The art of staying flexible in the planning process.
At Hampton Court Palace. East Molesey, Surrey, England. Summer 2013.
As promised, this week we’re going to continue to talk about nerdy book travels, although, as it always seems to happen in most attempts at planning, things have shifted slightly since my last post. But have no fear my fellow travel junkies and book nerds alike, while I’m still definitely keeping the nerdy book tour, it’s become more of an extended theme crossing through my travel plans for the rest of my time here in the UK.
When you look at the planning process, there are a lot of factors you must take into account when you get down to actually putting your plans into action. Whether you’re looking at finances, time, distance you’re actually able to travel, and/or simply those basic resources available to you, things don’t always work out as you had originally hoped for and mapped out.
This, as it turns out, is exactly what I’ve been dealing with.
When I started this planning process (as you can see if you look at last week’s post), I was planning on visiting two bookstores in France and then a few throughout England, mostly London and one up in the north—Alnwick.
I’ll be honest and admit my first problem was a lack of knowledge concerning geography. Simply put, I thought that everything was closer than it actually was—I was looking at a list of books and not really taking into account travel time.
As I started breaking my trip down and putting my hopeful destinations onto my maps, I was able to see not just the distance I’d have to trek across, but the transportation or sometimes lack of transportation (at least, cost effective transportation) to get me there. This became an even bigger deal when I took into account the time I’d be able to spend in those areas.
The first thing I thought about cutting was Lyon, France because, as it turned out, it costs more (and with extremely limited options) to get from Paris to Lyon than it takes to go from London to Paris. Therefore, visiting the city for a single day and (with travel time) visiting a single location wasn’t worth the cost.
After this paring down, however, I realized I would have more time to see the areas around other bookstores I had planned on my list.
The one that stuck out most for me was Alnwick. I know that areas nearby have been used in filming various movies and TV show I’ve enjoyed and (unlike, Paris) I’ve never been there before (not that one trip to Paris lets you see everything the city has to offer!).
But as I researched the main areas I’d want to visit—the castle—I discovered that it’s actually closed until the end of March. Factoring this in, I’m opting to hold off visiting Barter Books until a later date. I’m thinking it’ll be a great weekend trip at the end of March, or possibly planning a larger trip which would start there and then continue up into Scotland.
With that being ousted, I realize I would have more time to explore the French areas on my tour.
Bringing Lyon back and extending the time I spent there, I was able to do a little research and find a lot of very interesting sites which would fill the time, would interest me and would make the cost of travel worth both the time and finance I’d put towards that part of the trip.
Did I mention this was going to be watching me really get down to the details of planning my trip? Yep, but hopefully this is helpful!
But, where does that leave us?
My basic plan as of now is (rather than last week’s jumping around to a new place every day with travel days between them) to split most of my reading week between Paris and Lyon before returning home in time to join my friend on the way to Bath and my birthday trip. Any spare day around the fringes I’ll be running round London getting to see any of the other nerdy book things I can get up to between balancing out my school work and fun.
So that’s my up-to-date plan, but here’s a look at what you guys can expect to see from me in the next month!
- Next week will cover transportation and how to best plan a quick trip like this (probably better than I have!), as well as a more in depth look (than my posts last year) at hostels and what factors you should take into account, especially (like me) you’re young, female, and traveling alone in a foreign country.
- The week after we’ll cover any last minute wrapping up needed before I head out as well as packing for small trips.
- The Tuesday I’m traveling, I’ll give you guys a live travel update/account of what I’ve been doing and some of the sites I’ve visited and people I’ve met (if there are stories to tell, I’ll do my best to share them!).
- And then once I’m back and getting back into my school work we can wrap it all back up with details from the second half of my travels.
I know that was a lot but those are my plans so I hope you guys stick around for the journey! Don’t forget, I’ll be covering some of the extra lifestyle bits of this planning and journey on my other blog site Silk Sheets & Grilled Cheese so stop by there if you’re interested and we’ll see you next week!
Until then, stay safe and happy travels.
This is a leaf on the wind, helping you soar.