I have a love/hate relationship with travel. It’s my reason for being, but just as in the rest of life, it has its annoying bits, too. To date, the good far outweighs the bad.
I really hate packing for a trip. That’s why I came up with a master pack list, which I update as needed, and then modify for the trip in question. No need for winter coats on that trip to Hawaii, after all. Oddly, this list also helps me avoid over packing, because I don’t overdo it for fear that I’m forgetting something important.
I also hate the stress-of-getting-to-your-destination part if I’m flying by plane or have to arrive at my hotel before they close, and so on. I don’t breathe easy until I’m in my room, and all my luggage has arrived with me. Then, let the fun begin! (That’s why road trips can be awesome, because you know you’ve got your stuff and nobody will lose it, and the journey is part of the fun.)
Naturally, I adore the actual being-there-and-experiencing-things part of travel. But I also love planning a trip with someone who is willing to actively participate in that part. I like deciding where we’ll go, and when, and what we’ll do. I like reading up on the region to find out what to see. I like learning its history, and if needed, it’s fun to have a rudimentary command of the language. I like watching movies about the area. I like reading guidebooks and deciding which places to stay.
I also find that the more homework you do on the front end, the smoother the trip will be. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting home from a trip and discovering that you had been really close to something amazing without realizing it. I see that as an epic fail.
I’m very lucky in that I now have a travel partner who enjoys the planning as much as I do. We both make an effort to include things that the other person is interested in. (More often than not we are into the same things, so that makes it easy.) He’s also as willing to try new food and have new adventures as I am. I don’t ever feel as if I’m dragging him along against his will, or that the burden of trip planning falls solely on my shoulders, so that makes it fun, even before the actual fun kicks in.
Don’t deprive yourself of the planning part of travel! It’s almost as good as the real thing. And then, of course, there’s coming home and blogging about it…
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