Are you a trip researcher? Do you assiduously read Lonely Planet before you travel and check out blog posts on your destination?
Confession: I used to and used to love reading up about a destination. Everything. The history, people, food, culture, bus timetables, you name it.
But in the last few years I’ve got a bit busy and overwhelmed with choices. There’s no end to the pre-reading you can do, thanks to the web. So I’ve stopped, saying I’d like to experience a destination first-hand, without any pre-conceptions. That too, has some merits, but I was finding that I was going back after the trip to read Lonely Planet, to try to make sense or get some information about what I’d learned.
So, for my next trip, I’m reading, reading, reading. I’ve downloaded Lonely Planet and some personal accounts on Kindle. I’ve got maps, brochures and have bookmarked a few websites.
I’ll test which way works best for travel – research or no expectations. But I suspect pre-reading is good. Even a bit. It means you get to experience a destination twice in a way. Anticipation is half the fun of everything in life. It’s the journey, right?