Impatience, positivity and planning


With seven and a half long months still stretching before us until our beautiful RTW adventure begins, I am constantly battling with my love/hate relationship with waiting. I hate it for all the obvious reasons. I am not a naturally patient person, and have a tendency to drive myself crazy with anticipation and excitement.

My mind is permanently ticking over plans and ideas, and I drive Lee more than a little crazy with my habit of thinking aloud… “Hey babe we should go here and check this place out and I really want to do this and don’t you think that would be fun oh and look how beautiful this mountain is wouldn’t it be amazing to climb it I wonder how long it takes to get there do you think it will be expensive I wonder what the best time of year to go is it would be such a great adventure…”

I could go on but I think you get the idea.

And so I have decided to take a step back and try to quieten my mind and allow myself (and Lee) a little time to relax and just be present now, without always thinking about the future.

Learn to be calm and you will always be happy.
– Paramhansa Yogananda

I have started to meditate. By started I mean I’ve done it once. I downloaded a great little guided meditation app onto my iPhone called Simply Being, and as I was babysitting last night I sat myself down after the children were asleep and spent 20 minutes trying to slow the chatter in my mind.

It wasn’t easy, let me tell you.

It was like listening to the ramblings of a crazy woman. Actually sitting there and listening to my thought pattern dart from here to there like a humming bird on speed was quite an eye-opening experience, at once both hilarious and worrying.

I need to chill out!

I have an endlessly long RTW to-do list, with items strewn across my notepad, laptop and mind. I use Evernote to catalogue things I find on the internet and have bookmarked so many pages now that I know I will never have time to read them all.

So I am going to begin simplifying my life to enable myself to actually enjoy this pre-travel phase rather than just waiting for it to pass. I will start by deleting all the bookmarks I have saved; I can’t remember what any of them were so I guess I won’t miss them. I am going to stop wasting time comparing other travellers views on things like quick-drying underwear and just pick one (ExOfficio!) and wittle down my to-do list to a very manageable ten items.

Once I’ve ticked those ten off I can add a new batch but not until the previous list has been tackled. Having a list so long I can’t see the end is just mentally exhausting and unecessary. I need to realise that no one else is pressuring me to do these things, so why am I doing it to myself?! This is supposed to be fun – when did I forget that?

Starting from today my list will include a few travel essentials combined with some positive lifestyle essentials. A healthy life requires balance; mine has been tipped to one side for far too long now so I am going to even the load between doing and being. My first list to enjoy working through is as follows:

  1. Chill the heck out
  3. Sleep
  4. Stop reading reviews of unnecessary travel gear
  5. Spend quality time with Lee without mentioning travel
  6. Research cheap travel deals on Coupon Chief
  7. Make a doctors appointment to discuss vaccinations
  8. Treat myself to a massage
  9. Read a delightful and heartwarming book (any recommendations folks?)
  10. Research the best way to make cheap international phone calls while we’re away (by order of my mum!)

I feel better already. Bring on the fun!


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison Gresik February 15, 2012 at 11:52

I hear you on the chilling out! That’s my mantra for the year too.
Let me see if I can help you with a few of those to-do list items. I make cheap phone calls home using Skype-to-Skype calls (free!) or Skype-to-phone calls (pretty inexpensive). We also have a local VoiP number in Ontario that we can call from using X-Lite software on my computer. So I can make calls to my hometown for free or with the same long distance rate I used to have in Canada.
For a delightful and heartwarming book, one of my favourites of all time is “Horse Heaven” by Jane Smiley. Also Ann Patchett’s “Bel Canto”. And if you like YA, I can recommend all of Sara Zarr’s books.
Happy relaxing!


Hannah February 15, 2012 at 13:12

Hi Alison, thank you so much for your help with my to-do list – it is much appreciated! I will read up on the phone options and will see if they have any of the books you recommend at my local library. I am looking forward to losing myself in a good page turner and spending some lazy days learning to stop obsessing over travel!


Patricia GW February 15, 2012 at 14:13

Hannah, I relate to this so much, it’s very hard to find the patience to wait when you know something so exciting and wonderful is just ahead! The bookmarks of places to see and go, and endlessly pouring over item reviews, they can become overwhelming because there’s so much. Keep up the meditation, you can do it!! It gets easier with time and practice to calm your mind, and the effects are well worth it. I’m rooting for you! 🙂
As for a delightful book, have you read “Eat Pray Love”? Elizabeth Gilbert had trouble quieting her mind during yoga too. Or Torre deRoche’s “Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning.” It’s about a woman who sails and island hops the Pacific to be with the man she loves. Cheap international calls: Skype or Google Voice.


Hannah February 15, 2012 at 16:27

Thank you Patricia. I loved researching everything at first as it made me feel more connected to my passion but now it has definitely become overwhelming and I need to take a step back. I just meditated again so twice in two days! I’ll be one calm and collected blogger before you know it!
I have read EPL – I loved it despite its many critics, and have also read Swept, which I bought when was promoting it. I LOVE Torre de Roche. I always read your book reviews on your blog and find them really interesting – feel free to send me any other recommendations you might have 🙂


Ayngelina February 15, 2012 at 15:23

Hey I was there once, now I miss that feeling.
If I can give you any advice, don’t buy expensive travel gear, especially undies, no pair of underwear takes that long to dry and when you lose them (like I did) you won’t kick yourself.


