harbour a fear that if we don't do the fun things *now*, there's no guarantee we'll ever be back to do them later - maybe because of time or finances or ill-health, or whatever reason - and thus that cool thing, or the opportunity to do that cool thing (which could just be as simple as hike), could be lost forever. Not just that but I really truly enjoy finding out about where we are going, and what there is to do, and then working on a way to make the most of our time there. It's a large part of the holiday that can be experienced before the holiday has even begun - how super efficient is that!
And that is why there's currently a map on the kitchen bench that looks like this..
It's been even more fun to plan it this time because Zali has gotten in on the research as well. When she discovered that there were actual real life glaciers in NZ (just today in fact), she made sure we won't miss them..
Now I fully acknowledge that having a plan might blind us to unexpected discoveries or perhaps we simply miss out on the fun of spontaneity - and I do secretly admire people who are so relaxed about things that they can arrive at a place with absolutely no pans at all - but that's not me. My thoughts are that just because it's planned, doesn't mean it's set in stone. Plans can always change, but having them in the first place frees you up to get straight into the adventures.