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USA | Sunday, 9 March 2008 | Views [585]

My preparation for yet another trip usually begins here, in Michigan. As I have grown older (and wiser?) over the years my method and attitude for preparing for a trip has changed. In my early 20's I used to just pack what I had and just go, with moderate to minimal planning. Travel fairly quickly from one country to the next, one city to the next. Just arrive at the destination with a very loose plan and see what happens.

In my late 20's (w/ more money to play with) I started to have all lodging booked...best price for the best atmosphere. This would leave a more rigid (but still fun!) itinerary. But problems arose when I loved a place and wanted to stay longer, such as the rainforest Monteverde, Costa Rica and knew I had to move on. I thought that one day I'll come back and "really" experience it. And so far, I never did.

Now in my early 30's I am thinking that all these places I just breezed through and thought I'd see again is a shame. Now I want to pick a few places (or have them pick me?) and stay there for weeks, months, whatever. But since I do like some structre and routine to my life, I really do need a purpose for being there for so long. Not sure if I can be a tourist every damn day.

Now I want to have more purposeful trips. Volunteer? Farm work? Learn a language? Family homestay? Teach English?

Now I want to pack "lighter", travel "lighter". Own less, see more, do more. Help out! Do something, anything.

Now that my attitude and goals about travel are different I feel like I need to pack different, to prepare different. This is still a thought in progress but at this time I want quality, lightweight, durable clothing. And less of it! I want to be ready for rain, snow, hot weather...using layers, lightweight easy-dry fabrics, that can handle abuse. I want to pack smarter, not heavier. I'll try to buy what I need along the way, but some things will have to come with me.

So now, this year, I am commiting myself to doing research, finding quality products at good price, and slowly unloading myself w/ other useless stuff that is just taking up space.

Focus for now, is preparation.


Tags: The Planning Phase


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