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Travel Style

The Daily Post posted this writing prompt this morning, and I decided to write something about it.

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

I’m a little of column A and a little of column B when I travel. I don’t like to just head out with absolutely no idea where I’m going or when I want to be there, but I also am loathe to plan out every detail of a trip.

Generally when I travel (not that I’ve travelled much at this stage) I plan a loose itinerary. I figure out where I’m planning to spend the night and if there’s anything I want to make sure I see on the way and go from there.

The result has been some amazing scenic drives and the freedom to stop whenever I saw something neat without feeling a ton of time pressure.

Some days, like when I drove the Cabot trail, stopping every time I wanted to has meant a lot more time on the road than anticipated. But I’ve also met really cool people: the women in Cheticamp who taught me how to rug hook the Acadian way, some buddhist monks, and an historian who happened to know all about the part of Scotland my family originated in.

The flip side is by not planning out every detail of every day when I travel, I probably miss out on a lot of really cool things I might have decided to check out had I done more research and planned more before I left.

The idea of planning every moment stresses me out. I go on vacation to relax and exist outside of my schedule-oriented life. One of the best parts of being on vacation is not having to look at a clock to check that I’m where I’m supposed to be. Taking out my phone to take a picture after my camera battery dies instead of to respond to texts and e-mails from people who all insist they need my attention RIGHT NOW.

Having a schedule works well for me in my every day life. It keeps me from spending the whole day doing nothing, and the self-imposed deadlines get me up and going. My work certainly isn’t adaptable to no schedule right now. Lists and deadlines and meetings are an important part of it and when I adhere to the day’s itinerary I do better at the job.

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