A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving – Laozi

If the quote I have used as a subject line is true then I am not a good traveller. I like to have plans. I like to know how I’m going to get from A to B to C. I don’t plan everything down to the last second but to some people it seems that way.

Having spent the best part of the last two weeks recuperating from oral surgery I have used that time to complete my plans for the South American portion of my trip.

I have all my accommodation sorted. I have nearly all my transport sorted. The days in between are left open so I can do whatever I please in each place, however I do like knowing that I have a place to rest my head and I have the means to continue on my merry way.

One continent is sorted so it’s now onto the next one – North America. This one has pretty much sorted itself, as a fair portion of my time here is either on a tour through the Canadian Rockies or staying with friends. No worries here – just an internal flight to sort, a couple of bus rides and that’s pretty much it.

Europe is going to be a bit play it by ear as well. I will be buying a Eurail pass, so I can have the luxury of jumping on and off whenever I feel like it. Accommodation in two places is sorted (friend in Munich and apartment in Paris). I will be sorting out accommodation in Vienna and Salzburg but after Munich it’s all a bit up in the air until Paris. I do know that after I meet up with my sister in Calais we will be hiring a car and just driving around the French countryside for a week and stopping wherever it takes our fancy.

The trip is coming together. Now I just have to last another five months and five days until departure day. Time to start saving again (especially now the big costs are out of the way).

I have been storing my itinerary on my Tripit account. This is for me to keep track of things and my family to follow along.

Am I not a traveller if I like having things sorted? I like to think I am. There are different types of travellers. Just because one likes to have a plan in place doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing as much as the non-planner. The world is a wonderful place and everyone should be able to experience it the way they want, and not have others turn their noses up at them!

What about you? Are you a planner or more spontaneous? I’d love to know 🙂


Image found on Tumblr

3 thoughts on “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving – Laozi

  1. I am completely spontaneous and plan very little. I didn’t think I was spontaneous until I went to Germany a few times and compared notes with others who also went (usually the same places…I talk with a lot of other history-sorts). The usual opinion was that they could not travel with me in the future because I just don’t have stuff planned out beforehand.
    I guess this is true…I will have hotel reservations for the first part of my stay because I’m just getting there and need a place to crash. I will have some vague itinerary where I know I need to be in whatever-town by whatever weekend to meet friends. But other than that, I am free to do whatever calls me. The only time I made extra hotel reservations was when I wanted to stay at this tiny, old place in the Alps and that was because the area is seasonal and terribly small. I wasn’t sure I would be able to just drop in.
    If I were doing a huge trip like you, probably I’d be more organized. Or…maybe not! HAHAA!

    • Part of what scares me is the language barrier. If I can have as much organised as possible in a country where I do not understand the language the more comfortable I will feel.

      Maybe one day I’ll take a shorter trip that will be more spontaneous but this trip isn’t it 🙂

  2. I’m generally a planner – there are always certain must-see things, so it requires a certain degree of planning to make sure I can get to those places. If I can, I’ll try to leave a day without plans – maybe even an afternoon. For things that aren’t must see, I’ll sometimes come up with a few possibilities and then go do whatever strikes me at the time.

    Depending on the place, it can also be hard to get reservations…or reservations at a decent price (nearly every time I’ve been spontaneous, I wind up paying 3x as much for something like a hotel room…and forget about flights).

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