I Want To Go Now: Instant Gratification vs Anticipation of Travel

I Want To Go Now: Instant Gratification vs Anticipation of Travel

Like most people I know, I am very good at always wanting to go on holiday, an adventure or a weekend away. However, I am dreadful when it comes to actually booking and coming up with a planned itinerary.

I will let you into a widely known secret: I suck at travel planning.

Coming from someone whose entire life seems to be one big holiday (I promise you, it’s not) that seems a little strange.

What do I mean by this?

The Next Steps

I’m roughly a month away from moving on to my next adventure in Australia. For nearly four months I have been working in a small town in Western Australia (read how I ended up in this place here) to save money to help fund my trip. People are asking me on a daily basis, ‘so are you excited for your next steps?’

I shrug. I mumble. I’m not sure.

I kind of have a vague plan forming, but you would be forgiven for thinking that I am actually not that interested in the next leg of my epic West Coast adventure.

Jurien-Bay-Western-Australia-travel

Jurien Bay, Western Australia

Which is, as you can imagine, total tosh as I am extremely excited.

It’s just that it all seems too far away to contemplate and so I am unable to formulate a plan. I know I should be booking flights, researching, detailing, making price comparisons… but I don’t.

If it’s not happening right now then why I am strangely apathetic to the whole thing?

I Want To Go Now

Hands up: who else impatiently waits for their holiday to roll round? See, I know I’m definitely not alone on this one. I don’t know many people who moan and groan about their impending holiday, especially if it entitles them to a decent chunk of time off work.

western-australia-kalbarri-travel-anticipation

Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia

Who else looks at that confirmation email you receive after you book your flights, accommodation or car rental and think: ‘I want to go now?’ The excitement ebbs away slightly as you slot your credit card back into your purse, sit back and you can’t help but feel slightly deflated.

That amazing Air BnB you’ve just scored is weeks away. How are you possibly going to wait until then?

Instant Gratification

I am a whirlwind.

I am dreadfully predisposed to leaving things to the last minute and seeing what happens. The flight may be booked but the guide book sure hasn’t been read (yet).

The truth is, I think I enjoy the last minute buzz of things falling in to place. I get excited about travel like a child may get excited about unwrapping their presents on their birthday. What is there to discover? What will I find in this new city/country?

You know when you have a deadline looming at work or an exam the next morning? Nothing kicks you into gear more keenly than that rush of adrenaline knowing that tomorrow is ‘The Day’. Not that I leave my travel planning to literally quite the last minute, but it’s almost akin to feeling that push of necessity.

It’s happening.

I’m going, and I’m going now.

shell-beach-western-australia-travel-anticipation

Shell Beach, Western Australia

And so I think I need the pressure of the looming deadline of travel to rev me into full speed when it comes to travel planning. Sure, my ‘to-do’ list may have been written months ago, but there are many glaring blanks where there should be solid ticks of action.

Why I leave it all to the last week to suddenly run around like a mad woman, cramming my must-dos into my last remaining hours, I do not know. I just know that I thrive against the clock and am a dreadful procrastinator when I have too much time on my hands.

Anticipation Of Travel

For me, the anticipation of travel almost never seems to kick in.

Until the last minute, that is.

I’m not someone who has one of those countdown apps on their phone that shows you the number of days left until a trip. To me, that seems like an intolerable torture.

Don’t you think spur of the moment is much more exciting? Whether or not the trip is planned at the drop of a hat or not, I seem to only get excited about it in a major way as it looms.

Am I alone?

I love the idea of travel. My bucket list just continues to grow and I usually can be guaranteed to agree to any adventure or road trip suggested by friends. To explore, to experience, to learn; these are all reasons why I want to constantly travel. I yearn to see new things, to be surprised, to discover.

western australia-carnarvon-travel-anticipation

Carnarvon, Western Australia

All of this ‘otherworldliness’ is perhaps part of the reason why I anticipate travel in a different way. For me, I want to approach travel with my eyes and ears open to suggestions, devoid of expectations, to try and just experience this new destination in the most authentic way possible.

I will gladly accept recommendations from people about what I should see and do in a place. Whether I take them up on their suggestions remains to be seen and I enjoy letting my travels unfurl with this extra slice of information at my back.

