My first mistake in planning to travel

My first mistake in planning to travel

GREAT I said to myself I’m going traveling around the world like I had dreams of so many times before. It was then I did what everybody does. I jumped on Google and like someone trying to diagnose their illness online, attempted to find a road map someone else had planned and solved for me.

Google Search How to Travel Europe

First point of call was the lonely planet website. They make all these guide books I remembered seeing at the local book shop, how could I go wrong. A quick look about and I’d picked out some guide books I was going to buy the next time I was out. Onto the forums I went and after deciphering exactly what section I wanted to be in, I read with a thirst.

Next a link to a bloggers website who claimed to have the perfect travel itinerary. I jumped from blog to blog, everybody with what they thought was the best way to see Europe or Asia or America. Bookmarking each blog as I went the information overload beginning to build.

I had found several blogs that I kept coming back too. Surely these people had the answer i just needed to look harder. I read stories of paris sewers, how to maximise your travel time and that stonehenge still rocks.

After a few days of research and a bookmark folder so full it no longer made sense to me I threw my hands in the air. How can it be this hard to find the perfect way to see the world.

It was then that it dawned on me, there is no perfect travel book or itinerary to kill all other itineraries. Each of the blogs I had read all worked, but they worked for that person. I needed to have my own adventure, my own plan.

Sure there were common places in Europe to visit like Paris and Amsterdam. But why follow little johnny to a tiny village in the south of France just to see that statue of his great grandfather when it had no significance to me.

With that thought in mind I deleted my bookmarks. I loaded up google and instead of searching for the answer, I searched for fun. I looked for things that might interest me and began building my own little travel story.

Some of the great blogs I did find (the ones that stuck in my head after deleting my bookmarks) can be found on my Travel Links page. Hopefully they will help you plan the pages of your travel book like they are mine.

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12 Responses to My first mistake in planning to travel

  1. STOP HAVING A BORING LIFE December 8, 2009 at 12:21 PM #

    Love it!

    If you read guide books you basically just follow someone elses adventure. You just want to figure out where you want to go and make your own adventure. I don’t read guide books, don’t pre-plan.I just show up and it’s always worked out.

    Best of luck on your adventure man,


    “I jumped on Google and like someone trying to diagnose their illness online, attempted to find a road map someone else had planned and solved for me.”

    That made me laugh.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD December 8, 2009 at 12:44 PM #

      Hey mate I wish I had your gusto. Heading off without a guide book or a plan. I think I’ll take smaller steps to begin with and strive to follow your philosophy more.

      Although the thought of buying a plane ticket and getting off the place with endless choices does sound very tempting.

  2. RYAN December 8, 2009 at 12:29 PM #

    just found my best spots to travel in Oz by word of mouth while hitch hiking for fuel around the NT/QLD boarder. Purposely left my travel books at home. I guess i didn’t bother to read the section that says “don’t run out of petro in the outback”

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD December 8, 2009 at 12:47 PM #

      Love it mate. If your down the bottom end of Australia near Melbourne let me know. I’ll shout you a beer and you can tell me how you managed to run out of fuel up there.

  3. KMO December 8, 2009 at 2:11 PM #

    Hey! Found you through Twitter (through @WorldLillie). The whole “bookmarking every blog and travel tip I can find” thing sounds exactly like me! But you’ve made a good point: since this will be *your* trip, you shouldn’t plan to do things just because they’re written in a guidebook or on a blog.

    I’ve been doing all kinds of research on travel since the summer; I’m planning a trip to Australia (hopefully) in about a year! Good luck on your travels! Hope to meet you on the road someday!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD December 8, 2009 at 2:26 PM #

      Hey Kristin, yeah I’ve been annoying poor old Lillie the last couple of days. Twitter sure is a great way to find new people though.

      I found I had a couple of hundred dollars worth of guide books in my lap along with all the websites I had bookmarked, yet still no idea what I was going to do.

      I’ve slowed down now and while I have a basic idea of what I’m going to do its still very open. I’m leaning towards word of mouth recommendation’s and a splash of luck for now.

      If I’m still here in aus when you get here next year be sure to look me up. Otherwise feel free to bug me for ideas, after all I have spent the last 28 years here 🙂

  4. CORNELIUS AESOP December 11, 2009 at 7:55 AM #

    I am kind of in the same boat now in trying to develop my blog site with tips and info on how to’s. I also have been researching cross country bike routes for the US and this really makes me rethink why I am even trying to take that approach and why it has seemed so difficult to find ‘The Route.’

  5. THE AUSSIE NOMAD December 11, 2009 at 3:42 PM #

    Hi Cornelius, I know your pain. I think in the beginning, as I have never been to Europe I wanted to find a path to follow to reduce the fear. If I had a map to follow it was going to be easy. Just rocking up in a country with no path to follow was in my mind too hard.

    I like to think of it as having developed guide bookitis. Reading everything online and in books but not actually thinking for myself.

    After thinking it through, I wanted to change my lifestyle and get out there. Do my own thing and enjoy a new country with my own eyes. So I started again, this time looking for places I wanted to see, not what I was told to see.

    Plan your bike routes around places that you would want to see. Read the guide books and online material but only for information. Don’t treat them as the be all and end all solution.

    Good luck with your blog I’ll be sure to drop by for a look.

  6. MARK H December 16, 2009 at 3:51 PM #

    I think you are on the right philosophy – let a lot of your travel just happen. A bit of a read before you go helps understand some of the history and culture which helps put things you see in perspective but you don’t need someone else’s itinerary to have a good time.

  7. THE AUSSIE NOMAD December 16, 2009 at 4:29 PM #

    i hope I’m on the right path. I want it to just flow, maybe I stay here a day or a week. I don’t want to find myself missing something because I had to catch THAT bus to get to THAT museum only to find I hated it.

    Some things will need a bit of planning like wwoofing and couchsurfing but otherwise. I want to meet random people, see random things and most of all never regret a moment of the lifestyle I’m going to adopt.

  8. IAN [EAGEREXISTENCE] March 4, 2011 at 4:03 AM #

    LOL. I find myself making the same mistakes right now. Many brochures, travel blogs, and a world map in front of me. Information overload.

  9. MEGAN June 13, 2014 at 6:45 PM #

    Working a quiet night shift and I’m dreaming of the perfect Europe adventure. I’ve done everything you mentioned trying to find the perfect path to travel, almost buying a guide book online that I knew nothing about just in the hopes of it having the answer. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s started out their travel plans this way! Time to plan MY trip.

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