When You Can’t Be There In Person, Travel Virtually

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I love travel and my bucket list of destinations and experiences is a million miles long. Unfortunately, these days, I don’t get to do as much traveling as I’d like. Whether it be money, time, work, or family obligations, something often prevents me from indulging my whim to set off into the wild blue yonder to explore new (and familiar) destinations.

For me, a lot of the joy of traveling is in the research, the planning, the daydreaming, and the anticipation. It’s fair to say that I am always actively planning a trip, generally several. It might be for an imminent departure, but it’s often for “someday” trips.

I spend many hours every week (OK, every day) researching, collecting, organizing, prioritizing, budgeting, and mapping out itineraries. It is not uncommon for me to put together scenic walking routes by virtually strolling through towns using the Street View in GoogleMaps. For me, the details are important. In short, I’m obsessed. But, I love it.

This doesn’t mean that when we travel we follow some strict schedule like robots or that we are simply checking off a list along the way. It means that by the time we actually arrive at our destination, it’s familiar. It gives us the confidence to be spontaneous, it helps us make the most of our time, and it ensures that our experience will be perfectly suited to us and our interests. I basically build my own custom guidebook and suggested itinerary. Once we’re there, we play it by ear. We stick to the plan or we veer from it as each day unfolds. Most importantly, we never have the dreaded “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversation.