An excerpt from a conversation with my sister last night in which we discuss our upcoming vacation:
Me: You better be grateful for how much I have put into planning this trip. You owe me a big thank you.
Erin: uh, thanks.
Me: I mean it! I now have pretty much everything booked - the flights, all the hotels and the two excursions - but I will warn you in the next few weeks I will go into uber planning mode and send you some packing lists so we can coordinate.
Erin: I was expecting that you would do that, you love doing this stuff.
Me: I don't love it.
Erin: [laughing] Yes, you do! You hated it when we went to Guatemala and you didn't get to plan the whole thing.
Me: That is not true. I don't have to plan everything, I just want to know what the general plan is so I can be prepared. I don't have to be the one to actually plan it. Planning takes a lot of work.
Erin: You love it.
This exchange went back and forth for a while longer in a similar vein. What I am trying to figure out is why am I so defensive about being a planner? Like it is a bad thing. I am not the type of planner that needs to allocate every last minute of a trip to some activity or another. I think that is annoying. How can you have an unwavering itinerary for a place you have never seen? And some trips require more advanced planning than others. Basically, I just want to feel comfortable that we will have a safe, clean place to sleep each night and that we will have proper transportation to our next stop. Since this particular trip is to Peru, I feel it is important to have these things squared away in advance after some research rather than on a whim while we are there since neither of us speaks Spanish and it will be just the two of us traveling. When we went to Iceland it was a bit more spontaneous because we were roadtripping it. Oh, and because I researched enough to feel there were plenty of sleeping options along the way. I also made sure I knew how far we needed to travel each day in order to get back to Reykjavik to catch our flight home but otherwise we found a place to sleep when we were finished driving for the day. And I was fine with that.
So why do I get so defensive about being a planner? Isn't it a good thing to coordinate our packing so we don't have too much or too little stuff and so we don't take duplicates of things of which we only need one? Especially when the domestic flights have strict baggage weight restrictions. Why does this accusation feel so negative to me?
Personally, I think there is just a lot of negative reaction to "Type A" or "Red" personalities and I probably just get defensive when someone is critical of one of my prominent Type A or Red behaviors. But I am curious as to what you might think. Is this a positive trait that I should just embrace and shed the negative connotations or does it sound a bit obsessive compulsive to you? Also, how do you prepare for vacation? Are you the planner or are you just along for the ride? Please feel free to discuss any or all of these questions.