I learned that he said this from “Amundsen Schlepped Here,” a compelling story about the great polar explorer by Mark Jenkins. The result of Amundsen’s obsession with planning was a successful trip to the South Pole and back with his team of five men intact.
But the quote also got me thinking about a certain absence of adventure in our day and age. Even when you don’t plan your travels, it’s hard to screw up. Yes, okay, if you don’t meticulously plan a true wilderness trip, you’re in trouble. But if you don’t plan a trip to, say, cities and towns in Southeast Asia, then you will get off a bus and myriad lists of things to do will appear on sandwich boards, packaged for a low price, requiring no imagination or effort whatsoever. A lack of planning can’t get you an adventure.