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  #16  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Ah-hah... I'm beginning to see something emerging here. Researching preparing, planning, scheduling, different things perhaps? Or maybe one person's researching is another's planning? One's preparing is another's scheduling.

Researching for me is reading round, chatting, looking at maps and spending time on here, thinking what would I like to do?

Planning is when I take that and say, hmm, now which of these do I really fancy?

Preparing is putting air in the tyres and petrol in the tank (ok a bit more than that but you know)

Scheduling is when I start putting dates on stuff.

The first three I like the last one, I'm not so keen on, at least not if I have to stick to it.
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  #17  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Hey - yeah I think you've hit it on the head :-)

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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Ah-hah... I'm beginning to see something emerging here. Researching preparing, planning, scheduling, different things perhaps? Or maybe one person's researching is another's planning? One's preparing is another's scheduling.

Researching for me is reading round, chatting, looking at maps and spending time on here, thinking what would I like to do?

Planning is when I take that and say, hmm, now which of these do I really fancy?

Preparing is putting air in the tyres and petrol in the tank (ok a bit more than that but you know)

Scheduling is when I start putting dates on stuff.

The first three I like the last one, I'm not so keen on, at least not if I have to stick to it.
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  #18  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Hi All,

Matt can I first ask what you do for a living?

I write code and build for major safety critical systems, so I have a great deal of understanding on where you are coming from in micro planning events, if I screw up someone dies and we get sued so I seldom make mistakes it’s just not in my personality profile and makes me mad as hell when others do. So it actually does me good to throw caution to the wind once in a while and do something dangerous and unexpected, otherwise I’d be every other old man in my office at 38 not living outside of my warm fuzzy zone.


On Planning a Route : “There’s the Whole Journey and then there’s the days riding” Is the best way I can put it into words. So big picture vs small event driven occurrences.

OK it’s fine to plan as much as you like if you know you’re not going for a while or if at all, it helps to get your mind into doing it even if you’re stuck at home more escapism then actually doing it for yourself. But when you do plan try to not micro manage, if that’s your personal mindset then ok do it if it makes you feel more secure.
But then again that’s the mindset that takes too much kit and never uses it (I need it just in case), the same mindset makes people more panicky when faced with the unexpected (12 years in the Army taught me that one and I don't like panicky people).
Generals plan and micro manage a battle on paper they don’t fight it (if you ever get a general to fight let me know), the guys on the ground are the ones that actually make the difference and also change the plans to fit the situation to win the battle.

What if like myself you’re in Thailand and there’s a coup and your told by your employer to leave asap, or the next Pakistan/Libya/Laos no border event or there’s a natural disaster etc then your f*cked as your plans have now changed so drastically as to be unattainable, and you’re then in the mindset where you cannot face change that’s a killer situation real life and death stuff.

Be as flexible as possible is the advise I give and is from personal experience (Army logistics being what they are I STAND by what I know, ever not eaten for 5 days due to someone f*cking up where you dinner should go to?), I prefer to arrive at a place and ask at a local bar/restaurant where to stay eat what's around etc. In that way I tend to meet more of the local population learn more about the ways the locals live and seldom miss an interesting event or place, but then I’m quite sociable and I’m not put off by the language barriers that many of us Brits have.

If you live your life by reading a book then you’re missing your actual life, think of how many hours you actually sit around planning vs the actual number your on the road for if it’s

150 hours planning for 3 weeks on the road then I will laugh.
50 hours planning for 3-6 months riding I’d say spot on.
5 hours planning for 3-6 months on the ride I’d say you’re constantly lost or out of your depth.

OK these are generalised but as a rule of thumb, not too far off the mark.


On timescales : “If your rushing your missing everything”, if your rushing you’re a danger to everyone on the road as you’re not concentrating on riding the machine safely, so again be as flexible as possible in timing. If you’re rushing to get to a ferry and kill someone then what for the sake of a few hours, please DON’T tell me it doesn’t happen ask Kevin and Julia of Globebusters about their accidents and what caused them, and those two should know a thing or two as record holders. (I have the utmost respect to both Kevin and Julia great people)

Then look at the wrong way boys just watching them kills me, I can see where others don’t why they make their own problems and just look at how much planning they did, be smart be flexible.


