I like this question. Certainly, it's interesting to discover how different we approach the subject of leisure travel.
Curiousity seems always to compel me to do as much research astime permitsbefore traveling somewhere new. That way, I feel prepared and at least a bit knowledgable about the area and what activities would be of interest to us both. And when I say both -- I mean each one of us, separately -- Ha!
My travel companion is definitely the "fly by the seat of your pants" type personality. He'd rather someone else do the planning, scheduling, reserving, etc., etc. He is also more physically inclined and enjoys the more challenging activities such as climbing Volcan Pacaya in Guatemala.Though I must admit, he did begin to sense his limitations by the time that trek was over!
Give me an art gallery, a museum, a nice romantic restaurant (with a view), and I'm more than pleased. In all fairness, though, I must admit that my travel companion is an easy-going guy and often willing to join in some of my more measured pursuits. By doing my homework prior to departure, it is easier for us to enjoy the adventure -- each in his own way -- and still find those aspects of discovery which appeal to us both.
How long, with whom, where and why has a big bearing on going with the flow or all there is to know.
Most of our trips are "long weekends" with an occasional jaunt that lasts one or two weeks. We've crammed more in a weekend trip (Atlanta: meet up w/X, walking around downtown, getting a haircut, tango lessons, the Coca Cola tour, a performance at the Cobb center, the aquarium, finding that fabulous dessert place) than we have for a longer stay (Cliffs Preserve:"What do we do when we get there?" asked he. "They set up activitiesdaily" said she).
On my own, I've traveled without booking a hotel room and only once did it not work as intended; but that Plan B sure made up for it. Yes, I have some idea of what I'd like to see and do--otherwise, I wouldn't be going--but for the most part, it's go with the flow.
When traveling with others and I'm not the planner of the trip, go with the flow. If I'm the planner or others rely on me, then the research is on. I've derived as much fun planning as when we've actually gotten there.
Message Edited by exflygirl on 02-01-2010 05:16 PM
omegaet, not that your question is all that complex, but the community responses appear to validate "six degrees of separation" or the updated, "three degrees of separation." Even though we think we are so different in our approaches to travel we find our intersections right here at luxury link.
Like most of the posters, we do a good balance of Know and Flow. I also try to learn all I can about a new destination-especially if international. I use LL, internet, books and anything else I can find to research information. I love hearing other travelers opinions and hints. And just because you are gaining knowledge and learning doesn't mean that you are scheduling to the last second. It just means that you are becoming more informed. I try to make some plans and decisions but allow time and sections where we can do things spur on the moment and as we encounter them. There are things (some restaurants, tours, etc) that sometimes need to be booked in advance and you just can't wait until you get your destination. Also learning about where you are going does build your anticipation and excitement of your trip. The only thing I could say about the "Flow" concept, is that you probably won't know what you missed so you won't be disappointed that you did miss it.
My hubby would say he is "Go with the Flow" because he knows I have already done everything to make sure we know "All You Can Know".
Even with adequate preparation for an international trip, there are always some "Go with the Flow" opportunities which might involve a slight shifting of the gears, so to speak. It's best -- at least for us -- to leave some unscheduled time for spur of the moment activities and/or unexpected encounters which often prove to be the most memorable experiences.
Case in point: our trip to Lake Atitlan last Fall. Being the eager planner that I am, our days wereunusually full, given thelimited timethat we were able to spend there.However, after meeting our most capable tour guide (Lee Beal) and spending an entire day on his boat seeing and learning about the Mayan people and their village lives, we decided to cancel some earlier plans in favor of the opportunities available to more fully appreciate this incredible, native culture.
Later, we returned (second visit) to Antigua where I was fortunate to locate a lovely painting of Lake Atitlan, looking over the village of Santiago and across the lake to the volcanoes. A large, white church is visible in thepainting -- onethat we visited on a day when there was to be a festive occasion. Those involved had createda carefully laid out "carpet" of flowers and leaves leading up and into the church, all the way to the altar. Really beautiful! So now, when I enjoy this special artwork, I am gently reminded of that "Go with the Flow" experience.
And...to add on to S./..we took her advice and are now working with Lee to help put together our trip to the Lake!! So, she went with the flow and we planned! Great how we could do both!! THanks S! Can't wait to go.
t-2-f, my point is the following. we don't really know much about the other people who participate in this community. apparently, we are substantially different in age, life experiences, economic status, geographic locations, family histories, ad infinitum. however, our paths intersect at this juncture
Well, I'm pleased that I do take the time to sort through some of the old topics in this community. I think this is a good questions and I have enjoyed reading the answers.
Over the years, by default and by initiative, I have been the travel planner for our family. The role has evolved as the family has matured and the availability and ease of access to information has improved as well.
In our case, distance and duration seem to drive both flow and know. If we are headed away for a short holiday or long weekend, we don't seem to gather or require as much information.
On the other hand, if we are moving out of our comfort zone locality and especially, if we are going to a foreign destination, we start getting serious about acquiring information. Even though I am the PLANNER, I attempt to develop a consesus in advance to avoid or minimize conflict later on at a destination.
We always attempt tobuild in pockets of nonscripted time, just to be sure we can discover and take advantage of opportunities, which we have found seem to pop up every trip.
So, we would be mostly KNOW travelers with a sprinkling of FLOW here and there.