Thursday, March 12, 2009

(Lack of) Planning for Iceland

Geography fascinates me, as do unlikely vacation destinations and seeing to which locations I can get from various airports. For example, there's a direct flight from Boston to The Azores, so naturally I want to go there.

Whenever I find myself in major hubs - airports like Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston - I love seeing what small communities have air service from those places. Knowing that cities like Del Rio, TX and Devil's Lake, ND are a short connection from where I'm presently sitting here in Boston is kinda cool.

I can't begin to count the amount of times I have been on Air Greenland's website, an airline which, at one point, had a direct flight to Baltimore.

I have booked mock itineraries from Anchorage to Vladivostok, Russia. There's a non-stop direct flight during the summer on Vladivostok Air.

Nunavut, Canada. I can get there on two flights. Why would I want to? Why not?

Habitually, I'm a planner. Yet at times when travel is involved, I am erratic - either notoriously diligent or terribly unready. It's bizarre, given the amount of trips I have taken for both work and pleasure, why I'm not buttoned-up 100% of the time.

Case in point - Iceland and London.

I have wanted to go to Iceland for years, probably ever since I realized that Icelandair had a direct flight from Boston. It seemed like such an exotic and random locale for a quick 5-hour flight. I booked fake itineraries on many times until I actually pulled the trigger and did it for real.

So here I am, a few days from my departure, and I have finally decided to research things to do in Iceland. We're all set with hotel and rental car, and know that the Blue Lagoon will be part of our trip, but I know little else about what I'd like to do. As I'm an avid photographer, I know I'll be taking a ton of pictures. I hear the "Golden Circle" is good for sightseeing and that geothermal pools and a failed economy are part of present-day Iceland. But that's about all I know.

For my Great River Road trip a few years ago, I left the planned activities to Brian. He put together a detailed spreadsheet and sent it to me, estimating drive times and such. It was marvelous. I took care of hotels, which was simple.

But perhaps having a loosely planned itinerary isn't awful sometimes. I have been browsing some blogs and online travel guides about Iceland, and there appears to be many things to do at the spur of the moment.

Part of me, however, feels like I'll put together some frantic last-minute plans next week and have a rough sketch on my time abroad.

No comments: