Some of you will remember these old Heinz ketchup commercials, with Carly Simon singing “Anticipation” in the background (and the inimitable Casey Kasem doing the voiceover!)
“No one knows what anticipation is anymore. Everything is so immediate.”Joan Jett
As Joan Jett so wisely says – everything is so immediate. And, most things are these days. Need groceries? Place an order online and they’ll be at your door. The same for pizza, whatever movie you want to watch or song you want to hear in the comfort of your own home, or whatever pair of shoes you saw and
want need to have. With a few clicks (and perhaps a credit card, as the case may be) they can all be yours in a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, or days.
There are some times when the details or effort or process don’t matter – you’re hungry, you want to watch a movie, or you need a new pair of shoes. It’s the same way with some travel, too. You need to get from point A to point B to see family, or for a business meeting, for example. Book a flight, get in the car and drive, it doesn’t really matter how you get there or where you stay or what sights there might be to see along the way. You just need the basics: to be safe, clean, and relatively comfortable, and more than likely spend as little time as possible away from the comforts of home.
I think that is what is so satisfying about starting a travel plan far in advance, or preparing a dish that takes hours or even days, or planting a garden. It’s impossible to do or enjoy the fruits of any of those things without the fundamental understanding that the effort behind them comes from a place of passion, love, and care.
Sometimes it’s hard to take the first leaps when planning a vacation, especially when it seems like a long time before it would begin. In our case, we are planning for a trip in late October-early November. There are so many unknowns that could impact that timing – health matters, family matters, and unforeseen work conflicts, to name a few. But as I get older, I have come to be at peace with the old adage “stuff happens.” If we wait until all of the unknowns are known to make a plan, it won’t ever happen. This particular trip is to celebrate a milestone birthday. That date isn’t going to change, and it’s not going to come around again. So, the dates are locked in, vacation time is requested and on the books, and we have plans in place. Those three steps – picking dates, making sure the time off is communicated as needed, and making some flight and hotel plans – start to take some of the uncertainty out of the picture and give us something to anticipate with pleasure and excitement.
There’s something intensely satisfying to me when I see the words, “Your reservation is confirmed.” It doesn’t matter if it is for a dinner reservation that night, or a hotel reservation made months in advance. It’s comforting knowing that even if everything else doesn’t go to plan, I’m going to have a place to eat or a place to sleep when I do finally get where I’m going. That’s not to say that every moment of every day, every meal, every tiny detail of a travel plan needs to be handled months in advance. Of course it doesn’t! What having a basic plan allows though, is for those details to be easier to sort out when the time comes, or when your flight is delayed or when you run across a magazine article about the region you just so happen to be planning to visit – isn’t it funny how often that happens? You can take that information, do your research, and feel like you are starting to know a place before you even arrive.
These are the sorts of things I’m always looking for. I have folders on my desk and in my cabinet of articles, photos, business cards and brochures I’ve come across either in my travels or just living my daily life. I also keep notes about places I hear people raving over, and now, through my affiliation with Fora I am part of a network of like-minded travel planners who can offer advice and opinions whenever I ask!
We’ve had some cold, dreary days recently in Texas, and if you are like me and this weather makes you start thinking about planning for sunnier, warmer days, please reach out! I would love to help!