I thought I would write one of my first blog posts on the way I travel in order to give readers a bit of insight into where I come from when I write. The term “calculated wanderer” pretty much sums my travel style up in 2 words.
Given I have always had to work my travels around my full-time corporate jobs, I have learned how to be an efficient traveler. My goal is to see the world and make it to 100 countries before I am 40, leaving no time to revisit a destination so I have to ensure I see and do it all when I am there. Prior to every trip I spend hours upon hours researching the destination of choice. For example, if it’s a country I have chosen, I research all the areas of the country I want to explore. If the destination is a city, I spend time looking into the different neighborhoods and what they have to offer. As a self proclaimed foodie, cocktail critic and photographer I want to ensure I make it to all the best and most exciting restaurants, the most atmospheric and tastiest cocktail bars (preferably those with a great view/outdoor space so I can get yet another perspective on the destination I am in) and see all the sites so there is no wonder left in me when I leave. I read all the obvious sources such as NY Times Travel 36 hours series, The Independent’s “48 hours in…” series, The Guardian travel pages, Conde Nast, Travel + Liesure, and so on. I also look to read available blogs on these destinations to get a less commercial opinion. I plan out each and everyday, make all necessary dinner reservations ahead of time, reach out to the hotel concierge ahead of time to ask if there is anything I need to arrange prior to such as tickets to events, etc. Then, when I actually arrive to the destination my plan goes out the window. As you wander the streets, stumble in to cafes and bars for a break and stumble across a different concierge person than you originally spoke with, you get talking to locals and other travelers and get new ideas and suggestions. If you are smart you will also use these opportunities to verify your original plans.
Needless to say, and despite adhering to it or not, I have a spreadsheet for every trip I take outlining each day and night that includes a page summarizing of all the research I have done on the location and all the relevant links I may want to pull up and review while away. I put this all into Google Docs so I can easily pull it up on my phone while travelling plus I make a print out prior to departure just in case technology fails me. I know not everyone will feel this is the best way to travel but it does provide many of my friends and family with a great starting point as they all want to “borrow” my spreadsheets – aka, copy our trip!!!! (which I will only take as a compliment)
Hope this helps you understand me a bit more!
Thanks for reading.