Hannah February 15, 2012 at 16:22

Hi Ayngelina, thank you so much for your comment. My boyfriend will wholeheartedly agree with you and will LOVE you for writing that! I know you’re both right too, but I do enjoy geeking out on travel gear just a little bit, and I love that the ExOfficio undies are hard wearing and treated to “maintain freshness” – a bonus I think! I’m just going to get a couple of pairs to combine with my regular Gap ones so won’t be going too over the top! BTW I love your post about online dating – my brother married the woman he met that way (but then divorced her!). Good luck 🙂


Elizabeth Bird February 15, 2012 at 18:45

I don’t know why but I love to do list especially when it comes to travel planning. Maybe its because you are working towards a goal you are excited about!
As far as books, I know its a well know book but I just finished “A walk in the woods” by Bill Bryson and I LOVED it. So Funny and such an inspiration to go out and challenge myself.


Hannah February 16, 2012 at 10:11

Would you believe, I have never actually read anything by Bill Bryson?! Does that make me a bad traveller? I will definitely be checking out your recommendation Liz! I’m planning on getting a Kindle and loading it up with plenty of literary goodies 🙂


Ajay February 16, 2012 at 00:15

Wow, I know what you mean here, I was obsessed even when I was planning a 2 week trip to Costa Rica, and I can imagine what I might do when I plan my RTW forever trip!
I think google talk also gives you good options, but the service you link to also looks pretty interesting. I am currently reading “The Buddha Next Door”, if you like the chicken soup series, you will love this.


Hannah February 16, 2012 at 12:07

Thanks Ajay, great recommendation – I have been wanting to read that one for a while 🙂


Kim February 16, 2012 at 05:21

I love my ExOfficio undies and I already wear them. Let me tell you how much Brian loves my granny panties.
Hannah, once again, I can 100% relate to this post. I have so been there! Now that we have about 12 weeks left until we leave (!!!!!) I am actually starting to get a little sentimental, wishing time would slow down a bit (NEVER thought I would have said that), and just really trying to enjoy this period right before we leave. It is SO exciting and full of anticipation. It’s a great feeling.
Anyway, I know what it’s like to be 7 months away- it’s like purgatory! It, too, will pass.


Hannah February 17, 2012 at 17:19

Thanks Kim, it’s great to have your support, and to hear about your granny panties! I’m glad you are enjoying these last few weeks before your travels begin – I really need to get into that frame of mind too 🙂


Sarah Somewhere February 16, 2012 at 10:13

Hey Hannah, GREAT post about the waiting game!!! I can absolutely relate to a racing mind, and have been practicing a little meditation myself. I truly believe that it is in the attempt to ‘witness’ our racing, chattering minds that we create a space between them and our true, some would say God-like selves…
I am laughing out loud about the knickers!!! I have both quick-drying and normal, and I must admit, they don’t really dry alot quicker! But they’re really comfy and probably more durable (I can’t believe we’re talking about this!).
As for travel planning, I think it occupies us in the lead up to starting our adventures, but ours have been completely thrown out the window now that we have begun…
You make some great points here, now breathe in…breathe out… 🙂


Sarah Somewhere February 16, 2012 at 10:15

One more thing (sorry) download the ‘viber’ app if you have a smartphone, and get your family and friends to aswell, its free internet calling. Hell, we could even have a chat sometime…


Hannah February 17, 2012 at 17:22

I love how this is becoming all about the undies! Good to know they’re comfortable! I’m trying really hard to just focus on breathing and living in the moment. It’s hard with so much going on but I don’t give up easily so I know I will get there. The Viber app sounds great too – will get on that right now – let’s definitely chat sometime – I would love that 🙂


Molly February 19, 2012 at 05:04

Hang in there!!! The time flies -believe me!!! 😀
7 months ago we were dreaming, dreaming to travel. Less than a month away now and it felt like it all happened over a day!


Hannah February 23, 2012 at 20:45

Thanks Molly, I hope so! 🙂


Savvy Scot February 19, 2012 at 15:20

You remind me so much of myself!!! I am constantly planning the next holiday and often live in the future too much. Try to enjoy the time you still have left and take advantage of the luxuries and people that you won’t have when you are gone. So much so that you won’t miss them for that bit longer! 🙂


Hannah February 23, 2012 at 20:48

That’s good advice. I am definitely planning on making the most of my friends and family while I still can, and sharing memorable moments with them that will serve as beautiful reminders of home once we are on our travels. It’s hard though, the excitement is a blessing and a curse!


Cherina February 21, 2012 at 06:28

Sounds like a great to-do list! 8 and 9 sound the best to me. I have just started up doing yoga again – can highly recommend it to help with the chilling out.
Definitely agree with Alison about the skype calls – it’s the most economical option I have found.
A couple of great books are The Lake of Dreams and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (they’ve made a movie of this – suggest reading the book first – it’s one of my all-time faves) Good luck with the list and the chilling 🙂


Hannah February 23, 2012 at 20:52

Thanks Cherina! I’m loving 2 and 3 right now and have been thinking of adding yoga to my next to-do list. I will definitely be taking classes when I get to India, so it will be good to get some practice in before then. Thank you so much for the book recommendations too – they both sound perfect 🙂


Nomadic Samuel February 24, 2012 at 02:27

The delayed gratification part is the most difficult but it is so worth it. In 2009 I worked really hard and saved up enough for nearly 2 years of continuous travel. When you hit the road for the first time you’ll be grinning ear to ear.


Hannah February 28, 2012 at 22:43

Thank you so much for your comment Samuel. I know it will all be worth it in the end, and am learning to embrace the moment and appreciate this process… it changes me daily and is a frustratingly beautiful learning curve 🙂


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