Not so impulsive after all

Whenever I tell my friends and family that I’m planning another solo trip, they always react as though it’s the most impulsive thing to do. I imagine that this is the scenario in their heads: I’m working late in the office, there are piles of stories to go through and I’m starving from lack of food when all of a sudden, I erupt and scream at the top of my lungs: “I’m sick of this shit!! I’m booking a flight out next week!”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who’s done a fair bit of travelling by themselves will know that there’s nothing impulsive about it. It may take a single thought to spark off another trip but the fact is that many people who love to travel can spend months planning and mulling over the details.

If it’s a straightforward one-week trip in roughly one area, there won’t be much to read up on. But if it’s a long-haul overland or round the world trip, important issues such as routes, visas and where the best/most scenic/baksheesh-free border crossings are, will arise. It’s this part of the planning which I truly enjoy and tend to spend the most time on.

What’s most ironic is that trips which seem the most impulsive, the ones where you drop everything and leave, always require the most amount of planning. If you’re taking more than 12 months off, for example, you’ll be considering issues like selling your house or quiting your job, or both. And if you’re selling, where are you going to stay when you get back?

So although people think those who love to travel alone are a brave and impulsive bunch, we aren’t really, are we. There’s a whole lot of planning involved….but don’t tell them that.


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