When we were in the planning stages of our year travelling, I had been working on a certification in Project Management. In anticipation of our trip, the tasks in order to go away for a year seemed insurmountable. A week-long intensive project planning and scheduling course, led to me using examples of our trip plans to relate them to the Project Management principles we were learning. What’s a task dependency? When you can’t start one task (sell car) until another was complete (work contract that required the car).
Over the course of a week, here is how my group pieced together my examples:
“So. In the next year before leaving Canada, you are going to to quit your job, do a brief contract in Nunavut, sell the condo, buy a house, move cities, move into the house, find a temporary job for 6-8 months, sell the car in a 3 week window, move out of the house and find a temporary renter, hopefully store your furniture in their guest room, and then become a nomad?”
It sounded like a lot to pack into one year before departure. And it was.
The Value of Anticipation
A 2010 study found that vacationers were reliably happiest in anticipation of a trip rather than during or afterwards. Prior to a trip, vacationers were of course happier than the group not going on a vacation. However, there was not a difference in post-trip happiness between the vacationers and non-vacationers, unless if the vacation was incredibly relaxing.
When I reflect on our our one year travelling, it spans five years. The perseverance in that last, more complex and stressful year before leaving Canada reflected all the anticipation and excitement we built prior to it. We were determined to sort out the logistics, because the adventure had already begun. Scheming, plotting, imagining led to concrete actions: non-credit Mandarin classes, nights with maps sprawled all over the living room floor, reading historical fiction, trying out backcountry camping and hiking. Walking to a friends with a backpack full of beer “for weight training” [duh]. It’s not that we planned every aspect of the trip itself, but instead that we started living the trip out way before boarding a plane.
Oftentimes, we focus on vacation as an opportunity to ‘get away’ – which it is, but it can be more than that. What if we were more intentional in anticipating our local and/or international trips? Would we find ourselves with a more reliable formula for meeting our needs while away? Would we stumble upon inspiration for the trip itself or the return home? Find new adventure buddies?
If you’re in Winnipeg this Saturday, January 12th, take a chance on anticipation by joining me for my second-ever intentional travel workshop, which also ties in a homeopathic travel health kit for while you’re away*.
…And book early, so that you can look forward to it ALL week!
*[spoiler alert: you can use the kit without leaving home as well]