Saturday, April 9, 2022

Planning a Big Trip! How I End Up Where I End Up and All That.

I spend a lot more time planning a trip than actually taking it.  It would be a LOT easier to just sign up for a tour of some sort, but I am not the sort of a person who is willing to just go along with a group.  A tour might be appropriate for the first time a person who has not been somewhere before, but I have been to the UK several times in the past 20 years, so have specific places I want to visit and other places I don't care about.  I also like to rent a car so I can visit the little villages and other out-of-the-way places, and I like to pick and choose the times I get up in the morning and eat what and when I choose.  

Planning a trip myself is a lot of work, but for me it is worth it. 

Now, most of the time, all this planning is fun, but for some reason, planning for this trip has been agony.  Mostly, that is because I had more "wants" than I had time.  I knew from my last long trip to England and Scotland in 2018 that I got really tired towards the end of the six weeks I was away, so I cut this one to slightly under that--37 days to be exact.  I started my plans out by buying airline tickets way back last October.  That committed me to making plans to fill in the time frame I had chosen--no turning back now! 

My main purpose of this trip was to spend more time investigating the small town in North Yorkshire where my 2nd-great-grandparents were married.  (These were my maternal grandmother's grandparents who had emigrated to Canada in about 1845.)  I had visited Danby in 2018, but I had only a couple of days there, and at that time about all that I knew was the name of the town.  Over the last four years, I have been able to find more generations from that town all the way back to 1600!  It appears that I must be related to about half the town back then, so another goal was to verify some facts and take photos of as many of the gravestones in the church as I could. 

Other than that, I wanted to visit the Isle of Skye and possibly spend more time in the mountains in Scotland.  I also thought about visiting Argyle where the other side of my maternal grandparent's family came from and even Northern Ireland where my paternal relatives came from.  Unfortunately, I came to a dead end on some of these people so was not sure where exactly in those areas I would go.  And in one place, I found out that not only the churches and graveyards had been destroyed, but records also mostly did not exist.  The problem was that I could spend a lot of time looking over there, but be looking in the wrong places.

Finally, I decided to skip trying to do more on-the-spot research in iffy places and stick to what I was more certain of.  Also, I figured trying to fit in Northern Ireland would take too much time and be too exhausting for this trip.  Maybe another time??  

So, my final decision was to spend time in London and Edinburgh, places I have been to before but really enjoy, and then spend a week taking photos and verifying information in Danby.  The rest of the trip would be spending a few days at the Isle of Skye and returning to the islands of Orkney, where I have not been since 2008.  Also, I am planning on spending time in York, which I missed last time, and also a couple of days in Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, plus a few other things on the way.  

So, as of today, I have made all of my hotel reservations.  One difficulty is that costs of hotel rooms have increased in the past four years.  I think this is mostly due to COVID, and partly just due to inflation in the last year or so.  Plus, I think I have gotten fussier as I have gotten a few years older.  I literally have spend hours choosing the exact perfect hotel for each place!  At one point, I said the heck with it and just chose one!

More later on how I like to travel and what I have learned I need to take with me on this long trip.

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