Process for Travel Planning

This picture is the essence of planning (look closer)

This picture is the essence of planning (look closer)

Random Observation/Comment #122: I’ve been living vicariously through other people’s experiences and looking through the lenses of so many cameras in the past few months that I feel like I’ve actually gone to these places.  Of course, my senses have not been satisfied with just pictures and descriptions, but this research has started my appetite.   I hope my stomach (a.k.a. external hard drive holding pictures and entries) can handle the 6-month, N-course meal (where N is not limited to counting actual courses of meals that I have in the 6-month period (obviously)).

Planning a trip is a mixed bag of treats and mouse traps (I haven’t decided if the original purpose of the bag was to store mouse traps or sweets).  It can be deliciously fun while reading up on the exotic places around the world, but horrifyingly stressful when working out the full depth of choices ahead of you.  When I planned my trip to Japan, I simply booked a 2-week tour and let Intrepid handle the rest of it.  Throughout the entire tour, a single thought about train schedules, hotel stays, or language barriers never crossed my mind.  Now that I think back on all of the things my tour guide helped us with, it was definitely worth the extra money.  Since that was my first trip alone around a country where I barely spoke the language, I didn’t want to jump directly into the deep-end (or jump in without dragging a lifeguard with me).  Besides, the tour took us to all of the remote places that most of the locals never have the chance of seeing.  I went sea kayaking, paragliding, white water rafting, fed deer, built robots, and took +12000 pictures of every nature scene possible.  Wow, 2008 will be hard to top – good luck 2009, you have good potential.  I’d say that getting chopped up at a hostel in London would be a bit of a downer, but at this point in my life, I’d feel dead if I didn’t feel alive (that actually should make sense if you put yourself in my mindset).

It would be quite a long article if I presented all of the details I’ve been struggling with for the past two months to plan my destinations and logistics for this 6-month trip.  As a general outline, though, I think I will cover the following in my however-many-part series of “Preparation Project Clemens-in-Europe 2009.”  I know, I should have been more creative with the name, but “Operation Rename Project Clemens-in-Europe 2009” will execute in the near future.  I’m up for suggestions.

The following are some upcoming topics for the next month (after the thesis, of course):

  • Research – Where’s the fun at?
  • Travel Wishlist – Where do I want to have fun?
  • Narrowed Down Wishlist – Where can I have fun with my allotted time?
  • Set flight dates – Free time?  Whatever, just get me out of here!
  • See Travel Agency – STATravel – Please, help me, oh wise ones in the corner store by Cooper Union.
  • Schedule flights – Discounts are nice…
  • Transportation – I know: I’ll just walk everywhere! (BAD)
  • Sleeping Arrangements – Camping? Newspapers as a blanket in a park?
  • Itinerary – Anal planning? More like, well-prepared… bitch.
  • Misc Information About Country – What do you mean I can’t pay with the dollar? That’s like gold!
  • Packing – Money; check.  Laptop; check.  Ready! Whatever, I’ll buy clothes there.
  • Safety – Don’t die, don’t die, and don’t die.
  • Airport Traveling – Anal cavity searches don’t seem like fun (whatever floats  your boat)
  • Etiquette – Don’t be that tourist that knows nothing about where they are and how they should act
  • Last Minute Checklist – I knew I should have written this down somewhere… “Don’t forget your brain”

Thesis comes first.  I’m so excited.

~See Lemons Apply Dry Wall

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