Lists are great when you’re travelling. If your mind feels as all-over-the-place when you’re travelling as mine does, a list can help keep you on track… as long as you remember to take it with you.

I’m into lists. I can’t work without them because my mind is like a sieve. And I don’t mean a sieve where things go in and come out finer on the other side; things go in and fall straight out (but occasionally a few get caught in the sieve and they are the lumpy bits that remain).

I write everything down. I write lists in my phone, lists at work, lists in notebooks, lists on the back of receipts, lists on the fridge. When I’m chatting at a pub with my partner, I write lists on the back of beer coasters.

It was on the back of a beer coaster from The Blind Monk (our favourite) that Ross and I wrote a list of the things we wanted to do and see on our London/Scotland/Paris trip. I wanted to the do the highland fling in the Scottish highlands (note: I do actually know how to do it thanks to 13 years of highland dancing training!). Ross wanted to visit Versailles. We wanted to see amazing sights in London, Paris and Scotland and experience things over there that we can’t do at home.

How much of that did we do? Not a lot. “But Rowie,” I hear you say. “How do you remember all of these things now but you couldn’t remember them when you were on your trip?” Well. We had a house inspection a couple of weeks ago and, in cleaning up our mess, I found the coaster. It didn’t make it to the UK and France with us. It didn’t inform my holiday activities. It didn’t help me achieve my travel bucket list dreams. Instead, it gathered dust down the back of my bedside table.

Now, I can’t tell you exactly what was on that list because I’ve managed to have lost it again.

Coasters aren’t a reliable material on which to write lists.

But what would have happened if I had taken the list overseas? Lists are great as guides, but having too many items on your list can ruin the spontaneity of your trip. Sometimes it’s nice to have days where there’s nothing planned.

I did inadvertently do a few things on the list, so I guess they were the ones that really mattered.

I’ll remember to take it next time. But then again, maybe I won’t.


Feature photo by Cathryn Lavery via Unsplash

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  • Jolene says:

    Argggh! This is all so true! I have lists for my lists. 😉 And you gotta have those days where you plan absolutely nothing; sometimes those are the best! Great info, Rowena!

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Mate, who am i?

(I ask myself the same thing)

Travelling can be really hard when you never feel like you're prepared. But, the more I do it the more I realise that being unprepared is the best way to travel. I’m Rowena. I live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which inspires a lot of my writing. My first reaction is to over-pack, over-worry, freak out, and give myself a headache. I’m consciously rebelling against that.

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