I know, surprise, surprise. How can a travel writer hate planning a trip? I really do. Maybe because I am used to researching every nook and cranny of a destination so that I am clear about which cafes serve burnt coffee and which hotel maids like to rip you off. Or maybe because as a travel journalist, often I get organizational assistance from tourism bureaus. Maybe I don’t want to risk missing anything spectacular–there is nothing worse than getting back from a trip and having someone gawk, You didn’t go there?
But really, I hate planning because I am not a planner. I thrive on spontaneity. A good day is a day with nothing on the calendar so I can improvise.
Right now I am poring through pages of trip forums trying to figure out the best way to get from San Francisco to Yellowstone with kids (That means there needs to be places to stop for the kids to run around, decent food along the way (not!), and good coffee at least somewhere). I was feeling like my head was going to explode, when I finally stopped.
Truth is, I have been to all these places before and chances are, I will visit them again. Does it really matter if I miss out on Bruneau State Park’s sand dunes or the dinosaur bones in east Utah? Not if it gives me a headache just trying to get there. I am not going to be some Clark Griswald parent forcing my kids to HAVE FUN damn it.
Instead I think I am going to let go a bit, chill out the couch with some tea and let the road lead us east. Who knows what fun we’ll have without all that choreography?