Going on vacation: extreme planning vs. “I can sleep on the ground if I need to”

I’ve been dreaming of going outside typical European holiday resorts from the moment I saw one of those pristine Asian beaches on National Geographic. So when I finally followed my colleague’s advice and simply bought the flight tickets when the opportunity came, I was jumping with joy shouting some nonsense about adventures and going off the beaten track. My “adventurous” soul was soon confronted and exposed as, well, not that much adventurous after all.

I got myself a guidebook and each evening I passionately flipped its pages, carefully planning my route, marking all the must-see landmarks. After all, I have only two weeks there and I wanna make the most of it. I got nervous the moment I realised I did’t have time to see everything, and I had no idea whether to choose a bus or a train, especially as I have the special ability of getting lost on a one-way street, not to mention anything more complicated than that.

Stressed with commuting, I decided to switch focus and check accommodation options. This got me even more nervous — I had no idea how long I should stay and where before moving forward, if I gonna like it, and what’s the weather gonna be like in June. While in the midst of this micromanagement nightmare, I voiced my concerns, expecting a solid piece of advice from my boyfriend, a more experienced traveler. And what I’ve got was:

We’ll see when we get there.

The quarrel was imminent. But let’s be honest, he initiated it — I just followed through:

What do you mean when we get there? We gonna be tired after the flight, I will need a bathroom (what if there is no hairdryer, do you think I should take it? Will you carry it or what?), for fuck’s sake, what if there is no private bathroom?

I guess my vibrato found its way to his ears, like an annoying fly, as he unlocked his eyes from the TV screen and slowly turned his head towards me. Encouraged, I continued:

And do you wanna travel by bus or train? Maybe we should take a driver after all? How do you wanna see the elephants if we gonna go by train, we can’t just jump off wherever we want!

He raised his eyebrows. I brought in the heavy artillery:

You don’t care about this stuff at all, do you?!

When my voice hit the highest pitch, the man has spoken:

Darling, if you wanted to have everything sorted out before you even get there, you should have used a travel agency. You would have received a nice neat agenda telling you when you gonna see the elephants, eat, sleep, and take a shit. Too late for that now.

I blinked a couple of times as the realisation I won’t have everything planned was sinking in. This meant that there will be times we get lost, we miss something, we get bored, or even, god forbid, there will be no hairdryer. And that we will need to decide things on the spot. And interact with the locals. And be adventurous, like Bear Grylls, just without drinking urine (I hope). Apparently, this adventure business is an exhausting enterprise…