“The tools of a warrior may change, his mindset stays the same.”
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  #19  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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.

I go with the under-plan.

After spending half a decade in the forces, I have an allergic reaction to schedules, planning, over organisation and being in places five minutes before the allotted time.

On one level, I agree with you Juddadredd, the forces make you intolerant of panicky, ill-prepped people, and give you the power to feel prepared yourself, it is just the regimented life that I want to forget.

I like the game where you turn up at the airport with a passport and get the cheapest flight on the board. I've only played it a couple of times, but it always ends in a great time. No planning, just fun.

Happy riding
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  #20  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
Hi All,

Matt can I first ask what you do for a living?
I'm a Producer for BBC R&D. Before that I was a Journalist, and before that a Nurse.

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Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
I write code and build for major safety critical systems, so I have a great deal of understanding on where you are coming from in micro planning events,
I'm not suggestion people micro-manage. Merely that a bit of planning can help you have a better experience on the road.

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Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
it helps to get your mind into doing it even if you’re stuck at home more escapism then actually doing it for yourself.

That is part of it certainly - I only get three weeks each year to get away and the 'planning' allows me to experience the journey for longer than the period on the bike.


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Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
What if like myself you’re in Thailand and there’s a coup and your told by your employer to leave asap, or the next Pakistan/Libya/Laos no border event or there’s a natural disaster etc then your f*cked as your plans have now changed so drastically as to be unattainable, and you’re then in the mindset where you cannot face change that’s a killer situation real life and death stuff.
Working for the BBC, there is a list of countries I'm not allowed to go to - if that were to happen whilst I was away - I'm going to be upset - not because it's interfered with my 'plan' but because I have to cut my trip short. If my plan is unattainable... so what? What does it actually matter? It was an experience I was glad to have - all of this after all, for me at least, is about expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world around me.

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If you live your life by reading a book then you’re missing your actual life, think of how many hours you actually sit around planning vs the actual number your on the road for if it’s
I'd love to be on the road all the time, but family and work stop that being a reality... what's wrong with living vicariously through the adventures of others, and using 'planning' to lengthen your own rather short adventure?

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Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
150 hours planning for 3 weeks on the road then I will laugh.
Oh way past 150 hours planning for Russia now, I did that at least for Morocco too. The point is, that I tried to learn as much about the country I was going to - those countries I was going through - before I got there, I tried to be as armed as possible so that when those things do go wrong I have the tools available to either fix them or to quickly get around those problems. If however my 'plans' don't work out, or if something happens on the road that makes me change them... great. But I'm also going to make sure that if I happen to be passing a once in a lifetime location, I know about so I don't ride on by.

That 150 hours for my three week trip - well that's my trip 'lengthened' by 150 hours.... do you see my point?

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Originally Posted by juddadredd View Post
Then look at the wrong way boys just watching them kills me, I can see where others don’t why they make their own problems and just look at how much planning they did, be smart be flexible.
There's a whole other thread about The Long Way Round chaps and this is probably better dealt with there. Again, I suspect that they feel the 'planning' is as much part of the journey as being on the road is - I also have no doubt they felt the time-table they set themselves meant they didn't enjoy the trip as much as they could. But they, like me, were dealing with the reality of needing to get home by a certain date to be back to family and work.

I couldn't imagine anything nicer than knowing I have the next two years with no worries to just get on my bike and go. To not plan a thing and see where the road takes me - absolute bliss.

Unfortunately that's not a reality for me, or many others, and our little three week jaunts in the summer have to attempt to fulfill our wider and bigger dreams of a life-time on the road.
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  #21  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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I love Marmite, you hate it... it's one of those things.

I love reading, planning, dreaming, I'm well past the 150 hour mark, but that's mainly involved doodling, dreaming, sketching, reading, unfolding maps in bookshops, trying on helmets, failing to find helmets, all that kind of thing... it's not planning as such, I doubt I've done very much what I'd call planning. It's boys' own stuff, Alex & Cameron messing about in the workshop.

I doubt either side will convince the other of their argument though, people are all different, that's one of the good bits about the planet.

