I’m one of those types of people who likes to plan … and plan … and then plan some more. I like to have my ducks in a row. I don’t like to be caught unprepared.
So taking a big trip like we did this summer had me doing a lot of planning. And even then, I still had a bit of trepidation about whether we had planned enough. Jarrett appreciates the value of planning too, but he doesn’t get sidelined by it. I’m thankful for his sense of adventure that keeps propelling us forward, pushing me to let go of perfect planning to embrace adventure–and even spontaneity. And it’s a good thing he balances me out, or I might not have felt “ready” to take that trip this summer.
I know there are a lot of people like myself who talk about and dream about traveling. They’ve been collecting ideas for years and have decided on the many places they’d like to visit. They’ve begun planning for those trips in different ways. But in the end, something always seems to stop them from taking the next step from planning to going and doing.
They are caught in their web of planning. The reason why is different for many, but for some it seems tied to a fear that executing their plans can’t happen until they are sure it’s the perfect time and the perfect itinerary. Sadly for some, they will never take those trips and they miss out on slightly imperfect but still amazing adventures.
We all have a different financial picture and a different number of vacation days that will dictate the kind of doing we are able to do. But we shouldn’t let those be roadblocks that keep us from doing something and going somewhere to start fulfilling those travel dreams. If you feel like you are always planning and never going, here are three strategies to consider to create a new mindset:
- Set a date. Pull out your calendar, sit down with your loved ones or travel buddies, and pick a date. Write it on your calendar–in permanent ink!–and then guard it. Don’t let everyday life events derail your plans. (Of course we can’t plan for life emergencies.)
- Start small. Sometimes just one short, but successful, trip can provide the momentum you need to move from always planning to finally going. So start small. Perhaps your dream is to travel out West and make a complete tour from Yellowstone down to the Grand Canyon. But that’s a big (and expensive) trip, and for planners like me, it seems a bit overwhelming to coordinate. Instead, think closer to home and fewer miles. Perhaps there is a landmark or event in your home state you’ve always wanted to check out: You could plan a couple-day excursion around it.
- Keep it simple. The more complex your itinerary, the more you will feel the need to plan, and the more the planning may overtake your enthusiasm. So don’t try to do and see everything. Pick the things that are on your “can’t miss” list, and then enjoy the moments.
Going from planning to doing and going will undoubtedly be a stretching experience. (It may even be a little scary! :)) But I think most would agree: The reward is worth it.
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