I Lived It, So Now I’m Barely Prepping

I’ve been feeling like I’m not doing enough to prepare for this next trip. I decided I’m going, I bought a flight, I mapped out a few highlights to get a general idea of a route, and I started refreshing my limited Spanish with Duolingo. I looked up my malaria pill needs and visa requirements, a few technical details that I knew needed to be sorted out a couple of weeks in advance. But still I have this feeling of “what am I not doing that I should be doing?” So I pulled out my old Round the World planning book to flip through the pages that I’d found to be so crucial last year.

Short of some notes on what I need to remember to stock in my medical kit and where it says I shouldn’t miss in Central America, I didn’t pay attention to much else. The reality is, I know all I need to. I’ve gone through this before, and not just the planning but the actual life of travel, and the practical knowledge I gained is way more valuable than anything a book can tell me.

I know I need to get travel insurance before I go, an expense I’m waiting to cover until my last paycheck. I know the wardrobe changes I need to make and the weight of the bag I want to have. I know I will be staying in hostels, drinking water out of water bottles, and carrying the necessary copies of things in case something goes awry.

As for the rest of planning, the point is to not plan, so why would I even dive into any location specifics? People tell me all the time “I loved this town” or “I have a friend living here I can connect you with.” I haven’t even left and the trip is taking shape.

So instead of all this pre-trip prep that I had so diligently taken care of last year, I’m finishing up my final summer projects and occasionally checking in on minor details that come to mind. I’m not worried or stressed – I know I can do this, so I know when the time comes I’ll be ready and able to quickly get back into the swing of things. Until then, I’ll probably be pretty quiet on here while I’m out there enjoying the end of summer in Vermont.

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