with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Deciding Where to Go When – Get Started

The "wanna goes"

Deciding where to go graphic of a man throwing darts at the globeLooking through magazines, books and travel guides, we are often hit with the "wanna goes," that moment when our eyes get starry and we look up and say, "Wanna go!" Where would you go if you could, and what would you really want to do? Does this place look interesting? Does that activity get your heart racing? What would it take to go there?

Before you answer the question with "money concerns," think again. There are many ways to get to anywhere your heart desires. The point is to "go" and not sit still. If the spirit is willing, the feet will find a way.

For now, just let your imagination carry you away. Keep a notebook or journal near you and stuff it with clippings and notes of every place you find in a magazine, book or television show or advertisement that strikes your fancy. Cut out pictures and articles, collect travel brochures and information about all the places that get your heart racing. This book is your "pre-travel journal," your collection of dreams. It doesn’t cost anything to explore the world from your comfy chair.

When it comes time to plot your adventure, go through the journal. Ask yourself what it is about each place that caught your attention. It doesn’t matter if you are a tourist, photographer, or adventurer. Do you "wanna go" because you like the look of a place? Or the feel? Do you wanna go because of the activities the locale has to offer? Are you inspired by the adventures you might find? Do you like the amenities? What about the temperature? The weather in general? Are the activities of interest dependent upon weather? Does it offer more than one subject of interest? Add these thoughts in a list to your pre-travel journal.

“Are we almost there?”
“We’re almost there and no where near it. All that matters is we’re going.”
“We’re practically there already.”
“Look out world!”
Dialogue between Rory and Loreli Gilmore,
TV show – Gilmore Girls: Red Light on Wedding Night

Deciding when and where

animated graphic of a compassFrom the information in your pre-travel journal, all dog-eared and ready for cultivation, it’s time to make plans. There are two methods to deciding when and where to go. The first method we call the "Location Lust" method and the other is the "Action Adventure" method.

Location Lust
This is the process of determining where you want to go based on location. It is the easiest decision of the process. "I want to go to Hawaii." "I want to visit Paris." You’ve made your decision. The lust for the location and the desire to explore a place is more important than the activities and people at the location.
Action Adventure
When the activities and adventure of a location interest you more than the location itself, it is a yearning for an "Action Adventure." "I want to go skiing" announces that you need to find a locale with great skiing. It could be anywhere as long as snow is present and the lifts are open. "I want to go white-water rafting" is dependent upon a location with good white water rafting, of which there are many. After making your "Action Adventure" decision, weather and location come into play.
Travel Link Resources
We’ve gathered together a variety of travel resources to help you plan your travels and adventures.

A decision can be a combination of the two. If you want to go white water rafting and you have your heart set on the Colorado River, you have a lust for a specific location tied into your action adventure. Either way, being clear about the reasons you are going helps you plan your trip.

When to Go

If you want to see Paris, maybe the best time to go would be in the spring when the trees are all in bloom. Or is another time the best time to visit Paris? The next step in planning is to figure out when to go. "When to go" photo of a collection of travel booksentails some additional research, unless the information is already in your travel journal. When is the prime time for the location or activity? For the Location Luster, the prime time would be when the locale is at its most spectacular for viewing and exploring. If Texas in bloom is the location you crave, April is the prime time for rolling in wildflowers. For skiing, winter is clearly the best time in the Rockies, but skiing on the Matterhorn in Switzerland and other places can be done in July and August.

Sunrise and Sunset
To help you determine when and maybe where to go, we’re providing you with a tool to help you calculate sunrise and sunset times.

For the Action Adventurer, many factors need to be considered. If the activity requires tickets and is popular, your planning must include advance ticket purchases and lodging reservations, maybe six months or more in advance. Do you have to bring special equipment, like scuba gear or canoes, or can you rent what you need there? Day hikers require little more than good shoes and a pack with food and water, while other outdoor activities may require specialized training and certification and possibly even a guide. List all the special requirements of the activity you are interested in and figure out the logistics to make it all happen. There’s more on preparations and planning in Part II.

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