How to Unplan a Trip

I have an upcoming motorcycle trip. We made this trip years ago with six of us. I knew, early on in planning that trip, that I would need to spearhead the mission, if it was going to happen. Part of the beauty of a motorcycle trip is that you are taking all the entertainment you need with you. All you need to arrange are accommodations, relative access to food and fuel, and a date.

Let’s start with the latter first. Getting any number of working individuals to commit to a specified week away at the same time is near impossible. Gaining the blessing of spouse or significant other for, not only the time away without them on a testosterone-fueled ‘boy’s week’, but the money you are about to spend doing it, can be difficult from what they tell me. I don’t know. I wear the pants. Only then, can you begin coordinating requests to employers for vacation, crossing your fingers that all works out. But eventually, a date is set. Whew!

Now, with a date set and the advent of online purveyors for accommodations being so plentiful, the search was easier. The hurdle here was, that at the beginning, I couldn’t rely on six people going. Some of my friends are just unreliable when committing to this type of trip. I need better friends. So, I parsed out the four tried and true guys, who I know were down for going, and we found accommodations that, split four ways, would not be a burden to anyone, and if no one else goes, we were covered. The accommodations would sleep twice our number, and we knew that our costs would only drop with the addition of others who could find their balls. These accommodations were centrally located to everything we would need from fuel, to food, to a small motorcycle repair a shop, renowned for keeping riders on the road no matter the make or model. We were set!

As with all things, once the four of us had everything arranged, others somehow got a note from mommy, so they could come along. We could take four more riders but ended up with only two. And that was plenty. It reduced the cost for everyone going, and even put some money in the kitty to stock the fridge at the house we were renting.

I had taken on the bulk of planning, with the insight of one real iron butt friend, and made all the arrangements. This was the first time to the area for all of us. I printed maps. Made cell phone number lists for everyone (wallet size, of course). Handled the payment for accommodations and collected monies due. I won’t even get into what was involved with half of us riding for two days to our destination and half trailering the following day. It was a great deal of work and research. But I was happy to do it and the trip was a roaring success. Our future will be replete with remembrance and tales of those valiant days.

This upcoming trip, I had decided to pass the baton. There were only three of us and the date was easy. I welcomed the chance to not be burdened with the detail and minutia of planning things. I earned my patch, newbie. So, I left the planning to one of my friends. One of the four original tried and true, who had committed so early way back when.

I allowed myself to get excited about the trip, well before the lack of anything really getting done sunk in. I pushed and rallied for him to reserve a house, until he did just a few weeks prior to our agreed-on date. Now, just a few days away, I have yet to finalize a great deal with him concerning our travel together. I have always believed in good preparation. But, if we are prepared, I am unaware.

I had hoped to unshackle myself from the stress of planning a trip. Instead, I remain bound by the stress of not feeling like we are ready. I am not sure which is worse. If I were planning it, then I would know that we are ready. But that is just the anal retentive, over detailed, control issue side of me. Maybe it is time to fly by the seat of my pants a bit more. I have no doubt we are going. We will have or find anything we need. Getting there and back will take care of itself. They’ll still serve breakfast at Pop & Nana’s Ice Cream Shop. Everything else is just gravy (which you can also get at the ice cream shop).

Once I cede any control, and just go with the flow of things, my stress is gone and I am left to simply sit back, get excited, and wait. I cannot find in it myself to wait patiently. I am far too excited to get this show on the road, but I am not stressed about it anymore. Maybe I will learn a lesson here.

4 Responses to “How to Unplan a Trip”
  1. You know that, when it comes to important events, I make a plan and stress out when things don’t go according to it. You also know, as I learned this past Christmas, somehow having your exact plans not work out becomes better! I trust that you’ll have everything you need – or access to it – and once you get there and just focus on the riding itself, you’ll be glad to be in the moment without being in charge of the next moment. Travel safe! I hope for good weather throughout your trip!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      There is great wisdom in knowing when to let go. It is a lesson I am still learning. Thank you for your travelling wishes, your readership, and your comments.

  2. It’s funny how we all go about out motorcycle adventures in different ways. Personally all I need is a destination and a sense of which direction to take to get there. Of course, I prefer to travel with a pillion at most. Logistics of a group are entirely a different matter 😅

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