I just spent some time counting the trips I have done since I finished graduate school in May of 2005. I have been SO fortunate to make a lot of trips, both for work and for pleasure. Some have been long and well planned, others weekend trips on the fly. What they have in common is the thrill of a new place or the wonderful happiness of going to well known places and seeing good friends. And a focus on budget travel: Lots of cheap weekend trips and travels to places like Nicaragua where your money goes a long way.
As most Slow Travelers, I like to savor a trip all the way: the anticipation and the planning phase, the nerves before leaving ("travel fever" we call it in Norwegian), the joy of the trip, the fun of talking and writing about it afterwards, the enjoyment of sharing pictures and stories with others.
I have a trip coming up, however, where I am not doing ANY planning. I have a ticket to Mexico City (and back, I guess!) and that is about all I know. However, someone is planning. My sister spent a year in Mexico a few years back and is still good friends with her host family. She is back there now for six weeks and I am going to travel with them over Christmas. They live two hours south of Mexico City, but we are going to visit the Huasteca Potosina: "La Huasteca is a region in the northeastern part of Mexico, comprising mountains, hill country and lowlands, centered on the watershed of the Pánuco River, inland from the city of Tampico. It includes parts of the states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, and Hidalgo."
The funny thing is that I, the control freak who likes to plan everything (I was an event planner in a previous life, I think), have no idea of where we are staying, if we are traveling around, if we are doing sightseeingy stuff or rafting type stuff, if it will be cold or hot... You might think it would be easy to find out what the weather is like, but the little information that is out there makes it seem like the area has everything: lots of rain, very dry, hot days, cool nights, muggy nights, tropical climate, highland climate, mountains, lowlands... We will visit San Luis Potosi, that I know, and it is a very cold city. So I guess I will bring my down jacket, my bikini, and everything in between!!
I do know, however, that it is supposed to be a beautiful area with lots of caves, rivers, waterfalls, and other natural wonders. I am very excited and I am also very curious - what will we do, what will I see!! I am thrilled to be traveling with a Mexican family and of course beyond happy to see my wonderful sister.
Here is a photo - hopefully I will have some like this one when I get back...