19 January 2011


The Art of Travel

I am currently reading this book by Alain de Botton.  It is well written and beautifully descriptive, and I enjoy being taken from my world of toddler messes to the worlds of those who made a lifetime of traveling and writing about it.

But I do have my own art form when it comes to travel.  It is a bit more practical and involves keeping 3 kids moving through the airport smoothly or keeping them happy and quiet in the car.

Ready for my fantabulous bit of insider knowledge?  Are you sure you can handle it?





In situations where I have to keep track of the belongings of 3 kids and myself, I would lose my head if I didn't have a place to keep it all the time.  Attached to me.  As for everything else, the only way I survive is with lists.

I have master stuff to bring lists, specific items lists for each kid and myself, schemes of where things go in the car (in the back, under their seats, up front with me), and schemes of where things go for an airline trip.  I keep my lists on my computer and my iphone, and I refer to them without fail whenever we have an upcoming trip.  I never skip looking at the list, even if I think I know what's on it.  I update my lists every few months, since with a toddler our needs change often.

I do this for almost every aspect of my life:  I keep a running grocery list, I keep a list of addresses to change when we move and services to cancel.  I keep a list of goals I want to accomplish, and I keep a list of thank you notes I need to write.

Sometimes, on my basic to-do list, I add something to it just so I can cross it off.  Not only does it keep me motivated by seeing my accomplishments, it keeps my brain on top of what I have already done so I can know what I need to do.  Although I usually use high tech means of list keeping (especially for the permanent lists), I am also known to affix post-its to counters, mirrors, computers, walls, etc.

Keeping these permanent lists (and daily to-do lists) is what allows us to travel as often as we do.  Our adventures are fun, not stressful.  It just works.

Never underestimate the power of the list.

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