| || |
January 3, 2013 - David Alexander
Vacations never last as long as we all would like. Perhaps something inherent in human nature causes us to waste downtime. Then, after a period of relaxation, we wake up and realize that we should have spent our off time better.
Then again, I would never want to ascribe to my grandmother’s method. As I previously wrote in an earlier blog, my mom’s mom constantly frets about what is next while visiting family. And while I hardly think that is a healthy way to be, I certainly think we all would like to get a little more out of our recreational time.
My philosophy while in Michigan was as it always is: have no concrete plans ahead of time, make tentative plans while there and be flexible. I find that system works great for me. Maybe it works because my friends and family are settled into a comfortable routine and know their schedules or maybe they simply work hard to accommodate me when I am in town.
Either way, it works. I understand this outlook wouldn’t work while traveling with the wife to cities where I don’t have a network of friends and family. But that all goes back to being flexible. When I visit somewhere I have never been, I plan loosely. I schedule a few things that happen at a specific time or place, but overall I look into doing things that can happen anytime, then I plan on the fly.
Once I know which museum I want to visit or which company I want to go through for snorkeling, it makes planning that event easier for me, or rather for my wife who does most of the scut work when either of us travel.
Yes, the key to traveling is planning. But I cannot overstate how important it is not to lose sight of why you are traveling to begin with: to have fun; being too rigid or allowing the stress of the logistics to get to you doesn’t do anyone any good.
So what if you get stranded in a strange town or miss hooking up with a friend. Look at it as an adventure, a chance to experience something new. At the very least, it will make a good horror story, which everyone loves. Who knows, you might even make a new friend telling it at a café or bar.