Wednesday, December 09, 2009

On Planning...

Sigh.  Oh plans!  I have always been more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" type of girl.  I like to dive in head first and just get downright and dirty with what I'm gettin' into.  I have found the chances of backing out are significantly less when you are, well, immersed.  A toe in the water is easy to take out - but a whole body?  Now that is commitment!

I have lots of examples in my life of this working.  Backpacking in Europe at 18 with a few ripped out chapters from a Lonely Planet and a Europass...running a marathon with no formal training save for a weekly phone call to my cousin (who WAS formally training) asking "how many miles you running this week?"...moving to East Africa with nothing but a hope, a dream and 3K in travelers checks...travelling solo through South East Asia for 3 months with little more than wanderlust and a grin from ear to ear...hopping off a sailboat in Argentina and travelling around that neck of the woods for 5 weeks solo...oh, and I bought a 35 year old sailboat just to get the ball rolling on THIS plan.  All of these things I did with very little (if any) planning.  Sure, I had a rough "skeleton plan" of what I wanted to do, accomplish and/or see.  But I didn't slave over maps, guidebooks, and travel forums - I just don't have the patience or energy for all of that, to be quite honest.  Not to say that planning is bad, but if I've learned anything - it's that plans change.  Especially when it comes to travel.

Which brings me to THIS next chapter.  Sailing around the world.  It really does people's heads in!  They always want to know exactly where we are going and when (some even reach for the nearest map or globe) and we always just laugh and say, "we don't really know" - because, we really don't (if you want our loose itinerary see this post).  We are approaching this journey as a runner does a marathon.  You don't start a marathon and think "here I am at mile zero of 26.2" - you break it down into little segments.  Mile by mile.  Piece by piece.  So we most likely won't ever know our "exact route" - we will chip off one leg...and then plan the next.  And when we get to that destination, we'll kick back with a few cold (or warm) ones, chat with other cruisers, consult our myriad of crusing books and guides, and come up with the next leg of the journey.  There are SO many places to see, and SO many different ways to go. We know the how of the journey - and we want to remain completely and totally open-minded about the when and the where.  I know this might seem careless, but I assure you it is not.  There is a difference between planning and preparation.  We are preparing for this trip, little by little - the way we see it, it's impossible to actually plan it.

All that said, there are obviously two different schools of thought on "planning" - as illustrated in these two quotes:

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
He who fails to plan, plans to fail - Proverb

Hmmmmm.....What side of the fence do you fall on?  I always liked John Lennon myself.

Brittany & Scott


Karen said...

Oy - those quotes. From someone who is *this* close to starting the sailing adventure, and who has been watching her husband prepare for this adventure for the last 3.5yrs, I can say that both quotes are 100% true. A month away from our D-day, our lives have become extremely one-dimensional. Everything is about the boat. Every decision comes down to the trip. Not to mention all of the things we have set aside along the way, all in preparation and anticipation for this trip. We have just recently had the conversation (and not for the first time!) of - is it all worth it? Friendships have been tested, opportunities turned down, family plans set aside... but then again, had these last three years not been that way - was it not for the hardwork, dedication and planning - we wouldn't be going anywhere!!! Where one door stays open, there are a thousand other doors opening and closing behind you. Since Matt dreamed up this trip, we've all gone through numerous different jobs, I graduated from law school, Matt and I got married, Jon's girlfriend get pregnant, a friendship was destroyed, another was tested to the extreme, we invested $40k plus, etc. etc. One thing we have learned for sure - you never know what tomorrow will bring!!! I can't wait to see how your "plans" work out :)

Last Paradise said...

Great Post. Plan, plan and keep planning- HOWEVER, be open for change if and WHEN it comes your way! The beauty (and frustration) of this lifestyle is that it is constantly moving and changing, a bit like a jellyfish :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...