Traveling can be hard work. Sure, we post the beautiful photos of places we’ve been and tell you about our exciting adventures, but “behind the scenes” there is a lot of planning, organizing, and reading that is going on, on a daily basis. Among the four of us, I am the planner and organizer. I have created the draft itinerary for our trip; I book the places we will stay and plan our routes to get there; I figure out what there is to do in the area. I enjoy planning and like to know that we’ve used our short time in a place wisely. The more frequently we move, the more work it is. And yes, there are times that I get tired of it! (more on our “big blow outs” later!).
Arriving in Indonesia was a nice break from the planning. Clay’s dad speaks Indonesian, so suddenly we had a “translator” in our midst, as well as someone who was somewhat familiar with the culture. Clay’s cousin had asked us for places/attractions we were interested in, a few months back, so I’d already sent the list along. Now, it was just a matter of coordinating it all. I was quite happy to settle into a back-seat-role and let someone else do the coordinating, but very early on I could see the stress that this was causing. Everyone naturally turned to Clay’s dad, since he was out translator, to make the decisions about where we should go and when. With 8 of us offering opinions, this was a rather daunting task! And of course each of our families had slightly different expectations for our time in Indonesia. Our family was used to using the first couple of hours in the morning to get some school work accomplished (more on our routine later) and then heading out for the day. We knew, however, that school might need to be put on hold for the couple of weeks we were in Indonesia. Clay’s sister and brother-in-law had taken their vacation time to come and visit, so they were happy to go at a fairly leisurely pace. Clay’s parents were eager to have us learn as much as possible about Indonesia in the time we were there, but they were uncertain as to the best places to visit to do that – except that Clay’s mom knew she wanted the boys to see at least one or two Balinese dances. And of course the heat made everyone lethargic and cranky at times!
So, Clay’s sister and I ended up taking on the job of researching and suggesting an itinerary. It had been reassuring, however, to see that I wasn’t the only one who sometimes found the planning component a bit frustrating!