We live in a society obsessed with planning; as an obsessive compulsive person, this should make me very happy–if only we could also become obsessed with semi-colons and dashes, my life would be perfect. But I can’t help but wonder how far is too far.
Several things led me to this conclusion. A woman I (sort of) work with today told me that she went on her honeymoon to Italy and did absolutely no pre-planning. I gasped. Why did you do that, I asked. Because we were young, she responded, and then admitted they’d probably ‘missed half of what they should have seen’.
Should have seen? When did vacation become a list of things we ‘should have seen’? Vacation as checklist–when did that happen?
Yet another woman I work with (hi other woman–I know you read this) is planning a trip to Disney World with her family. After hearing how very much effort goes into said planning, yes, you guessed it, I gasped. But not nearly as loudly as I gasped at non-planning woman. I have to think that when I went to Disney World with my family twenty years ago, they did not do the amount of planning that most families do today. Hell–they couldn’t do as much planning, as the websites and phone apps required for such planning simply did not exist (when I was ten years old, the word ‘app’ was only used as shorthand for appetizer).
Is it this technology that has created this obsession? I’m going to have to draw the conclusion that yes, yes it is. Because thing three–the third thing that led me to believe that we are a plan-obsessed society–is what I did during my detention duty today. I cross-referenced. Yes, you read that correctly, in preparation for what is supposedly ‘The Trip of a Lifetime’ (though I hate that term–post on that yet to come), I am CROSS REFERENCING. I went through the restaurants recommended in my Lonely Planet Barcelona City Guide (which, by the way, I selected only after reading multiple guide book reviews on Amazon) and looked up each establishment I’d highlighted on Tripadvisor and took anecdotal notes in the margins. I TOOK ANECDOTAL NOTES. Seriously. This is not normal.
I’ve given some thought to reserving part of our trip to just experience the cities and countries we’re visiting–to live without a plan. And then I realized that even THAT is a plan. Clearly, there is truly nothing to be done.