….is that once you’ve written them, you have to keep checking back.
Whizzing round the world in 57 days is going to be fun, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s a huge amount of planning involved first. Once we’d researched and agreed on our route, there were fifteen flights to book, internal transport connections to source and budget for, and hotels across nine countries to select .
Then there’s the paperwork: visas, Estas, insurance, finance. The health stuff: jabs, first aid kit, getting fit for the trip. The techie gear to choose and buy. Travel wear: (I mean…is this the time to experiment with convertible, zippy trousers? Or just fall about laughing at them…I can’t decide…) Oh…and bags. Bags of bags. Money belts. Back packs. Day bags. Cabin size carriers, or huge ones to stash in the hold? (I thought it was tough packing light for a few “anything could happen” days at Glastonbury two years ago. Seriously, that was a breeze in comparison.)
Hence; lists. There’s a whiteboard. Camera snatches of what’s ON the whiteboard. Stuff on One Note in phones and on laptops. Lists in notebooks and emails. A spreadsheet here; a schedule there. And lists within lists: tasks for him, and tasks for me. But you have to keep looking, don’t you?
With just 83 days to go, we’ve achieved a huge amount. One of us…a little more than the other. Nigel, for instance, knows how many pairs of socks he’s taking (no…really….). Meanwhile, I’m getting to know the surgery nurse pretty well. We talk less about the risks of rabies and Japanese encephalitis, and more about what we did at the weekend. By the time we’ve finished chatting, I realise I’ve rolled at least one sleeve up, had a jab or two, and am half way out the door.
But in between the chats and laughing at Nigel’s hilarious trousers, I discovered, in a tiny, gorgeous notebook, the list of clothes I still had to buy. A lightweight but completely breathable, and waterproof jacket. Trousers of my own. Beachwear, for goodness’ sake. It’s as if I’m in limbo. We’ve both got stuff to do and buy…and the clock’s ticking. Oh…and life’s little lists are going on all around us, too : seeing friends and family, working, paying bills, vacuuming the carpets, servicing the car.
So, I think it’s time to list the lists we don’t really need any more and ditch the rest. For me, that means focusing. One list. One notebook.
Just give me a minute to choose….
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