What I Have Found When Planning An Adventure
This year has taken many twists and turns when it comes to travel. Many states have staggered their roll outs following Covid19 and with that there are more than a few hesitations to consider when taking on a road trip.
I, like everyone have found myself in an odd predicament of finding places and locations which feel comfortable. Couple that with the ever changing weather crisis and you have more than a few hurdles for planning. I opted in late July to find a way to go on an epic adventure. While I had taken several small road trips to very specific regions which I knew were opening, I hadn’t planned my typical grand scale epic style multi-week adventure since before the pandemic.
Let’s just talk about differences in planning for this adventure first.
Booking In Advance
Typically when I travel I have a few highlighted destinations I would like to stop, however I don’t solidify my plans or lock in my plans as I know the road can sometimes change your direction or timeframe as things shift or pop up along the way. Right now, that isn’t really an option for most larger attractions.
Attractions are now in many cases requiring advanced ticket purchases, many of which are based on a time frame you will be visiting. This controls the number of people in an attraction at any given time. This also pretty much throws being spontaneous out the window when it comes to many city based attractions, instead you have to keep more to a regimented schedule of events if you are planning a multi day trip. This feels very much like a proper itinerary, nothing wrong with that but definitely a change.
In addition to attractions, hotels are changing the way they do business and while many times we do book in advance, it is now almost a requirement to do so in popular cities as they are more limited on availability, again for distancing purposes. In addition, many hotels have moved to a single cleaning per stay, which means you will not receive fresh linens after each evening of stay, nor will you get new soaps and other items which are commonly stocked in rooms daily. I have found you still can request additional towels or items at the beginning of your stay however this is going to be the new norm for a while I feel.
The most common debate amongst everyone these days seems to be about masks. Most major cities and attractions do currently have a mask order in place for common spaces. This again is the new norm.
I personally do not have an issue with it, and instead of getting stressed out I look at this as an area to create personality through my use of the required mask. People can no longer see my smile so instead I will share my joy through expressive masks and fun colors or matching masks with my outfits. Is this silly to most, sure but it is a great way to take a situation which could be stressful and turn it into a positive.
Quite frankly, especially as fall months roll around sickness is a bit more rampant so I don’t mind safeguarding myself a bit from possibly getting sick while traveling. Last year around New Years I like many was feeling the season’s full wrath and it was not fun. I returned from a short trip and spent the next few weeks under the weather back and forth recovering because winter is harder on our bodies no matter what. If a mask can curb that from happening, sign me up!!
Places To Go
Before I can be concerned about bookings or masks I have to figure out where to go and that decision is now based on availability of openings, social unrest which is happening and where I feel the safest overall. There are several places I absolutely love, but due to everything happening right now they are just simply not quite as safe as they have been. This typically is in the larger cities of course, but on my trips as you know I like to cover locations both inside cities and in more remote areas.
Being aware of what is going on and consuming a bit more of the news than I personally like, I was able to chip away at some of the places which were of interest and narrow down an area which seemed to just make sense. My travels will be solidified of course following some detailed planning and finding the best driving routes to take to get to campsites, hotels, attractions and other points of interest.
Narrowing down so many options in any given place always feels like I leave a lot on the table, but lets face it you cannot do everything because if you did you would be in one place forever. So as I found my basic idea and was able to work from there I was able to then really create an overall idea of where I would be interested in filming, what I needed to do so and where I would stay along the way.
Again, this started in late July and now I am getting closer to departure at the end of September and finally have a pretty accurate idea of stops that make the most sense as I go. But even with this, I am trying to allow myself that freedom to roam feeling on some of the more remote sections of the trip and not trying to lock in a day by day, hour by hour plan when reservations are not required. That will allow me to still feel fulfilled and not rushed when I find the unexpected.
After planning, researching and addresses changes in our current world, it will be time to do car maintenance, packing up and making sure I have done all of my necessary things to hit the road. Typically I start this about a week and a half out from a trip so I don’t have to rush and I can be methodical in how I pack things for easier access. I begin charging all my devices, organizing and making sure I am not missing anything. Last minute supplies are picked up and by the time I head out I feel confident in any adventure.
I will be sharing my routine for this in another blog post and doing more of these personal style blogs as I travel to keep you all updated on what is going on as the road carries me from destination to destination.
Remember, life is about the things that you don’t plan for… so I know that will be the case with this kind of trip even with all the preparations I have made. But I look forward to the adventure!!