This is my first post participating in the From Left to Write Book Club. Our instructions are to write a post inspired by the book we were given, in this case The Unexpected Circumnavigation by Christi Grab, rather than a review. Truth be told, most of the posts that I call “reviews” are really musings (it’s my blog, I’ll muse if I want to), but I’m going with a simpler format and giving myself permission to go further afield than usual in this post.

The book club’s introductory post to the book asked about our dream vacations, so I will riff off that.

The Unexpected Circumnavigation covers Part 1 of an around the world boat trip, covering the South Pacific portion of the journey. As a Midwesterner, that has never been a dream of mine. Rafting down the Mississippi, yes; boating around the world, no. I once drooled over the National Geographic’s Around the World by Private Jet tour, but quickly squashed that idea when I saw the price. That’s too much for even a once in a lifetime trip. But it’s fun to dream about.

I like to dream about trips. I have planned, to considerable detail, many trips that I have never taken. For me, planning a trip is the distraction that will work when everything else fails to be diverting. Planning trips helped me survive cancer, divorce, the deaths of each of my parents, and many lesser tragedies in life. Eighty percent of those planned trips never materialized, but they served their purpose in taking myself out of my life for awhile, much like a good book but with more creative action on my part. The closest planned trip that I have yet to take is Springfield, Illinois. The farthest is Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The Web has made trip planning easier making it possible to virtually explore different places more often than I used to. But I’ve lost something, too. There’s nothing quite like the relaxed energy present when propped up in bed, surrounded by travel guides, scribbled lists, and hastily drawn maps.

A bonus of trip-planning as a hobby is that my knowledge of geography has much improved over the years.

Does anyone else plan trips as a hobby? People in real life look at me funny when I say that I like to plan trips that I never take.

If I understand the From Left to Write Book Club correctly, some time on Tuesday a post will show up on the book club blog that links to all of our posts inspired by this book. Should be fun reading!


Musings Inspired by The Unexpected Circumnavigation by Christi Grab — 14 Comments

  1. Joy, I love planning trips too! I usually only plan trips I will actually be taking but I like your idea of planning it as sort of armchair traveling.

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  3. Fascinating! It has never once occurred to me to plan a trip I did not take! I’m so interested in how other people cope with what life dishes out and this is a totally new coping mechanism.

    Welcome to Left to Write!

  4. That’s a great idea! But my pessimist side wonders, does it ever get depressing when you have to stop yourself from clicking “book it”?

    • Good question! And the answer is ‘yes.’ I sometimes go through phases where I say “I’m sick of planning trips that we never take.” That’s usually at moments when I perceive that my husband’s reluctance is why we’re not taking trips. We’re starting to get a bit better recently about traveling instead of just talking about it and I’m pleased that this has reawakened my pleasure in planning trips without the absolute assurance that we will take them.

  5. I like to plan trips, too! There are a couple of short ones that I plan on tackling this summer, actually, but there are a few that are solely in my dreams…for now!

  6. Dreaming is a nice distraction. Can’t say I’ve ever dreamed about rafting down the Mississippi. I might now…

  7. Odd as this may sound, I do the same thing but with shopping. I can dream that I have $100 or $1,000,000 and I love to spend time looking for things I would buy, or how I would remodel something. It’s fun and necessary to get away from real life at times and just dream. Great way to tie in the book!

  8. My mom was an amazing trip planner – she’d create this little calendar grid and fill in each of her days. Now when I plan my trips I try to emulate her style.

    I suppose I should plan some fantasy trips to take with my husband. Only question: who will watch the kids?

  9. For Alicia, I have a friend who is constantly putting clothes in her cart…only to never press CHECK OUT. But she does like to dream!

    Ive never done any armchair trip planning, because, being chronically ill, I would find it depressing.

    Mu husband actually has enjoyed the planning of trips. He should have been a travel agent! He planned our whole nearly two week long honey moon. I took care of the wedding stuff!

  10. Welcome to the club! You reminded me of a “novel” I was working on as a teenager–it was about a group of girls at a boarding school. Each of the girls was from a different country. I spent so much time reading about and researching their countries, that the novel never materialized. But I loved the fantasy of it. I imagine that is not so different from what you do, still I can’t help but wish for you that, one day, you’ll get to take some more of those trips. Best, Melissa

  11. That’s like the best hobby ever. Next, you will have to write memoirs about the trips you didn’t take and collect them into a book, complete with photos of people you don’t know in cities you’ve never been in. I would love to read that book, how freeing 🙂

    • That would be SO much fun! I’ll definitely be visiting the Princess Museum in Spain for that book.