I love the anticipation of travel, but only when it’s tangible; on the tip of my tongue. I’m almost ready to leave on a new adventure and my excitement is so palpable I can almost taste it.

To me, that’s anticipation.

What are your thoughts on the instant gratification vs anticipation of travel? Are you a last minute kind of person or someone who loves the slow, organised build up? 

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instant-gratification-travel-anticipation

16 Comments

  1. August 13, 2016 / 1:49 AM

    I want to go now! Grab my bags, passport and just go

  2. August 13, 2016 / 3:09 AM

    I feel ya actually! I don’t get super excited for a new trip until I’m getting ready to go the day before. I’m horrible at actually reading through and taking notes from all the posts I pin on Pinterest and until recently, I’d turn around to write a post and be like “Why did I miss this?!” One of the reasons I’m glad I’m travel blogging is that it kind of forces me to be more aware of what’s what when I go somewhere new, and I can easily ask little questions in travel groups for more firsthand experience.

    • August 13, 2016 / 8:59 AM

      I vow to make an effort to be more organised, too, and I agree that blogging helps the focus! Using Pinterest is such a good idea to gather up ideas and I should use that to see if there’s any info on my next destination. I’m inspired already!

  3. August 13, 2016 / 4:04 AM

    I am absolutely the same as you on this one. I get the ‘deflated’ feeling after booking things which are ages away, if i want to go somewhere i really just want to go now, not in like months!

    I am super last minute. For my trip to asia i had a guidebook but never looked at it. For my move to NZ i carried around my guidebook for about 6 months before finally leaving it on a hostel bookshelf because i only ever looked at it about once, briefly.

    I am the same with lack of planning, i like to get lost and explore not already know whats coming, thats boring haha! although a lot of the time i probably should know a bit better haha!

    • August 13, 2016 / 9:01 AM

      Reading your comment is almost like holding up a mirror to myself – I did EXACTLY the same in SE Asia and NZ, ha! Sometimes I tell myself I should know better when I get frustrated if something’s not working out, but as I never seem to change I just accept that this is obviously who I am destined to be!

  4. August 13, 2016 / 4:05 AM

    Totally related to this! I’m going to Ireland in a month and haven’t booked anything. 😬😂 when I went to Europe I booked a few hostels and chose cities but didn’t have my day’s planned out in each. It was really nice actually because there was no disappointment involved.

    • August 13, 2016 / 9:03 AM

      Yep, I’m the same. Not having accommodation figured out for my first night in a new city makes me feel anxious but after that I tend to wing it. I really want to go to Ireland and do a road trip (classic). And you know what? I’d probably just rock up in my van and see what happens! Enjoy your trip!!

  5. August 13, 2016 / 5:28 AM

    I do the exact same thing! It always baffles me and I don’t really understand it except that it’s in keeping with my procrastinating personality. Well said!

    • August 13, 2016 / 9:10 AM

      Yep, I put my hands up: guilty of procrastinating right here! I’m pretty laid back too in many ways so I have just learned to give myself a mental eye-roll whenever I think of my disorganisation and just get on with it, ha! Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. August 13, 2016 / 6:52 AM

    I have a love/hate relationship with ‘anticipation of travel’ – I love knowing I’m going away, planning and thinking about it, but I also always want it to be time to go!

    • August 13, 2016 / 9:11 AM

      I ALWAYS want it to be time to go – a little too much sometimes! You’re definitely not the only one!

  7. August 14, 2016 / 3:04 AM

    I would be fun to do it on the spur of the moment, but I usually need to save and don t have cash to take off when I want to…so planning is a must!

    Your pics are lovely!

    • August 15, 2016 / 2:36 AM

      Planning certainly helps organising a budget. Thanks for reading and I’m so pleased you liked the photos!

  8. August 14, 2016 / 3:54 AM

    I’m a total planner. I love it and since I work full time, it gives me something travel related to get me through the months when I cant travel. I’m trying to be better about setting a more vague iterinary, but I notice I’m able to save a lot by planning ahead of time and reading up on the tourist attractions that I want to skip!

    • August 15, 2016 / 2:34 AM

      Knowing what to skip is definitely important as you don’t waste your time or money! I need to take a leaf out of your book!

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