Step 1 is more of an introduction to a planning checklist, which allows you to set up your “to-do’s” based on importance and imminence. I.E. What should we be looking at more than a year before our departure, within 6-12 months, 3-6 months, 2-3 mos., 1-2 mos., 1 mo, 2 weeks, and 1-7 days prior to stepping on that plane (or bus!) and beginning Day 1 of our adventure.
Obviously, we are planners, and savers, and put a lot of thought into our prospective trip, well ahead of schedule. The beginning of any mental exercise is often the “fountain-head” time, with ideas bubbling forth about what our exact plans are and could be. Without having some set structure to our planning, I felt like our initial discussions would often go off-tangent, as we started to argue the merits of visiting one country over another, and “Hey! Do you remember Oudomsay?” Finding it easy to digress and recognizing the serious need to not be scattered, we had to rein-in our vision, and focus on each aspect of planning one-at-a-time. This approach was actually thoroughly satisfying to my inner control-freak. What is interesting, is that this rigidly organized part of my personality happily coexists with my c’est la vie, spontaneous traveler self. My exacting personality goes through a complete shift when we are on the road, and I become the care-free person I really want to be and love. The journey becomes a time when I can truly appreciate serendipity, getting lost, switching plans for something that feels right, and not having any preconceptions about what a place or experience will be like. Perhaps, it is because I start out with so many plans, lists, and prep for the what-if’s, that I am more prepared to let go, when in the actual thrust of travel.
But until then, carry on…
The first “Action” step of Day 1 is to tell someone about your trip. Well, consider it done! We have now been talking about the prospects of September 2015 for several months. Parents, siblings, friends and even casual acquaintances have been advised. I am a strong believer that by talking about our plans as a definite, this helps to insure that they come to fruition. If we did not share our dreams, it would seem to me that we were not serious, as if we are worried about risking failure, and not wanting to be embarrassed about backing out.
Thus, the first seed was planted, and we envisioned its’ growth for many moons.
Step one was the manifestation of our dream.