Logistical Surprises

My day of departure is fast approaching, and I am as prepared as I would expect to be about a couple months out. Very little is planned, and my rough itinerary is markedly wrong and missing large chunks. A happy-go-lucky, play-it-by-ear attitude has permeated this entire trip planning process, and generally it has been intentional.

Today, two logistical surprises came up. “Surprises” is a bit of a stretch. If I had simply paid attention to what I was booking, they would not be surprises. The first surprise was my car rental. Rather than deal with the hassle of finding, buying, insuring, and then selling a car, I decided to simply rent a car from Palm Springs to Seattle. In my mind, I had one price that I thought I was paying per week, but reality did not match. The actual weekly price of the rental car was twice what I had thought. The total price is what I expected, but it turns out that I am incredibly bad at arithmetic when I am not trying to do arithmetic.

The second surprise was about the actual length of the trip. In my mind, this whole time, I have been saying and thinking that this trip is six weeks on the west coast. When planning out a rough itinerary—remember the one I just said was markedly wrong—some things felt a bit more rushed that I was expecting. Today I discovered that it’s because the trip I booked is actually one week shorter than I thought. It turns out that in addition to arithmetic, looking at calendars and comprehending what they mean is also not my strong suit.

None of these surprises bother me. They just caught me off guard. If I missed these very obvious things, what else, perhaps more important, did I miss? I guess I’ll find out in the coming days. Nothing to worry about, of course. A major part of this trip is not to worry, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far.

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