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Sven plans a vacation…sort of

The beginning of September usually marks the end of summer, but for us, it’s the beginning of our two-week vacation. Now, we’re in Sweden staying with Sven’s parents on the beautiful island of Skaftö. This weekend, we’re headed to Arvika, Sweden’s only inland fjord (thanks, Wikipedia!) for a wedding. Next week, we’re off to Paris for the very first time. (I know, how have we never been to Paris?!)

In another first, Sven has “planned” this vacation. Typically, I’m the planner in the family, and Sven is the passenger. I’m a maximizer…so I toil over the best flights, the best seats on those flights, the best area to stay, the best hotel in that area, the best room in that hotel…you get the point. Sven doesn’t like to get involved. The day before a trip he might ask, “When are we leaving again?” Or, “What airport are we flying out of?” And he won’t know where we’re staying until our cab driver does, too.

Related: Are you a maximizer or a satisficer?

How blissful it must be to be just go along for the ride! I wanted a taste of Sven’s worry-free travel experience. So, I decided to let go of the reins for once and leave the planning of this trip completely up to Sven. I promised I wouldn’t get involved because I didn’t want to spoil my first-time experience of being in the passenger seat. However, three weeks ago, I wasn’t sure we actually had a flight to Paris booked yet, so I asked Sven, “Hey, which day are we headed to Paris?”

eiffel-tower-paris-moulin-rouge-show-and-seine-river-cruise-in-paris-150305Sven: “Uh, I’m not sure.”

Me: “Did you book a flight out there yet?”

Sven: “No…”

Me: “But our flight back to New York is from Paris?”

Sven: “Yes…”

Me: “So I’m guessing that means we don’t have a hotel booked yet, either?”

Sven: “No…”

Me: “Ok Honey, well, maybe you should get on that…”

Sven: {Sad face, whiny voice} “I don’t want to. It won’t be good enough for you…you should just book something.”

Me: {Grumpy face, irked voice} “I don’t want to. I know you’ll pick something great, just book something. Tonight.”

We looked at a few hotels together, but in the end, I booked it out of anxiety over leaving it to the last minute. A coworker recommended a reasonably priced hotel, and there was only one room left, so I glanced at the TripAdvisor rankings (great!) and booked it. No second guessing! Could it be in a better location? Could it be more Parisian? Could it be nicer? Yes, yes, and yes. But I really, truly don’t care.

Sven finally booked our flight to Paris. He even arranged at hotel near the airport the night before since we’re on the first flight out, and his parents live quite far from the airport. 

But as our departure loomed closer, and Sven hadn’t actually planned anything for Paris, a city that may require dinner reservations and advance bookings, I caved. I asked him if he was secretly saying he didn’t plan anything when he actually was planning on surprising me with something romantic and Parisian. (Even though I know full well he’s not that type of guy and most likely really hadn’t booked anything.)

He replied, “No, I’m not the kind of person that does that. I really didn’t book anything.”

With less than a week before our departure, I put together a bunch of recommendations from friends and coworkers (seems like we really are the only people that have never been to Paris), and plotted them all on a map. So now we’re armed while we’re wandering and needing food, coffee, pastries, wine, or retail therapy!

mapparis

And I booked three dinner reservations and a burlesque show….I guess you can’t completely take the planner out of me or the passenger out of Sven. Au revoir!
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