Planning to Not Plan
With today being my last day at work, and Tigger’s last day at school, and our journey being just under 5 days away, I’m getting a LOT of questions about planning. It’s so funny how many times I’ve said this trip is indefinite, and I still get “So you’ll be gone about a year?” Perhaps they’re just having too hard of a time wrapping their brain around an indefinite trip. After all, we’re in America where any vacation that is longer than 2 weeks is pretty unusual. The other common question is “How is the planning going?” Planning? What is that?
Usually when I take a typical trip I do SOME planning. I mean, I know what dates I’ll be where, know where I’ll be staying, and have at least some idea of places I want to see and activities of interest. Pretty natural when you have only about 2 weeks in a place. But how do you plan for an indefinite trip? I’m sure it’s doable, but it isn’t part of my plan.
This trip is about doing the unusual. How much more unusual can an indefinite trip with a young child be? Well, unusual for me at least. This trip is about experiences. Usually when I travel it’s to visit places. In June I went to Peru to visit Machu Picchu. Since I was going to be there anyway, I managed to work in visiting other great places. This time the plan is to absorb. Sure, I’ll visit places, but this is more about the experience of living in other countries, savoring the cultures, learning, doing good, and being completely open. Kind of difficult to plan life. And massively boring. Part of my desire is also to stretch myself is more than just simple ways.
It has definitely been weird when people ask “Where are you going after Mexico?” because, frankly, I don’t know yet. Belize would be a logical move, but I’m not sold yet. So the other option would be Guatemala. “How long will you stay there?” I have no clue. I smile as I say it because it’s so unusual for me, and I think that makes this even more fun.
So what about guidebooks? I am not going to schlep 100 books with me. Thankfully there are great online resources. As we’re preparing to move to the next country, I can get some research down, see what areas might be interesting, what places we want to visit, cool activities, etc., but I’m going to avoid the whole planning trap. Between that and adjusting to not being busy all day long with scheduled events…this is going to be an adventure for sure! And, after all, that’s the whole point.