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Posts from the ‘road trip’ Category

African road trip, part 2

As I type, we have a week left to our trip. A week! I’ve taken plenty of week-long vacations, but now a week feels like a blink. Twelve years in the scheming, a year in the serious planning, and now it’s almost done. We’re still here, enjoying our time in Africa, but also we’re partly there, back home, thinking about seeing friends and family, the logistics of dentists appointments, new shoes, back to school, etc. I foresee a period of adjustment to come, but in the meantime I’ll tell you more about our road trip.

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Aotearoa, Godzone, Middle Earth, New Zealand, Heaven!

Before a trip I read a lot and plan a lot, but I try not to get too jacked up on anticipation. For me it’s best to try and stay open and let the trip unfold as it will, which is HARD because I love to make plans, book hotels, jigsaw together activities and meals. But I’ve had a few experiences where I planned trips after being inspired by travel articles and found myself trying to recreate someone else’s trip- that was bound to be disappointing (particularly because travel writers always seem to have glamorous friends who throw great parties in the beautiful places they are writing about and I most definitely do not.) There was a time I was giddy with anticipation over swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Plenty, anticipating my son’s delight seeing his favorite animal, but all we saw after three hours motoring around was an albatross. There was food poisoning during an expensive and long looked-forward-to getaway to Harbor Island in the Bahamas, and restaurants closed for renovations or a staff barbecue when I was all keyed up to try the signature dish. The lightbulb moment came one December when we spotted a cheap fare to Rome and just went, six days later, minimal planning, off season, bad weather guaranteed and loved it. The winter food! The charming holiday decorations! The empty museums! All of it made even more delightful because we had so few expectations. So now my happy medium is to plan the basics (flights, beds, transportation) do my research, bookmark activities or restaurants and then stop and put it out of my mind completely until I am there.

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