All of my travels don't just happen (well... some do)...
My winter break trip (over both Christmas and New Year's)... is to NEW ZEALAND!
Flights were purchased about a month ago... but now I need to figure out where I want to go... and when. I'll be traveling during the highest travel and tourist time of year in NZ and want to have things booked ahead of time.
My overall plan is to spend one week on the North Island... with friends of my brother. It'll be nice to spend Christmas with Ben's family... AND, Ben and his wife, Melanie, are expecting their first baby while I'm there! (They are saints to still want me to come...)
I then plan to spend the rest of my trip (one more week) exploring the South Island... this is what I'm working on figuring out... what areas to go to. So far... my definites are Nelson and Franz Josef. Super excited!!
...I've always been a planner.
...I've always loved organizing.
...I haven't always been an international traveler... but I'm learning!
This is what part of my research and planning process looks like... (the computer displays a chart of about 6 places on the South Island... and a rating system between my thoughts on: suggestions from my brother, Lenny --- a Rough Guides guidebook --- and WikiTravel notes. (Sheesh.) :P
Lenny used to tell me how insane and ridiculous I was... when he would catch me working on research papers for my masters work... sprawled out on the floor of my bedroom in Denver... literally surrounded by (often 100's of) strips of papers with my notes on them... like putting a puzzle together --- and then typing it up! (A bit nutty... but at least I found a system that worked for me.) :P