I start early doing this because it gives me plenty of time to prioritize and remember things: get prescriptions filled, register to have the mail held, buy holiday fish food, pay the mortgage beforehand. There are all the trip logistics to be taken care of: travel, tickets, accommodations, transportation. Do we need bedding and towels where we're staying? What will the weather be like while we're away? Can we get a house-sitter or at least someone to cut the grass and water the flowers?
Then there are all the shorter-term logistical items, like doing the laundry and getting out the timers for the lamps and cutting down on buying food that will not get eaten before we leave. I start thinking about wardrobe needs well in advance: how many pairs of shoes for particular activities or events, do we have to take raingear, swimsuits, snowpants? How many pairs of underwear will get us through before we must appropriate a washer and dryer?
I've gotten so good at this after half a lifetime of moving (29 times in *cough* 29 years) that I don't even have to write actual lists anymore, the ones in my head are, by and large, enough. Although just to be on the safe side, I usually have a short list of last-minute DON'T FORGET items that I must check off before we actually head out the door.
I'm almost always ready to leave when it's time to leave.
And then her journal entry skidded round a turn into a potentially morbid but oddly logical (that is, if you have the sort of mystifyingly twisty and bizarre brain arrangements that Liz has) tangential track...
I wonder, though, will I be ready to go when it's TIME TO LEAVE, if you know what I mean. How far in advance do I need to start planning? I know that there is rarely any warning in the event of a sudden, er, departure, but my overly
No, the items on my personal life-departure list include, among other things: read all the books, see all the movies, listen to all the music, go to all the shows, watch my children grow up and fulfill their potential, own an Alfa Romeo Graduate 2-door convertible just like the one Michelle Pfeiffer had in Tequila Sunrise, visit Scotland and St. Petersburg and Prague, clean out...and I mean REALLY clean out, my closets.
The thing is, there is never time to get it all done before you go, no matter how many lists you make, no matter how many items you check off, no matter how prepared you are. Even so, I like to think that all the practice I'm getting at gearing up for traveling will stand me in good stead one day, when it's time to head out the door that only goes one way.
*William Butler Yeats