When I found out that none of my family members were planning for their July Bali/Singapore trip, I jumped at the opportunity and began my research on preparing their itinerary. Am I crazy, planning so enthusiastically for a trip I am not going on? I like the planning portion of any trip the most. More like daydreaming actually.
After going on 3 foreign vacations and already planning for the next one, I have realized that more than the excitement experienced when you take off for the vacation, the excitement lies in planning for the trip. The research on the places you are visiting, the preparations, informing your friend (updating on Facebook and the subsequent Likes and Oohs & Aaahs of friends), the shopping (‘I need 6 pairs of shorts since I can’t be photographed in the same pair on all the days) and dreaming about your photographs in amazing locales in your new clothes. Yeah, I admit. I’ve done it all.
But that’s the fun of it! I’ve been dreaming about my yet-to-be-finalized trip to Greece and Turkey trip since more than 6 months now (before I even went on my Australia tour in November end). It is so exciting to read about the weather, the food, and the photographs and mentally start planning what you are going to wear where!
My first trip was to south-east Asia in the summer of 2007 with my family. My. The heights of my excitement! My bag was packed up a month in advance. The same thing happened before my Switzerland tour in 2008.
Planning for my recent Australia trip was most thrilling because I was travelling there alone! It was totally my trip. I decided what it shaped into. And so I made n number of to-do and packing lists (I dumped the ‘Things I want to see in Australia’ list because it contained almost everything that is in Australia; not what I could see in a 14-day trip). My packing lists are generally very specific (eg, the red shorts, the yellow spaghetti, the Olay body wash) and so, I packed up all my clothes 1 month in advance. Ha. I marveled at my planning skills.
I also made elaborate to-do lists. I have a day job (which went in sub-consciously daydreaming about my trip) and hence, I had little time left to do all the purchases. I had to buy gifts for the cousins and friend I was visiting; I had to get some more clothes for myself; I had to upload e-books on my Blackberry; I had to buy a charger or new batteries for my camera or a new camera itself! Phew.
And then there were the discussions with friends – on Facebook, at work and otherwise. Everyone seemed to be as excited as me. Everybody planning for me, with me. I also mailed my Aussie cousins and friend almost every day (5 mails per day), interrupting their peaceful, routine lives, stalked them on Gtalk and asked them several questions on what I should bring, what I should wear and how the bookings were shaping up.
Amid all the excitement and discussions and planning came panic. I suddenly realize I had hardly any time left and my to-do and packing lists have become items of admiration of my own work to me. My mind goes blank. Like the excitement, the panic also spreads to my friends (I make sure that happened, knowingly or unknowingly). Now there is alarm everywhere.
To top it all, my parents express their panic all the time. Where are you going to keep your passport & money? Are you sure you won’t lose your passport? Don’t sleep or you’ll miss the flight. Don’t accept tiny packets of white powder from strangers. All leading to a self-doubt – Will I even reach Australia? Blah.
My best buddies come to rescue. I share with them my pending to-do lists and we put dates against each item. They assure me that everything is in line and there is no need to panic but I am still spending sleepless nights. They leave aside their work and help me with my shopping. And yeah, soon everything’s done, without having to actually buy everything on my to-do list.
I look back at all my trip planning phases and my hands are itching to go through such a phase again
PS: I reached Australia safely, with no hassles, and had a super fun time!