Shopping on an Empty Stomach: A Poor Trip-Planning Strategy

According to my calculations, I spent approximately 25% of last year on the road–or in the air or at sea.  During my 14 months off, I spent 106 days somewhere other than my home.  To most people I know, that’s a lot of travel.  To most bloggers I follow, that’s a lot of time at home.

It has been one hundred and two days since my last trip.  Wow–I didn’t realize it was that bad until I just now counted the days.  That kind of makes me want to cry.  But it also really helps me make my point–this is not a good time for me to be planning a trip.

Everyone knows the old cliched saying about not going grocery shopping when you are hungry.  The same is true for travel planning. After 102 days at home, anywhere is looking good to me–and the farther and longer the better.  In the past week, I’ve inquired about apartments in Barcelona and Bolder, researched living expenses in Peru, and mapped out a two-month exploration of eastern Europe.

I’m starving, and I’m in the bulk section at Whole Foods.  Metaphorically, of course.  Where I actually am is far, far more expensive.

So when should you plan your next trip?  That’s easy–as soon as you return home from your last trip.  And so that’s what I plan to do. I’m leaving for a long weekend in Charlottesville this week (on the busiest travel day of the year); when I come back, I’ll plan my summer adventure.

Though to be fair, a long weekend in Virginia is merely an appetizer in the banquet of travel I’d prefer to be experiencing.  But at least it is something to hold me over and help focus my mind.  And also to be fair–keeping myself from researching destinations for the next four days is going to take more restraint than walking out of that grocery store without three pounds of banana chips, an organic free-trade chocolate bar and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Disclosure:  This post was written days before it was published.  Thus, you are reading it while I’m actually on my next trip.  Thus, you will never know if I managed to put off planning my next trip until I returned home from my next trip.  Unless of course you ask me in the comments section below.  


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