I’m a bit of a travel junky. If I don’t have a (fun, non-work) trip in the works I tend to get a little skittish (I have a bit of a travel twitch and find myself consumed by planning trips that aren’t happening any time soon) . Unfortunately, I’m a travel junky that needs to work and only have 20 vacation days per year (which according to salary.com makes me lucky) so I constantly feel like an inadequate travel junky. My gut tells me I should be exploring somewhere new at least every other month (that’s when the travel-twitch starts) but instead it’s more like twice a year.
I’m not sure when it started exactly. My first trip out of the country was just in 2004 (note: I had been to Cancun but I don’t count it if they pick you up from the airport and drop you at a resort that you never leave). I went to Ireland. It was awesome, but after just visiting again recently I realized that I didn’t have a clue where I had been and really had very few memories about the trip. I think it must have started to build slowly, and then started to get out of control about 5 years ago. And now I’m obsessed.
I subscribe to 3 travel magazines. I save said travel magazines and revisit them often, especially if I’m going to (or considering a trip to) one of the places they’ve highlighted. I have a map in my living room of the places I’ve been and the places I want to see, and examine it every time I walk up my stairs. I’m constantly buying books on travel and planning trips, and my latest obsession is doing the Trans Siberian railroad trip. I could go on, but I won’t (you’re welcome).
My parents, on the other hand, have never left the country (other than to Cancun – see note above). Until recently, my dad didn’t seem to have any interest in even going anywhere, which completely blew my mind. I took a trip with my girlfriends in 2008 to England, went to Stonehedge, and when I came back with pictures my dad finally admitted he’d like to see that some day. I immediately told him I would plan a trip for our family. I figured Ireland would be a great starter-country for traveling – minimal language barrier (I say minimal because even though its English, some of those guys talk reeeally fast), gorgeous landscapes, and our roots are almost all Irish.
Fast forward 3 years, and we are finally off! I started ‘officially’ planning this trip in April of this year (that’s when I booked our first B&B) and we just got back last week. The result: SUCCESS!! (for the most part).
How I rate success:
- We all came home… alive.
- We are all still talking.
- We really did have a great time.
- My parents are talking about renting a house in Dingle for a month when they officially retire. If you’re ever going to Ireland, I would suggest you do the same – it’s freaking gorgeous.
So at dinner one of our last nights’ there, I ask them whether they will now start exploring on their own… and where they’d like to go next. The response: wherever I’ll plan for them to go (in a nutshell).
They loved the trip because they had to do NO planning – never had to worry about where we were going, how to get there, or what we were going to do once we arrived. But if I’m not doing the planning, they likely aren’t doing the traveling.
And I have now added trip planner to the list of things I want to be when I grow up. Already on the list: barista, florist, furniture refinisher, lottery winner (all have the same odds of happening.)