Daily Prompt: What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?
I am that traveler that likes to get to my destination and left to my own devices. I understand the need for a schedule while on a business trip. However, when I am on vacation, keep that itinerary far away from me! I usually travel with people who are compatible to my sensibilities, but in 2008 I traveled with a friend whose nature (planner – covnersationalist) is the opposite of mine (not a planner – not big on much talking).
In 2008 I went home to Jamaica with my friend Vandy, who was recovering from surgery. She said she wanted recuperating time and did not want to stay with family (she is also Jamaican) because if we stayed with family, they would not allow her the time to chill out and just be. I was all for that, so we rented hotel rooms for each person – actually renting separate rooms was my idea. She wanted to share a room, but I needed my alone time to recharge and did not want to feel obligated to stay up all night talking.
So, we checked into our rooms and immediately walked to the beach. I was in heaven. Since Vandy’s natural inclination is to plan everything out, her brain immediately went into planning mode. On the other hand, I am a free spirit who likes to go where/when the wind blows, so my mind when blank – blackout mode.
Well, she just couldn’t help herself and started planning out our week on the island. As she spoke, I just cringed.
Here is the conversation I had in my head as she read off her checklist of activities:
Ok, when we talked about this trip, you verbalized that you wanted to chill and take time to heal from your surgery. I was down for that. I envisioned seven days of beach time!
I am here for you and here to help you through the healing process. Which means carry heavy bags and taking things slow. What’s this about filling the days with activities? You just had surgery aren’t you still in pain?
I can’t take this, I am here to chill and spend as much time in the water as possible. How do I burst your bubble without hurting your feelings? since that would be asking you to step outside your comfort zone and think differently…no planning. This is crazy!
I finally interrupted her and said, “You need to take time to heal and you know I don’t do well with schedules when I am not at work”. She gave me the death stare, as if I just took the wind out of her sail.
I continued, “Let’s compromise. Since you get up earlier than I do, you can go swimming and I’ll meet you on the beach when I get up. We can then do one or two things on your list, but other than that, this is a leisure trip for me which means freedom from itineraries and checklists.” She hesitated, but finally agreed.
As it turned out, she would not have been able to everything she wanted to because she was in pain most of the time. We even had to take it slow when we went about doing a couple activity items on her list.
We had a fabulous week in Negril because of the compromise we struck. So, my lesson from that trip is, when traveling with others I will let them know up front that I’m that traveler that does not do well with schedules. If they can’t handle it then I can’t travel with them.
Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/daily-prompt-the-happy-wanderer/