Planning – A Game for Winners or Losers?

Is it exciting to float through life without any plans?  Does that make a person spontaneous, or is it just a good excuse to never commit to anything?

I’ve yet to meet anybody who has an end to end idea mapped out in front of them, but the little things, just planning a holiday, a day trip?  I’ve met people who point blank refuse to commit to ANYTHING until they’re being forced into the car and directed to their destination.  At the other end of the spectrum (and I firmly believe these people must be somewhere on “the spectrum” if you follow my meaning) there are people who meticulously plan to the point of no wriggle room, right down to their choice of socks for the day.

socks

I don’t have an answer, there’s no right or wrong, but I know my style and I’m pleased to say I fall somewhere in the vast middle ground here.  So here is the next post in a series where I’m, fairly loosely, planning my next adventure – a plan I will likely change at short notice several more times if the mood takes me, but I will enjoy this phase in the weeks before my departure date, regardless.

Recap

Preparing for Fiji

In a previous post, I told you a little bit about my first destination in the next leg of my trip this December.  Here’s an overview of where I’m up to with that:

thumbs-up Get to know Fiji

thumbs-up  Vaccinations

thumbs-down Travel Insurance

thumbs-up Visas

thumbs-down Criminal background checks

thumbs-up Learn some basic greetings

thumbs-up Book my flights in / out

thumbs-up Organise airport transfers

thumbs-down Change some cash / check ATM charges

thumbs-up Emergency numbers saved to my phone

thumbs-down 8 nights of accommodation or adventures booked

thumbs-up 3 weeks of construction volunteer work booked

thumbs-up 5 extra days of accommodation including Christmas

If you’re planning a trip of your own and want to know more about any of the above topics, I’ve separated it out to put everything you’ll need to know to plan your trip to Fiji in a separate post.  Next up for me though…

Back to Australia

I left Australia last November, following two years on the West Coast and a quick tour of the Great Ocean Road on my way out to New Zealand.  When I go back, my purpose is to see the East Coast (the cunning plan I mentioned in The Road So Far)

Flying in to Sydney on 28th December, just in time for the fireworks – I’ve never been there before, and this seems like the right way to kick it off!  I’m staying at Eva’s Backpackers in the centre of town, (which was advertised at an amazing price for the season) and looks like a sensible walking distance from the centre of the celebrations.  I’ve been told that to get anywhere near a half decent spot in Sydney to see the good stuff on the big night, you basically need to camp out for a day or two to hold your spot… I’m not down with that, but I am willing to cleverly disguise my party drinks as juice and spend the day of New Year’s Eve enjoying a picnic in a nearby park if that’s not too late to get a patch of grass with my name on it.

mrs-macs

Best spot I can see from the maps looks like Mrs Macquaries Point, above, but I don’t think this area will come without a battle.  Your advice on the best way to spend my only new years in Sydney would be greatly appreciated!

Additionally, I have 9 days booked at the backpackers in Sydney over this period, I’d like to go and see a show at the Opera House and poke about Sydney seeing the sites.  Please send me your suggestions, I have plenty of spare time to kill there.

 

After this, I have two months of completely free time, here’s what I’m thinking:

Option 1:

When I originally left home, with plan A from many moons ago, the intention was always to take The Big Walkabout trip with Contiki, up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns, then flying to Uluru, and travel overland up to Darwin.  While this all sounds incredible, financially, I’m not sure it’s plausible.  I may have to make a few sacrifices along the way to squeeze in more countries after Australia.

big-walkabout

This trip would cost me a very fair $5750NZD and last 25 days, with my only possible departure date being January 17th.

Option 2:

The Loka deals with STA Travel offer a Greyhound style, Hop-on, Hop-off option, from Sydney to Cairns, which seems to visit all of the same places as above (obviously minus the Red Centre and Darwin) and it does also include a couple of activities and entry fees.  It’s slightly more personal than Greyhound, since you get a smaller group per vehicle and a dedicated guide for some parts of the route.  The down side of booking this is that food and accommodation are not included in the price, but on a positive note, I can take the trip at my own pace and stay for longer in some places or skip them altogether if they don’t take my fancy.

loka-trip

The cost of this one, a cool $1156 plus food and accommodation for the duration of my trip and I can leave whenever I like with a minimum of 3 departures available each week.

Option 3:

Plan nothing until I arrive in Sydney and see if there happens to be a car full of like-minded people who want to split the cost of a car and a tent and take an easy ride up the coast with me.

Costs unknown… But it might just be awesome, or might just be awful…

tumblr_mnixmtKKPW1rl52wjo1_400

I have until 3rd March to get from Sydney to Darwin, and these are the three options I’ve come up with so far.  Any thoughts?

The more I think about what I’ve already seen of Australia and what I really want to see of the rest of it, the more I think I can wing it and risk missing a few bits – I could stay half way up the East coast, or hang out in Cairns for the wet season.  I could stick to Sydney and work for my accommodation for a while.  Maybe, I could go off the radar and never leave Australia!  Maybe Not.  I would love to see as much of this incredible country as my time and money will allow, but when I think about all of the other countries I will have to miss out on afterwards to make up for it… I’d better be selective about my day trips.

It’s not an easy decision.  I may never come back to Australia again after this time, but I’ve given this country as many pieces of my heart as I can, if I keep leaving little parts of it there I’ll have none left to take home with me.  And that would be a true tragedy.

Please contact me or leave comments with any suggestions or even uneducated opinions you have about my time in Fiji or Australia and feel free to advertise your own travel blogs below (especially if they can help me to make a decision here), I love reading about your trips too.

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” – Lao Tzu

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3 thoughts on “Planning – A Game for Winners or Losers?”

  1. ” A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” I know you never said you were a good traveler but surly if your going to finish a blog with a quote that means something you should follow the advise? 🙂
    I like your option two. It leaves your options open letting you spend as much or as little time and heard earned cash in any one particular place. It also appears far more safe than option 3!
    The beauty of your trip is that they are your decisions to make and you make. Making them is half the fun. The rest is just making the best of that decision.

    Not sure any of this helps but whatever you decide… Bloody enjoy it.

    All My love
    Dad xxx

    Like

    1. I am definitely swaying towards that option. Of course it helps, your advice is always helpful. None of you have ever commented on my blog before 🙂 that’s lush, thank you Dadski xxx

      Like

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