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The countdown was on. In four days we’d leave for five weeks abroad. The “To Do” list grew inversely to the amount of time before departure.  

Before leaving, I would drop-off a Get Well card and matzo ball soup, mail Easter packages and my sister’s birthday present already past due. As the calendar shortened the morning alarm went off earlier and earlier. `Oh, yes, my husband decided to go to Costco to purchase a patio umbrella. Did I mention that there’s new business to tend to as well? 

Sigh. What small “problems”. Preparing for a vacation is an incredible opportunity. Often we become mired in unimportant stuff. We get to travel. Most the world doesn’t.

How do you create ease and sweet anticipation for any Countdown? 

Here’s what really happened during my last four days at home and Three Suggestions to make the pre-departure journey worthwhile:

Feelings of gratitude…

Baking and delivering a homemade apply pie to our son was on order. He was hosting the family dog for five weeks.  Also family phone calls, short visits with friends, and hosting Book Club happened during the last few days before departure.Nothing happens without others supporting you.

Let your friends and family know you love them. Text, call, send an email. Connect and appreciate “where you’re from”.  

Self-care and more (versus less) Mindfulness...

A persistent cough meant a chest X-ray was required and multiple visits to the pharmacy. A “fender-bender” in the parking garage required a visit to the car repair shop, talks with our insurance company and lots of extra breaths.

It’s worth adding in more self-care, aka yoga, journaling, walking, meditation, short breaks, before any Big Event. Your impulse will be to take-away your practices; however inserting a few minutes of pause will make a huge difference in managing any stressful moments.

All is in Order: A Vision

Our minds create lots of distractions from priorities. Since living and working abroad (in Valencia, Spain) with my spouse was a “first” we each wrote down what mattered most about the opportunity, as individuals and as a couple.  We became clear about the tangibles (studying Spanish, for example) and intangibles (deepening our relationship). 

Before departure and upon arrival a vision helps inform your daily decisions and how you want to “show up”. Create one for yourself.

Other or the Wave!  There are many tasks to address anytime you leave (and or manage a project): arranging dog care, forwarding mail, automating lights in the house (so it look like someone is home), sharing contact information, creating a group text on “What’s App”, organizing a digital travel file for reservations and important documents.  

Find your wavelength during countdown. Stay well and enjoy the journey before departure by packing only what’s needed: self-care, connecting, love and gratitude. 

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