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Are you a planner?

March 17, 2010

Christchurch, New Zealand:

(Apologies for any typos or nonsense — slept at Christchurch Airport last night after a late flight. Much less sketchy than I expected as every other sleeping person was around my age and didn’t look like a thief/rapist/insane person. Only downside was waking up with really sore bones from sleeping on the ground. Gosh, I sound like an 80-year-old woman but it’s true! πŸ˜‰ )

I used to be a wacko, Type A planner and even more so when it came to travel. It never got to the point of having a daily typed itinerary or anything, but I never showed up in a new city without a fairly firm idea of what I wanted to see and do (with room for additions, of course).

Over the past year or so, that has gone out the window. Not completely — I still usually take the role of “mom” while planning a vacation — but it’s become much more common to arrive somewhere new and then figure out what there is to do.

This is both fantastic and not-so-much. It’s great because you can talk to people about what they liked and recommend. When you’re traveling solo, though, it can be disorienting (but exciting) to get to a new place and have no clue where to go or what to do.

Christchurch Cathedral /

That’s how I am about this entire trip to New Zealand. Friends have given awesome recommendations and I’m excited to try some of them, but it’s also really freeing to wake up in the morning and decide what to do that day. I’ll be on the South Island for two weeks and visit three cities (Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin) before meeting up with my dad and sister in Auckland for a week of travel on the North Island.

I know, I know — there’s tons of gorgeous stuff here. But I don’t want to waste time busing between a bunch of different places when I could instead choose just a few and really explore them. New Zealand will make the travel itinerary again some day, I’m sure. πŸ˜‰

One of the things I’m loving already about New Zealand is the abundance of small hostels that are more like B&B’s than rambling resorts. It’s nice to have a homey feel — complete with dogs and cats! — and be staying in a house, not a rundown motel. Hostel prices for B&B comforts? Loving this country! πŸ˜€

New Zealand is best known for its natural sights. There are supposed to be nice walks and hikes and tons of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, much more so than the cities. Knowing myself and my preferences, I’ve chosen to stay in cities but spend my days outside of town. A couple guys at my Cairns hostel went on for a while about how the cities here are crap and that the best thing to do is go on a ramble, staying at $5 NZD huts along the way.

That would probably be an incredible experience. But not for me. To each his (or her!) own.

Oh, and I’m still a wacko, Type A about almost everything else in my life. Just ask about my dream apartment, wedding or career? πŸ˜€

Do you plan ahead or leave things to the last minute? I’m definitely NOT a last minute person but I’m slowly embracing more flexibility in life.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2010 4:27 pm

    I’m definitely a last-minute person. We usually go on holiday without even booking accommodation…….

  2. March 17, 2010 5:00 pm

    I’m last minute as I’m a big procrastinator most of the time.
    Some trips I wish I had planned ahead but oh well I survived πŸ™‚

  3. Laura permalink
    March 17, 2010 5:22 pm

    Welcome to New Zealand! πŸ™‚ And you’re coming to Dunedin, that’s awesome. I recommend the museum (incl. butterfly enclosure), art gallery, yellow eyed penguin colony and the Chinese Gardens. Let me know if you need any directions! I’m only sorry that you seem to have missed the summer weather! Fingers crossed that it will at least be sunny in Queenstown for a while longer!

  4. Danielle permalink
    March 17, 2010 6:18 pm

    I’m a type A person too. Except I don’t think I’ve gotten to the point of typing out schedules haha

    I’m so jealous you’re in New Zealand! If you see any of those cute birds (I forget what they’re called), please take a picture πŸ˜€

  5. louisianagrown permalink
    March 17, 2010 6:44 pm

    I’m a big time planner in normal life, but I’m pretty good at letting go on vacation. Don’t let yourself not have fun because you’re too busy planning or rushing around trying to see everything. Take your time and go with the flow!

  6. March 17, 2010 10:48 pm

    you are so badass! i think i’m too much of a princess to sleep on the floor. i def bring an air matress when camping πŸ˜‰

  7. March 18, 2010 5:56 am

    I can’t wait to see all your beautiful NZ pics!

    I am a planner. And am always the planner when it comes to vacay or group meet-ups. I definitely research a town before I go to make sure I don’t “miss” anything, but try to be more carefree when I am there to let little chance encounters happen too.

  8. March 18, 2010 9:24 am

    I’m Type A beyond Type A. No printed itineraries or anything, but I’ve got everything else planned to the T.

  9. March 18, 2010 10:44 am

    Hi, I appreciate your blog! Found it on Bing when I was looking for wedding dance.

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