Stop thinking like a tourist
With the start of my temporary escape (henceforth just TE) from timetabled routine approaching, I'm still struggling to stop thinking like a tourist.
Over the last 30 years travels have tended to be largely planned around two, or in a few cases three, week blocks of time away from the lab or office. These blocks have had to be planned far in advance to allow things to be fitted around work projects and domestic plans and commitments (and in a few cases trip availability). I'm still thinking like this. Over the next few months I've got three 'slots' booked each of which could have been done in normal annual leave - although I certainly couldn't have done all three in a three month period. Part of the challenge is booking trips through the usual tour companies. Their bread and butter is mostly based around planning and selling trips to folks taking normal time off from work and returning on a fixed timetable, so a lot of their trips fit that pattern. And to be honest using these companies is generally the easy way to arrange to go places.
I hope that realising that this is how I'm still thinking will give me the chance to do something different later in my TE. My short term action has been to tear up all the ideas that would fit tidily into routine life, there will be chances to do these things in future years. Next step is to figure out something that I wouldn't find easy to fit into the timetables. That probably involves buying one way tickets rather than return ones, and being more relaxed about what comes next. The last time I can remember buying a one-way ticket ticket was when I came back to the UK from the US almost 25 years ago - it's high time I bought another one.