I can’t remember what Andrew and I used to talk about before we started planning our round the world trip. I really can’t. Nowadays, everything revolves around trip planning – plotting our itinerary, reading travel blogs, sourcing gear, building up our savings, booking flights, organising visas…the list goes on. I have become totally, utterly obsessed with our travel plans.
You know things are bad when you lose sleep worrying about whether your new passport will arrive on time; when the first thing you think about when you wake up is ‘Only x weeks left to go till we leave’; or when you have to stop what you’re doing at work to scribble down another item to add to the travel checklist.
Yes – it’s time to come clean, I’ve become an Obsessive Compulsive Travel Planner.
Obsessive Compulsive Travel Planners
It hasn’t always been this way,I used to be able to go more than an hour without travel thoughts popping into my head. So why have I become such an obsessive planner? My little brother is going travelling for five months next year; is he losing sleep over how much organising there is to do? Is he rushing around buying gear, researching hostels and looking up the weather? No, he’s not. I’d love to be one of those people who sail through life, scraping through by the skin or their teeth, nonchalantly leaving all planning till the last minute -actually, scratch that. I’d hate it.
I need to plan, I can’t just leave things to chance; and when you’re planning a round the world trip, there’s so much to sort out. If you don’t believe me, take a look at our travel checklist. Imagine if we just hadn’t bothered researching New Zealand car rental companies a whole eight months before we were actually due to touch down in the country? Then we’d never have found out that we needed to apply for a travel credit card.
What if I hadn’t taken the time to find out what kind of visa we need for Indonesia, or left booking our flights so long that they rocketed in price? What if I never got around to scheduling an appointment for our travel vaccinations?
No, I think that if you’re going to plan a trip, you need to do it properly.
Is being an obsessive travel planner a bad thing? It’s better to be prepared, right? Ok, so maybe organising our entire New Zealand itinerary is a bit obsessive, but for me, planning is half the fun. I love researching all the places we’re going to go, looking at people’s budget breakdowns and round the world packing lists – travel blogs are like crack for me. On a bad day, I have to physically tear myself away so that I can actually get some work done when I’m, you know, at work.
Being an obsessive compulsive travel planner can be stressful though. You become stuck on every detail and spend hours researching ridiculously unimportant things, like what type of micro fleece to buy or how many weeks to spend in a particular place. Another problem is that when all your thoughts are occupied with how to plan a trip, you can forget about your other interests, you become an alien to every other ‘normal’ person who doesn’t eat, sleep and breathe travel – you become boring. You lose sleep. You become a travel-obsessed-geek.
Are you an obsessive compulsive travel planner?