You all probably know by now that I am a traveler! I love exploring the world, traveling to foreign countries, meeting different people, learning about different cultures and trying to speak and understand different languages.
Every journey for me starts with the planning part back home. There might be travelers out there who just travel and go wherever their journey takes them but I am not like that. I like to plan ahead and the actual planning time is something that I really enjoy as well because it increases my anticipation towards the upcoming journey. It helps me to be prepared for what I am going to see and makes me look forward to it a lot. But only because I am planning ahead, it does not mean that I cannot be spontaneous or change my plans. I just like to be prepared and have a plan in mind if everything else fails.
The first step of every plan for me is to purchase the travel guide about my destination. After years of traveling I figured out my preferred travel guide brand which is Dorling Kindersley (DK) because I just love their design and structure. They do not give too much information but at the same time not too less. They provide great pictures and tips for routes and day trips to take. They also include maps and a general information part about the destination which is extremely helpful. There are big ones as well as the Top 10 series. Whenever possible I choose the bigger version but for some destinations there is just the Top 10 version which is not as detailed but still great!
Once I have my travel guide, I go through it scanning pictures and headlines and after a while digging into details more frequently. I start making a list ranking from “Things I do not want to miss out on” to “Things I can do when there is some time left”. Another thing I do is to check the internet for reviews and tips of others and their opinion about what is worth visiting and what is not. I also start checking maps. Google maps and paper maps come in handy here. I check what is close to each other and can be combined on one day.
This way, I slowly map out a plan that brings me closer to the journey itself. Once, I am there, I might change this plan because there can be millions of reasons for why we have to change our travel plans and no plan will work out completely but I do not mind about that. It is just something that gives me inner security that I can always go back to my plan.
This might not be everyone’s style of travel but I prefer it this way. I could never travel without a plan because I would not feel safe. I like to know certain things about the country/city I am going to and my planning phase helps a lot to get to know those kind of things. People might think I am crazy but that is how I am! Isn’t eveybody a bit crazy in one way or the other?