Plans are helpful, but they can’t be taken as a religious discipline. There’s a broad area where we can find balance between having good plans and struggling with an obsession.

I wrote software for decades. The plague of software development is the “Waterfall Model” for development. Each stage fills a pool with work products, and they spill over a waterfall into the next downstream pool. Any break in the flow and the entire project is reduced to mere chaos.

Or so the people obsessing over the schedule would say. Practically, this isn’t even close to true. Delays can often be beneficial by permitting flexibility to rethink a bad idea.

Being driven by a deadline seems to be a deadly mistake. The more recent concepts of Agile Development seems more conducive to thinking and learning.

My partner's plans for the trip fall into two broad buckets.

  • Essential, and

  • Non-Essential.

The Essential things include packing lists for suitcases, camping gear, tools, computers, and chargers. It includes gifts for our various hosts along the way. There’s shopping lists of road food that doesn’t require more refrigeration than we have available in an ice chest.

The Non-Essential things include a list of cities, hotels, and dates. Hotel reservations can be cancelled. Routes can change. Yes, it can be awkward to tell friends we’ll be a day late or a day early. Folks who would put up with us know we’re tech nomads and need a little flexibility for weather. Or birding.

And yes, there are planS plural. There are many aspects to travel, each with a distinct kind of plan and expected outcomes.

We’ve dawdled our way from Virginia to North Carolina. After a few weeks, we pushed on to Fort Worth by way of Little Rock and a day of sight-seeing in Hot Springs.

My FindMeSpot locator isn’t working reliably, so I don’t have one of their great-looking maps of the various waypoints. (I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s acting like it can’t see the sky.)