Let’s go a trippin’

For a while now, I’ve been planning a trip. It’s for work so I already have my destination defined for me. That’s not bad, I now realise. In fact, that could be the best thing about the trip itself, because everything else is taking up so much of my energy and time. Boy, I’m glad I didn’t have to pinpoint the destination as well.

Let me backtrack a little and explain. I’m off on a business trip in August and I’ve been working my way all through July preparing myself. It’s kind of a big deal so I have to make sure that business during the trip goes well. Apart from that, I’ve been figuring out how best to enjoy myself during the trip. This one’s longer than all my previous business trips, so I’ll have some leisure to wander around.

Great, I thought. “I’m going to have so much fun.”

Except, planning for the fun part is far more hectic that I expected. I always imagined that when I had to plan a trip like this, I’d just throw some clothes in a backpack and go. That’s what I always told myself: Just go. But now that such a situation is upon me, I realise I can’t just go. I have to think about flights, layovers, immigration, baggage clearance—even water could become an issue. Phew. And if that weren’t enough, there’s the budget.

When I estimated my budget almost a month and a half ago, I had everything laid out in a TextEdit file. The numbers seemed clear, the dates, the time—I had even thought of the cost of food in flights. But then I delayed booking the flights, because I got busy at work. And when I opened the TextEdit file a couple of weeks later, everything seemed irrelevant to current prices. My flight rates has increased by $10. Sure, it didn’t seem like much, but when I saw that I could’ve spent that on a meal, instead, I understood how much of a role time plays in travel—even though time and travel don’t compound in reality.

Doubt creeped in next. Am I perhaps allocating too much from my pocket for a mere bicycle tour? The first time I looked at the tour, it looked wonderful: Good location, great views, and promising reviews. It would be such a great use of my time and money, I thought. My reasoning was sensible, too: I’d see so much of the city, enjoy some great food, meet a bunch of folks, and have a lot of fun—all in one glorious morning. Last night, however, my reasoning started to dwindle. Perhaps it’s better to just walk around the city by myself, I thought half awake. Again, the reason is that I didn’t book the tour right away, waiting two weeks instead. Again, putting too much time between desire and achievement waned my desire.

These are the big stuff. The little stuff should be easy. Or so I thought. But once I mapped out my itinerary, there were no small stuff. Even a commute from the airport to the hotel is a big decision. I can pick between the shortest route and the scenic route. I’d go scenic for sure if I’m alone—but I won’t be alone. Taking the scenic route would mean traversing for an extra 20 minutes at a good time and 45 minutes during traffic. We’d land late in the evening, so traffic is granted.

I’m torn between decisions. I still have a lot to do. Although I have to admit: even though planning for this trip has me pulling out my hair, I’m having one hell of a time figuring it all out. It’s my first experience making all my arrangements myself, and it’s made me a proper grown up. I feel mature. I now know I can take care of myself. I’ve always known I could, but this trip’s given me a chance to prove it—to myself.

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