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We’ve written about the fact that we really enjoy the pre-travel planning and research that goes into any trip. So much so, in fact, that lately we seem to be planning trips further and further in advance, giving us more time for anticipation.

Once a trip is booked, we love looking in used bookshops for books (both fiction and nonfiction) about our destination, or searching Netflix for movies set where we’re going. Even sitting in the kitchen with a glass of wine, talking about what we’ll do when we get there, provides us with an evening’s worth of free entertainment.

So it was welcoming to come across this article in the NYTimes, on research supporting the idea that the more you anticipate something, the greater your enjoyment of it will be. What was surprising to me was this statement by one of the researchers:

“It may sound counterintuitive, but this building up of positive expectations and excitement actually helps our minds smooth over any minor discrepancies if reality doesn’t quite measure up to the fantasy.”

It’s quite interesting to think that all of our anticipation did actually help ease our way into India, that if we had simply booked the trip at the last minute and hopped on a plane, our experience would have been different and possibly less enjoyable.

Another observation from the article, one that we’ve understood for some time: experiences provide more happiness than material things. Especially when they’re as unexpected as this one from Jet’s Bar in Belize City airport…

Belize 539

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