To plan or not to plan…that’s not a question!

Image: jannoon028 /

Way back when (last month) I decided I would try out a “new me”. No plans – just me, my passport and an open mind. Anyone who knows me knows that’s not how I usually travel. Usually there are spreadsheets involved. Multiple spreadsheets. But this is my big trip. My journey of self-discovery. Plan schman!

Of course, it’s only common sense to research the places you plan to go a little. Key points like weather, proximity to other desired locations, known issues for solo females, etc. No problems there. I’m still spontaneous. It’s all good.

Common sense to also check out some accommodation in these places. After all, I don’t want to spend the last day in place X finding a non-flea-ridden bed in place Y. The only sensible thing to do is to pick out an option 1 & 2 in each destination, and categorise them geographically on delicious. No worries. I’m not actually booking anything!

Now, what if I get to place X and discover that there is actually no reasonable way to get to place Y. Just because they look close on the map (Zadar & Ronvinj, you know who you are!), doesn’t mean you won’t need 4 weeks and your own donkey to get between them. Best to have a loose idea of connections between all of your major destinations. And if I happen to come across the price of these transports, well, that’s just a happy coincidence, not extreme planning at all.

So today I find myself with a folder full of pdf brochures, timetables & lonely planet chapters. And a delicious account with more links than I could possibly ever revisit. Not to mention a three-tabbed excel file detailing flight connections & numbers the mammy can ring if I go missing.

I laugh at the youthful miss with dreamt of going “where the road leads me”. Turns out I’m not a project manager for nothing! But, it has to be said, I think I like my way of travelling. For instance, things my way of travelling taught me this month:

  • Eastern Europe does not heart single-sex dorms
  • Alot of hostels don’t offer security lockers
  • Getting from Skopje to Sarajevo is not simple
  • I cannot fold my map

I have discovered that, rather than being remembered as 6 weeks of drudgery and time-filling, these weeks are all about excitement and potential, changing itineraries & nights spent in my map plotting my world domination. It turns out, for me, planning to get there is actually half the fun!

Image: jannoon028 /


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