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  #22  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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When I think of planning for a trip like this, I do not mean down to each detail, but rather know where you want to go and why. Of course you should know the cost of visas, required documents and be ready for those, but that would be a required whether or not planning ahead prepared you for them. My idea of planning does not mean being in a certain place by a certain time following a certain route unless it is an event you want to see that happens only once a year. We are not scheduling much of anything, but have planned for seeing the Gorillas in Cameroon, or if not there, then in Uganda. We have planned on being in areas for special festivals. We hope to be in Jerusalem for Christmas. We want to be in Tanzania for the great plain migration. This is planning. Doing exact detailed scheduling is not what the trip is about. However, I do think it is a bit less than wise to just jump on a bike and take off, hoping that everything will turn out fine. Grab a visa and go might be okay, but is it not for us.
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  #23  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Hindu1936 View Post
When I think of planning for a trip like this, I do not mean down to each detail, but rather know where you want to go and why.

We are not scheduling much of anything, but have planned for seeing the Gorillas in Cameroon, or if not there, then in Uganda. We have planned on being in areas for special festivals.

We hope to be in Jerusalem for Christmas. We want to be in Tanzania for the great plain migration. This is planning. Doing exact detailed scheduling is not what the trip is about.
Good points there - and of course one needs to plan to be in the pub each evening with a cold one no?
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  #24  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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HATE MARMITE, unless it’s smeared on a babe then I love it.

Matt it wasn’t a personal attack and I did state that about planning to [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']live vicariously if you can’t get away, I can see from your list of jobs that you’re a planner plain and simple, and all of the jobs are of the fixed timescale type do this by then so I understand your point of view. [/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']From the way I read your blogs as I’ve taken an interest in them for a few months now (I’ve since read them 3 times) planning seems to be of as much importance as the actual journey ok fine but you read about a subject too much, and you completely colour your reality when being there so you don’t actually see it with new eyes, then your disappointed that’s from your own blog entries.[/FONT]

[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Even your extensive planning didn’t take into account many of the situations that you got yourself into, loneliness, crying to yourself, getting ripped off “because you didn’t plan correctly” and many many others just from the few thousand words on your site, there’s a lot of fantasising/romancing whilst planning that builds up expectations and then leads to complete disappointment some 1,500 miles later human nature I’m afraid.[/FONT]


[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']And then on the other hand there’s doing enough plain and simple research to accomplish the goals you have set out so as not to colour your view point before you arrive. Planning to me is A to B for each small part of the journey, taking into consideration local customs (i.e. not drinking, Visa’s, Money) trying to find out about where and how much gas to get, learning local words for Excuse me, Thank you, Yes, No, Help as the absolute minimum. Having an emergency backup plan for getting butt out intact for WHEN the unplanned for hits you hard, it’s not rocket science. (no more than 3 hours per country).[/FONT]

[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']For the best example of planning this year: look at the Dakar how much planning money time and effort was put into that for it to go POP, how many of the entrants actually went regardless? How many were sat at home pissed off at the world? I don’t think one team went and did the journey just for the hell of it without all the media adulation.[/FONT]

[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Planners and doers, really wanting to do it vs getting paid to do it, seldom the same.[/FONT]

Hope you can see where I'm coming from a little more clearly, like I said no offence meant to anybody.
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  #25  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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[SIZE=3][FONT=Calibri]Excuse me, Thank you, Yes, No, Help as the absolute minimum
Quite right, I would add 'do you have any' and 'petrol' to the must know list. Learning my p's and q's became a border habit, and is a good way of killing time with the guys at customs while they stamp endless forms and smoke

If dreaming about your trip counts as planning then I am well into your super-anal mega geek category Judd, but I dont think I learnt anything from time spent gazing out of the window!

Maybe if I had spent more than 5 hours planning I would have got my visa dates right and not ended up stranded between two borders (they let me leave TM, stamped me out, but wouldn't let me into UZ. They couldnt let me back into TM as I had a single entry visa.) That was one time I was wishing I had spent 5 minutes reading the visa they gave me, reason was they were looking at somebody else's LOI when they filled it out!
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  #26  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Matt it wasn’t a personal attack
That's okay dude - I didn't take it as one - as I'm sure you've seen from other threads, I love a good debate about this kind of stuff


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From the way I read your blogs as I’ve taken an interest in them for a few months now
Ahh, so you must be my one reader The other has gone on holiday.

