Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Getting excited for a foodie weekend in Vietnam and a great adventure in India

In a never-ending Travelife, it's hard to keep thinking about future trips in the interim -- that period after the basic planning is done but still way before the travel itself is going to happen.

I go on so many trips that I fear that keeping my mind on those trips several months ahead will keep me distracted from enjoying the present. And that would diminish the whole purpose of a never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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To enjoy each and every single moment of a Travelife, I really discipline myself to keep focused on today and to keep my excitement level about a futre trip down until it's staring at me in the face.

Honestly, every Travelife is truly exciting, so this isn't so easy to do.

So unless it's major travel that requires meticulous planning way ahead of time -- South Africa took about six months to put together, for instance -- I try not to think too much about an upcoming trip once I've done the needed basic legwork, until it's to finalize it.


Call it compartmentalizing.

Each trip in my Travelife has a box in my mind, and they're stacked in order of schedule so that I'll only think of them in order, and when the box is open in my mind.

Each mental box has an itinerary, a to-do list, a prospective list of companions, and a bucket list.

I'll open this box in my mind at the outset just to do the basic work on it. Then I'll close the box in my mind and only open it again when it's coming up for rotation duty.


So last month, I was in Sri Lanka and Japan, and I was completely focused on these trips and experiences.

Now they're over, and it's March. My March trips are Vietnam and India. And just today, I officially opened my mental boxes for Vietnam and India and started focusing and finalizing details.

I couldn't start on these in earnest until I'd gotten the earlier boxes out of the way.

And, yes, I'm one of these out-of-sight, out-of-mind persons. If a box isn't open in my mind, I don't think about it much.


But now I'm getting really excited for Vietnam and India -- two very different trips.

 I often ask a friend to join me on a trip -- or else we plan a trip together from the outset -- unless I'm intent on just doing a solo thing. I like doing solo trips ocassionally as well, as it's a different experience all together. It pushes you way out of your comfort zone.

The last solo one I did was to Jordan last September and I loved it.


For these two upcoming trips, I've asked one friend to come along with me to Vietnam, and another friend to join me for India. Interestingly, these two friends were both with me on the Travelife to Sri Lanka last month.

They've also both been with me on other trips and we've had lots of fun together. I'm really lucky to have friends who love travel and new experiences as much as I do, and who have the luxury of time and resources to join me every so often.

You'll be reading about Vietnam pretty soon, so I won't write much about it.

But the India trip is a complete wildcard at the moment.

We haven't really booked anything concrete (which is terribly unusual for me) and there are no luxury hotels in one of the destinations we're going to (again, so very unusual for me). But I feel it's time for that kind of adventure for me.

We just have booked tickets in and out of India, and we decided on two destinations.


We're going to two places in India we've both never been to, and that we currently don't know much about.

One of them is so under the radar that this friend coming along hadn't even heard of it until I'd mentioned it to him two weeks or so ago. It's really great that he's so game.

But the destination itself looks amazing -- so much so that I'm willing to forego my usual kind of hotels and luxury and just jump into an exotic adventure. It's quite exciting, actually.

But I am getting straight into planning the nitty-gritty details, now that my mental box for India is wide open.


So far, I've found a really fantastic historical hotel to stay in and two monuments we have to visit at all costs. And India's best biryani restaurants just happen to be in one of the places we're going to. But that's about it, so far.

No worries, though.

I'm trusting that, in a couple of days, I'll have everything mapped out and seamless, as I always do, in a never-ending and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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