Making Lists

(photo credit: Andrew Neil/Unsplash)

The Law of Lists: For everything that is accomplished and taken off a list, two more things will be added.

Travel-related lists are always fun to make because they mean we’re going somewhere. Making lists is one of the first steps in getting ready for any travel adventure, and include lists for clothing or food to bring along, supplies that need to be bought or things that need to be done before we depart. The lists help us stay focused, organized, and within our budget as we get ready to set out. They also keep us motivated.

It’s never too early to get started on making lists because we’ve learned over time that the The Law of Lists always kicks in. Our lists always remain in flux right up until it’s time to depart, with some even needing to remain open as we travel.

We’ve started four lists related to Big Adventure II, and one that will remain in waiting for a while and won’t be started until next year. The actual process of accomplishing tasks or obtaining items on the lists will come later, also next year, with the exception of the itinerary, although there will most likely be changes to that as we go along. We learned on our last adventure that while our final itinerary stayed fairly firm, there were still small additions and subtractions as we got closer to departure, often because of budget constraints. It’s the other lists that will grow and shrink and grow again as we get ready.

Here are the lists that we’ve started, knowing there will probably be at least one more as we move along:

  • The itinerary: It will be interesting to see whether this changes over the next year or so, but for now we’re happy and excited about the whole thing. Pushing the itinerary out for two years was (and is) a real gamble, but it will help us define our budget and think more clearly about the things we need and want to accomplish before we go.
  • Clothing: Both Brett and I can thankfully use most of the clothes we traveled with before but there will need to be a few changes/additions, like new (smaller) pants and leggings and a pair of shoes for me, and shoes and a couple more sweaters for Brett. Putting together our travel wardrobes was a major undertaking for us last time, especially since we had been living on a tropical island for four years but needed items for some colder climates. Purchases this time should be minimal thankfully.
  • Supplies: Luggage was another big expense for us before, but this time we’re set with our two big bags, two rolling carry-ons that were added while we traveled, Brett’s backpack, and a tote bag for me. For now it looks like most of the supplies that will need to be purchased will be health related or personal care items, but this time we have a better idea of what we actually need. We want to do these last two areas smarter than we did before because we ended up hauling around several items that proved to be entirely unnecessary. We learned through trial and error (mostly error) that we should pack a small duffle bag in one or our suitcases that can be checked if necessary for any overflow we accumulate, which seemed to happen before the holidays as we bought gifts for our daughters. It would also be useful when we travel to Japan and carry gifts along.
  • Technology: This will be the most expensive area before departure as several items need to be replaced or upgraded. My newer laptop will be good to go, but Brett needs a newer tablet or laptop – he hasn’t decided which he wants yet. I need a new phone, and want one with a better camera, and I also need a new Kindle – my current one doesn’t hold a charge for very long these days. We want to carry a second wireless charger this next time, and a second power converter as well.
  • Reservations: This one, for obvious reasons, won’t get started until later, and will be the only one other than the itinerary to be carried along with us. The last time we printed off each reservation and kept a notebook of our itinerary and our travel calendar but this time these items will remain virtual.

In the past I would have made a list of all the items we either wanted to sell or store before we go, but we have so few things this time that no written or virtual list will be necessary! I can look around each room and know what we want or should keep and what we can let go.


8 thoughts on “Making Lists

  1. Would love to see a photo of the set luggage you describe in your newsletter. Glad I’m not close by or I may have been tempted to help myself to one too many of those adorable ceramic bowls from Japan. I’d happily make room for all those dishes your kids could care less about.


    1. We don’t have a set of luggage – we each have a large rolling duffle suitcase for checking, and then each of us picked up a rolling carryon bag during our travels. I got mine in Hong Kong, and my husband’s was a clearance item at a Samsonite store. He carries a backpack, and I carry a tote bag and that’s it!

      We may be selling most of our Japanese ceramics before we go. The less we have to store, the better!


  2. Having extensive traveling experience is huge in preparing for a long trip like yours. Lists are extremely helpful and so is identifying what type and size of luggage are best suited for the trip, what needs to go on the carry-on, and what gets to be packed in the checked bags.
    With so many advancements in technology these days I only travel with my iPad and my phone. I use the Kindle app for reading and the Google Maps app to navigate any location. We also carry a laptop to have a backup where WiFi may be problematic and a set of portable power chargers. I’m not sure if in Japan electronics are cheaper but in Europe, all electronics are more expensive than in the US thus it makes sense to buy everything before leaving.
    I like the idea of packing a small duffel bag for overflow or even to be used for grocery shopping. Smart.


    1. My iPhone and MacBook, and a wireless charger are all the technology I need when I travel. Brett is still undecided about whether he wants another iPad or a MacBook next time . . . there are advantages and disadvantages to both. He’s fine though with his current phone but mine needs an upgrade (next year). Brett carries all the computers/tablets in his backpack so our only concern is keeping things light. Electronics are expensive in Japan as well.

      I can’t tell you how many times we struggled to get extra gift items into our suitcases. Brett said he won’t travel again without a spare duffel bag for those times. We collected a few cloth shopping bags on our travel – they were indispensable.


  3. I too, am a list-maker, not only for travel but for everyday stuff. And I have been known to write something accomplished on my list AFTER it was done, just for the fun of marking it off. Sick, isn’t it! LOL!


    1. I make lots of lists too. I never crossed stuff off though until I started keeping them online; now I love seeing the lines drawn through things – mission accomplished!


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