This weekend I fly to Amsterdam for 9 fun filled days in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Belgium. (And may I just say right now: WOO HOO!!!)
I’m usually a decent planner, and before I go on vacation, especially when I’m going someplace where I want to get the most out of my time on the ground, I go all out crafting a daily itinerary, broken out into “Morning” “Afternoon” and “Evening.”
This time around, my life has been so busy, I haven’t been able to do that. So, I don’t know what I don’t know. And what I don’t know about this trip is a lot.
What I mean to say… is that I’ve left plenty of open space in my planning (or lack of it.) Beyond knowing where I’ll lay my head at night, and what city I will be in, I have nothing that resembles “a plan.”
As a way to compensate for my lack of preparedness, I bought a notebook for this trip. Not that kind of notebook… the old fashioned kind: paper. In that notebook, I’ve jotted down the contact info of jazz and blues clubs in Amsterdam. Beyond that, I’ve written the names of two art galleries I want to see. Oh yeah, and the location of the Albert Cuyp market – which I don’t want to miss (thank you George!).
But, lists of restaurants, the place to get the canal tour, the train tickets, the street addresses of the major museums, the whatever else? Nope, no information.
I’ve also decided on a no laptop policy so I can be unplugged. My thinking is… whatever it is, it can wait until I get back. If I desperately need a computer, I’ll find an internet cafe. Or not.
What about my phone, right? Yes, I’ll have my phone with me, but considering roaming charges in Europe, I won’t be checking email too often.
One thing I need to get better at, in my life in general not just for my vacation, is knowing how to RELAX. How to unwind. How to not get spun up over one thing or another. Going on vacation should be an ideal time to practice that principle, with no time pressures to be somewhere, on a timeline, with a mapped out itinerary.
And without a laptop, I’ll emphasize being present in the moment, not connected to the inter-web, and connected instead to the inter-web of humanity I come in contact with on my journey. I want to hear the stories of people I meet, to sit in cafes and watch how people live. To dig the music, and experience the whole vibe Amsterdam has to offer.
I mean, hey, tourists have traveled to Amsterdam before me. Whatever I need to know will be available when I get there.
As for the rest of the stuff I don’t see or do because I didn’t know about it… I will be blissfully ignorant.