Quote:
but you read about a subject too much, and you completely colour your reality when being there so you don’t actually see it with new eyes, then your disappointed that’s from your own blog entries.
I don't think I 'planned' enough for Morocco - it was great when I got there, understanding the culture (as far as you can from a book) and then applying that to reality, and then making an assessment myself. An informed decision based on history, research, and actuality.

Quote:
Even your extensive planning didn’t take into account many of the situations that you got yourself into, loneliness, crying to yourself, getting ripped off “because you didn’t plan correctly”
Sometimes even extensive planning (and remember I'm not talking about military style invasion plans here) can not take into account the personal impact of travelling - there are some things only time on the road can teach you - it's those things I treasure.

I got ripped off because I didn't know how much things actually cost, and that resulted in my budget getting rather blown and me having to turn around early - had I known the average price of things I could have travelled longer - it was deeply depressing to have been 'caught out' - but I held that experience in as much favour as any other and was not distraught because my 'plan' went out of the window - rather as I spent the next week on the road I conquered the dreadful feeling of loneliness I endured and came to realise what it was that travelling is all about - it was a voyage of discovery that was aided by both plans working, and failing.

From my last post on the road...
But travel isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be. When I decided that it was time to come home it was a decision that meant 5 more days on the road to even get back to the UK, never mind home. Had I made that decision on a package holiday I could have been home within 24 hours.
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Planners and doers, really wanting to do it vs getting paid to do it, seldom the same.
I'm not so certain there's a demarcation line here. I don't buy into the idea that some people are doers and some are planners. I think there are a whole spectrum of people who do a bit of both, then there are those that wont leave the country without their strict plans, and those that leave the country with just their passport - each have benefits - and as ever it's probably those of us towards the centre that reap the greatest rewards.

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Hope you can see where I'm coming from a little more clearly, like I said no offence meant to anybody.
Of course and no offence taken in any way - meaningful debate is at the heart of what makes us Human.
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Last edited by mattcbf600; 20 Jan 2008 at 17:05.
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  #27  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Too Much Planning?

Absolutely there is such a thing as too much planning. A plan is nothing without implementation, ie ACTION. There is no such thing a preplanning - that is what planning is.

A good plan is essential - try the 6 P's- Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Plan but stay flexible and GO!
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  #28  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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I don't think I 'planned' enough for Morocco - it was great when I got there, understanding the culture (as far as you can from a book) and then applying that to reality, and then making an assessment myself. An informed decision based on history, research, and actuality.
Ah, Matt, you sound like a lot of guys that used to go to meetings that *I* had to go to. Which is why I dropped out.

But you're young yet. You'll grow out of it

John
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  #29  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Ah, Matt, you sound like a lot of guys that used to go to meetings that *I* had to go to. Which is why I dropped out.

But you're young yet. You'll grow out of it

John
Good on you John

I may be a mere 28, but I enjoy what I do very much. Applying a little method to my madness generally helps things move along a little better - I happen to enjoy planning my journey as much as I do going on them.

I don't get upset when a plan falls apart, I don't feel as if the whole world comes to an end and I don't sit down and create detailed itineraries and plans for my journeys... but I do work out a general route then read up on it and do my research.... what's wrong with that? What's wrong with reading what Ted Simon thinks of India before actually getting there? Does that dilute my own discovery of it?

For the extent of my planning it's quite plain to see - I don't think it's extensive but I'll let you decide...

Here's the route we've planned

Route » Journey To Russia

It's not set in stone, but it's what we'd like to achieve.

And here's the info I've dug out about each country

Country Information » Journey To Russia

Too much? Too little? Or somewhere in between?

m
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  #30  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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+1 on Judadredds post

Lee, you and me think too much alike!

Army Logistics? I would rather trust DHL to deliver the Grub.......No wonder you got a Noodle addiction.

Same here with Panicky people, Panicky people are Dangerous people.


Martyn
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