You’ve bought your ticket and felt the excitement of finding that perfect deal to get you where your heart longs to visit; now what? There are X months of waiting and anticipation, on top of all of the time you have already spent dreaming, saving, and imagining, so what do you do while you wait?
If you are someone like me, you head straight for the literature. Whether they be travel books, fiction novels, Go Girl Magazine, or otherwise, written word always helps me feel more connected to the place where I am counting down the days until I visit. Reading opens up a window into a culture and people that I can access from my the warmth of my bed or the commute to work.
I also like to ask people who have visited about their experience, gleaning the must-do list from their travels and adding to my own. However, I rarely keep a strict schedule when I travel, because I know that there are bound to be side adventures and road bumps (including delayed, missed or canceled flights, trains, and buses). Having a list of ‘must sees’ helps me to make sure that I experience what is most important to me, while still allowing for room to give a new place its chance to show me what it is really about.
Another way I pass the time before a big trip is by thinking about what I am going to pack. I imagine what I am going to wear, what shoes to take, and how little I think I can get away with carrying, but I never let myself pack until the week before. Obsessing about what you carry with you will only take away from the other fun of a vacation, but when it is below freezing in Chicago, a girl can dream.
And then there is the nitty-gritty budget issue. How much do I need to save in the coming months to do what I would like to on my next trip? You have made your must do list and found the supplies that you’ll need to buy, so now it is time to figure out how much you can responsibly spend. One of my favorite budgeting and financial guides is On My Own Two Feet by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. Their book is a fantastic guide to any lady who is interested in becoming more financially aware and their website has fantastic downloads to help you manage your money better.
Recognizing that there will be other travel between this big trip also helps me wait; it might be going home to see a brother graduate from college or standing next to a friend as she says her wedding vows, both huge milestones that are important to be celebrated. Or it might as simple as that fantastic concert on the weekend or dinner with friends. Staying in the moment as important as is dreaming. So where are you dreaming of going to next? What are you wait for?