I posted a photo of my travel planning on Instagram and didn’t give much thought to it except that it was what I was doing at the moment, it was visually appealing and would look good on Instagram. Plus I just liked it and was proud of myself for putting it together.
Then I got a comment that I thought would be worth writing an entire blog post about:
Super curious on how your planning works! Do you have a blog post on it? Everything in the picture is so intriguing.
Thanks, @_holisuitcases for asking and here is the blog post 🙂
Let me start with some background. Travel has always been a part of my life. My first trip overseas was when I was one years old. Obviously I don’t remember a thing about it except what my parents told me… that I threw up in the plane because they fed me too many grapes right before taking off. Yea, it’s gross. But that’s all I know about my first trip.
Through my grade school years I’d travel with my parents and brother to over 10 countries in three continents mostly during school breaks. I went on one trip without them when I was 13 during a mission trip to Nicaragua (but the people traveling with me were practically family so it wasn’t really a solo travel trip).
By the time I was 16, I’d already been to 17 countries but I didn’t do any of the planning. It was one of those, hey kids we’re going on a trip! said the parents. My mom is an experienced travel agent (now a travel writer) who traveled to many countries as a young adult so all the family trip planning was usually left to her.
When I turned 17, travel had a whole new meaning. We’d begun talking about a long term around the world trip since I was 15. My parents, brother and I took action. We sold our house, most of our belongings and a car, dad quit his job, left a comfortable life, I worked extra hard to graduate high school early and also start a business, and traveled the world as a family to South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. At the end of the trip, I was 19 and had 31 countries under my belt.
But during that entire trip, I was not the planner. Of course, I had some say in what I wanted to do (Four Seasons St. Petersburg! And all those afternoon teas!) but I didn’t pick exactly where we’d be staying, arrange transport, where to eat, make reservations, purchase flights. Though I will note that during my long term trip, I was responsible for paying my own transport (flights, transfers), and we’d also split up the accommodation price and I’d pay that too.
The trip was a success. And the experience? I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Now as a young adult, just past my teen years, the family long term trip is over, but traveling has just become an integral part of my life. I plan on traveling a lot in my lifetime… really until I die.
This also means a new season of life and traveling. I’m thinking solo trips, studying abroad, and of course continuing traveling with family. But at the same time, I feel like it’s my turn to take the reigns, plan trips and decide where I want to go and make it happen.
I’m currently planning a trip to London. No details to share yet, but I’m making it happen 🙂
And how am I doing this?
It’s in that Instagram picture.
- Guidebook: I’ve been reading guidebooks like the one from Fodors. And also others like from Lonely Planet, Rick Steeves and Not For Tourists for other perspectives.
- A cup of tea: I’m a tea enthusiast so I happened to be drinking it. It also just happened to fit… I am planning for London.
- My glasses: I’ve been near sighted for like ever. So I need them, or contacts to see.
- Dream book: I believe in taking action. Just talking and saying that you want to travel the world truthfully won’t mean anything unless you do something about it. For me, I like to turn the talking into something visual so I know what I’m taking action for. Just seeing pictures of the place is my way of telling me to stop talking and start doing.
- Colored pencils: For the book.
- The map: Just for visual appeal 🙂
Of course, there’s more aspects to planning than just what’s in the picture. I’m also using social media- asking around on Twitter or Instagram for ideas and suggestions among other things…
And that’s what I have so far. I still have a lot to learn. And I’m excited to see where this next stage of travel takes me!
Follow the journey at https://instagram.com/bethanylooi/!