As many of you know, I am a self-proclaimed “crazy-anal-producer-planner”. I keep detailed, color-coded calendars. I run budgets with rigorous efficiency. I take furious notes during conference calls. And let’s not even talk about what I do at work.
As you can imagine, when it comes time to plan a big trip, I go a little nuts. The fusion of what I am good at and what I am passionate about sends all of my organizational synapses into a frenzy. Printed reservations filed in chronological order? Check. Maps, directions and phone numbers stapled to the appropriate confirmations? You betcha. And don’t even get me started on the excel spreadsheets of our budget. (I only wish I was kidding.)
I also have this nagging voice inside me that wants to make sure I am experiencing the very best any city has to offer. And I clearly cannot do this without knowing what ALL of my options are. A peek over my travel planning shoulder and you will see at least five windows open on my desktop. Cross referencing Lonely Planet’s suggestions with Orbitz’s prices with TripAdvisor’s reviews. Google maps of course to scout out where everything is in relation to what we want to visit. And some Rough Guide advice for good measure.
Whether it’s a restaurant or a hotel, a guided tour or a secluded beach, I strive for that sweet spot where price meets location meets service. And I gotta tell you, I am damn good at it.
Imagine my horror at the thought of landing in an un-researched destination. Grabbing a cab to the nearest hostel. Booking a safari cause some guy on the street said it was the best. Allowing our whims to carry us through each day, stumbling upon whatever adventure lies in our path. I break out in a sweat just thinking about it.
I think this notion is what I am most excited about for this trip. Letting go of my death grip on control. Knowing that we will be OKAY without a plan. Finding the things that no guidebook could have ever lead us to. I am overwhelmingly excited and fiercely terrified by the thought of it. And I think I will grow tremendously as a result of it.