After two years of being mostly a homebody, I’m excited that we are planning a vacation this summer with my sister and her family. When I say “we,” I mean my sister is planning. We’ll mostly just pack a suitcase and show up, which is totally okay by me.
My sister is a serious planner. Always has been. I’m more of a pantser, both in travel and in writing.
On the writing side, I spend time developing the main characters. I try to outline, then give up. I start writing and see what happens. I do know who gets killed and how. I seldom know at the outset whodunit. I like to figure that out as I go along. Pantsing it in writing inevitably leads to some sweet moments of serendipity. As well as some frustrating moments of wrong turns and rewrites.
Pantsing it on the road is much the same. Delightful surprises. And not-so delightful moments, too.
Hubs and I are both generally pantsers when it comes to travel. Fortunately, we are compatible in this regard, or we probably wouldn’t still be married. On one road trip we had a truly serendipitous moment of good fortune on the hotel front. We seldom book ahead unless we have to for some reason. We checked Priceline online from my cellphone at about 9:30 p.m. for nearby hotel deals. We were hoping to check in about 10 p.m. We found a good price on a hotel with good reviews and booked it. When we arrived we were gobsmacked at the upgrade we’d been given. Apparently, there weren’t many rooms left and it was after ten so I guess they weren’t expecting a lot of check-ins at that point. We opened our hotel room and discovered we had a two-story suite! I don’t recall what we paid, but I’m pretty sure it was less than a hundred bucks. We took lots of photos to impress our friends.
On the less fortuitous side of pantsing it, we once drove down to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a friend’s wedding. We didn’t figure we’d need to book ahead for a room in Hattiesburg. We were wrong. Southern Miss had a big football game that weekend, and every room in the area was booked. Except for one. We ended up spending one night in a down-market hotel that had what looked like a big bloodstain on the wall beside the bed. As the Chicks know, I always pack my own sheets when staying in hotels. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Ritz or Motel Six, it’s just a personal thing. We were so grateful to have our own sheets on this particular occasion. The wedding was lovely. (By the way, blowing off the wedding was not an option since hubs was a groomsman.) The next night we were able to find a quite nice room at a different hotel.
As for our vacation this summer. We already know where we’ll be staying, since my sister has already booked a nice place, right on the lake in downstate Michigan. I’ve perused all the photos. There’s a firepit and I’m already looking forward to making S’mores.
How about you? Do you carefully plan your trips and vacations. Do you like to hit the road and see what happens (something that’s a lot easier to do these days with GPS). If you’re a writer, what’s your writing style? Please share in the comments.