I like planning trips – who doesn’t? It’s probably 25% of the fun. Staying up late trolling through hundreds of Google images as you imagine yourself climbing that mountain or rafting that river or lolling on that beach. The problem is you need to have somewhere to start – you need to know where you want to fantasize about.
Over the weekend I was simultaneously sick and broke, the weather was amazing, the birds were singing blah blah… I didn’t have the energy to leave my couch. Instead I decided to plan my hypothetical round the world trip.
The question is how to start planning this? I read a blog recently that you should look at a map and mark down all of the places you want to go… and then cut out all the ones that aren’t realistic due to time/funds/war zones.
First problem – I don’t have a world map. No problems that’s what Google is for. WRONG! What I needed was a detailed map of the world that I can view in one glance. Google maps when zoomed out so you can see it all isn’t very detailed – you can zoom in, but then you lose perspective in where in the world you are – which is important when you are thinking if you are trying to work out which direction to travel round Europe so that you can meet your Dad in Russia (Dad if you are reading – get saving!). Its times like these that I miss having the good old-fashioned world map book… Christmas present idea for any takers!
Second Problem – Oh well, I can still flip through my lonely planets and write-up a list of places that I want to go for me to plot on a map later. WRONG! I grabbed my 1000 Ultimate Experiences and the Top Travel and within 5 minutes was completely confused about my chronological order and what I wanted to do. Maybe half of the problem is my brain – I like to think things through laterally. In my hypothetical trip I am starting in London and then working my way around the globe. These fantastic guides jump all over the place, dividing the world up by genre such as “Top 10 Best Big Objects” (Goulburn’s Big Merino didn’t make it – but Canada’s big Beaver did) or “Strangest Museums” (British Lawnmower museum…?) but although this was greatly amusing it didn’t help me visualise how my trip would play out. These books would be great once I have decided on a route and could look up fun activities for the places I was going – but they weren’t helping me work out where to start.
Third Problem – what I needed was a book that covers every country in the world in either time zone order (or I would settle for alphabetical order). In my lunch break I went to check out the book store. I found several books that detailed were devoted to the “World”… Lonely Planets was called “The Travel Book” it was huge – with great pictures! It was also so heavy that I couldn’t easily hold it one hand (I am a weakling). That wasn’t the problem though – because it is trying to fit so much in and it’s already a huge book much of the important detail was lost. It was only a brief summary on each country with no real information to help me narrow down my search.
Having said all of that – I now have a rough idea of where I want to start and when I get paid I am going to buy a map and then use my variety Lonely planet guides to plot a fun hypothetical itinerary.