Four steps to your dream trips

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by Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)

Man, I want to go there…

 

How many times have you heard that, when someone’s talking to you about vacation plans?

 

More importantly, how many times have you been the one to say it?

 

Because stop it.

 

I know, travel’s tough. Gotta find the time, gotta find the money, gotta organize and plan…it’s not easy.

 

“Well, nothing worth doing,” your mom / dad / teacher / coach / etc. always said, “is”.

 

“Aqaba is over there,” my wife’s favorite line of Peter O’Toole’s goes, speaking to Omar Sharif about overcoming the first major trial in Lawrence of Arabia. “It is only a matter of going.”

 

The fundamentals of getting to Aqaba – real or metaphoric – aren’t hard. I’m not what you’d call a seasoned traveler (though my plane stub collection weighs about a Chipotle burrito by now, a lot of it’s for business…doesn’t count). But in the past six years or so, my wife and I have managed to cover our share of ground. And it all started with a very familiar ‘man, I want to go there…’.

 

It all comes down to this:

 

  1. Have a list of your dreams.

Know what it is that you want to see – and especially what you want to do. Write them down – a written goal has a much better chance of happening, and hopefully you get to a place where you have so many goals and dreams it’s hard to keep up with.

 

My wife and I found ourselves talking about watching the Boston Pops play their big July 4th concert with the indomitable John Williams at the helm, and how cool it would be to see that (even though Johnny had long since moved on). This got us a list of places we wanted go, things we wanted to see, stadiums we wanted to watch football in….the important stuff. It also led to looking at…

 

  1. Know what you actually want to do.

So you want to go to Paris. Awesome. What do you want to see? What do you want to do? Not what should you do, what do you actually want to do?

 

Knowing what you need to do and what you generally like to do not only helps you build the right trip, it can open up a world of things to experience that you’d miss trying to complete someone else’s checklist. Open minds to new things are good. Your dreams and your trips, though, are yours.

 

We knew there was too much in Boston to do on a short holiday weekend, and while we wanted to see the Pops, we’re also not much on crowds. We were ready to tolerate the parts of it we didn’t care for, but anytime you can skip it, why not? As it turned out, the Pops does a practice concert the day before with their celebrities and everything – shorter lines, easier security, same show. Get what we want and free up the day itself back for…who knows what? Yup – that’s the checklist we want.

  1. Take 5 minutes right now and look at prices.

Take that first wish-list item, and drop it into Expedia. Like right now. Start with dates that are relatively soon, and play around from there to find low seasons and ideal timeframes. It’s a very easy first step to getting there, and can usually surprise you.

 

Boston for July 4th sounded like a peak-season, tourist destination, urban center price point nightmare…until we looked. Flights actually not bad, brand-name hotel in the heart of things on the right T lines not expensive at all and meant no car needed, admissions free or not bad…hey, someone could actually do this! And this before AirBNB!

 

  1. Remember that dream list? Bring it with you.

It’s a recurring theme at Saddleback, but leave room in your schedule and mind for the unexpected. Once you’re in a new place, there’s no telling what you’re going to find that fits things you like and want to do. You’re in a dream destination – chances are, you’re going to find some dreams beyond what you came to experience. Know what your must-do’s and your like-to-do’s, but know yourself and keep your eyes open while you’re at it.

 

Two midblowing opportunities popped up while we were in Boston. First, it turned out that tall ships were being allowed into the harbor a little earlier than they usually were – not just great picture opportunities, but as it turns out we were able to line up a brunch on one the last day we would be in town. We love boats, we’ve gotta eat, mission accomplished.

 

Second, freeing up July 4th itself meant that when a colleague who was in town at the time found out we were there and was invited us to a rooftop party to watch the show and the fireworks, we were able to both say yes AND have achieved the goal of the trip.

 

Aqaba and you

Aqaba – or Boston, Australia, Thailand, or the sweet, sweet dead middle of nowhere –  is over there. It’s only a matter of going.
Travel can be intimidating, but a lot of it is buildup what’s possible and what’s necessary in your head. The sooner you start taking it from dreams to facts, the easier and more real it becomes.

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