Rethinking the Departure Madness

I have a lot of things to do before I leave on this trip. Sure, it’s still two weeks out, but I know, I know how quickly it goes by. It’s this whole self-employment thing: I’d like to have a vacation with no work (hasn’t happened yet), so I try to finish as many projects as possible, as early as possible.

I was so frantic before my Phoenix trip last December that I was packing at 10pm (a first for me) when I had to get up at 4am, and still went off leaving the crucial piece of two separate outfits hanging next to the suitcase. I was a wreck.

Something has to give, right?

And when a friend I need to catch up with before I leave asked if I’d be too busy the day before departure, I remembered this article of travel tips from Rick Steves. (I’ve featured it before.) Steves is all about planning and practicality, and generally I am too. But I remember being absolutely convicted by this one:

Leave well-rested to start your trip healthy.
Jet lag is stressful, and if you’re just on the edge of a cold, the flight will likely kick it into high gear. Many travelers are in a chaotic frenzy the night before they fly. Avoid this by putting a fake departure date on your calendar long in advance. Everything related to your trip must be taken care of 48 hours before you fly—even if it means staying up all night. Then you’ll leave healthy and rested.

That chaotic frenzy thing got me.

So I said to my friend, “No, I won’t be too busy at all. I’d like to ease into this trip. Let’s do it.”

In point of fact, I depart on a Wednesday—and I have a massage scheduled on the Monday of that week, and now lunch with my friend on the Tuesday. I’m going to work very, very hard through Sunday night, including packing. And then I’m going to make a point of calling loved ones, catching up on email, and not worrying (too much) about work.

This is my Departure Madness Manifesto. 🙂

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