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Part Two: Dating and Vacation Ideas in Summer: Planning Vs Spontaneous

Over and over I’ve heard couples say about each other, “We’re not compatible.  One of us is spontaneous and the other likes to plan.  Those two just don’t get along.  We’re just so different.”  Well, hello!  Yes, we are different.  This would be a good thing!  Nevertheless this idea that “We’re not compatible” is a sad statement, because people who think like this are missing out on one of life’s serendipitous joys: Spontaneous Vs Likes-to-Plan are not contradictory.  They are complementary!  Maybe you don’t know how to make that work for you as a couple, but figuring it out will bring a lot of sweet moments for the two of you.  How?  The planner plans the getaway, but you plan a spontaneous getaway.

In a nutshell here’s how to get these two complementary tendencies in harmony:  The planner plans the trip while consulting with the spontaneous spouse, but doesn’t fill every minute.  Then on the trip you plan to be spontaneous.  We had to plan ahead to get the time off and set it aside and make reservations.  What we do is scout out a couple of ideas in the area where we are going of things we can do and then we let the weather and our mood and energy level determine what we do each day.  We might want to have a couple of ideas we can do on this or that day, but as a rule of thumb, it’s go-with-the-flow.  Too many families get into trouble on their vacations when the schedule is packed too tight.    Nothing ruins a vacation faster than the planner insisting we do what they want every minute and then pout or gets mad when others want to do something different.  G0-with-the-flow is our vacation motto.  You plan, but don’t over-plan.

We just had one of these planning/spontaneous trips recently that was delightful and I thought I’d share it with you to prime the pump of your creativity.  Around January this last year I start planning our summer camping trips in order to get nice camping spots.  In Iowa you can reserve camping sites 3 months in advance.  In both Minnesota and Michigan you can reserve up to 6 month.  In Iowa you can reserve a cabin at a state park a year in advance.  Each state has their own rules.  Then I mark the calendar day when I can start reserving.  This is especially important for holiday weekends.  For the camping season that’s:  Memorial Weekend, Independence Day and Labor Day weekend.  This year we wanted to camp in Northeast Iowa over Memorial Weekend.  We were going to leave on the previous Wednesday (May 20th this year) and camp through that Monday.  Ninety days prior to May 20, 2015, was February 20th and on my work calendar I made a note to myself to make reservations for the campground we wanted on February 20th.  Since that was the first day we can make reservations we had the pick of what campsite we wanted.   Previously we’d decided on Volga River Recreation Area.    It was in the center of a lot of fun things to do, it had lots of open area, mountain biking trails, a lake and two rivers and two campgrounds with over 5000 acres to explore.  It turned out wonderful.  Our campground was brand new with new concrete roads and shower facilities and the area was beautiful.

We had to plan to make this happen, but we didn’t fill our schedule tight.  Part of being on vacation is to go with the flow, to just chill.  For five days all the plans we had were to 1) explore Decorah, Iowa which was near our campground and bring our bikes and hit the Trout Run Trail and 2) to try out my new Weber Smoky Mountain 14″ smoker with some baby back ribs and 3) to chill.  Not much of a full schedule for five days.  Lots of spontaneous time.  We ended up with some rain days so we had to be a bit creative to not go stir crazy.  In a future blog I’ll tell you about that wonderful, spontaneous day…all because of rain on a camping day.

To see the next blog in this series of Planning vs Spontaneous click here.

To see the first blog in this series of Planning vs Spontaneous click here.

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