I seem to be having one of those days today; a bit distracted, lacking enthusiasm and mind elsewhere. I blame Suzanne, as just before she left for Sierra Leone, she said to me, “I’m trying to figure out how to persuade you to come to Thailand…”
I don’t know if she realised it, but that was pretty much all it took. Granted, a lot of today’s daydreaming is about her more than anything but about half is certainly about the Far East. I have been looking into it a little, wondering what’s there that would grab my attention (for those unaware of my climbing, ropes are not my focus or fortay) and looked into the deep water soloing scene over there, as it’s blossomed in the last few years, as well as the bouldering, of course. Today, it’s encompassing my every other thought, especially as I’ve ordered a couple of lonely planet guides to peruse! And the worst thing is, I’m not really making any headway at all into some sort of plan to go!
It’s all just dreaming, with the famous Supertramp song running through my head, almost as a soundtrack to the scattered thoughts of sun, beach, boulders, etc. Even that takes me off on a bit of a tangent, knowing the way I tend to live when off on trips like this, the irony making me smile. But then you’re back to thinking about it again.
I’m an insatiable planner, as well as a real dreamer with a vivid imagination, so I’m sure if you saw me today, you’d probably see me staring into space, seemingly absent-mindedly, formulating no real thoughts at all. I’m not bad at the whole organisational aspect either, but it’s not even the logistics that I’m pondering today, it’s just the thought of going! Much like with this blog post, it’s not really reaching any sort of conclusion or point, it’s just going round and round, with an image of me, on a beach, with a tent and a beer watching the sunset.
I like it, this whole process. If it all comes off, and I do end up taking the flight (can’t even remember where I fly to!) then I’ll go through all the other stuff, like jabs and kit and guides and so on, but this bit isn’t as organised, I’m not there yet. There are stages to planning a trip, we’ll go in reverse order:
- stage 1: “oh, I’m here now, what do I do?!” Often a bit of an anticlimax as the stress levels wear off. Lasts a few minutes.
Stage 2: the travelling. This starts with a lot of excitement (also lasting a few minutes) but soon dies off to boredom and a longing to get it over with. The return can often be worse.
Stage 3: the final bits in the bag. This also includes the paranoia that you’ve forgotten something crucial and a hundred and one checks of your passport. You’ll probably also add one item that comes in really handy, and five that really really don’t
Stage 4: packing. I’m awful at this, will have a small pile of stuff sorted weeks in advance but the bulk will normally be done late night the day before I go. However, being as my house is mainly made up of stuff for trips, it normally works out okay.
Stage 5: waiting, coupled with the pre-trip blues. I recently combined the pre-trip blues with post-trip blues and can only apologise to anyone unfortunate enough to meet me in that short period…
Stage 6: booking and buying. The flight or ferry, the guidebooks, the t-shirt that’ll be perfect or gas for the stove, etc etc. This bit is quite good, makes the whole thing real.
Stage 7: people. Always a nightmare getting people to go and to commit – I’ve found adding them onto the ticket is the best way but even then sometimes people pull out. Not fun.
Stage 8: the idea. It’s where I am now, often starting with “I’ve got this time off…” Or “I quite fancy going there…”. It often falls flat on it’s face at this stage but if it doesn’t, you’ve got all the other fun to look forward to.
So, Thailand. I quite fancy going there…