Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Travel Preparedness: A Four Part Series - Part 1

Recently, Melissa Harrington received a note from a dear friend, Erin Cochran. A few weeks ago, the two ladies had the chance to talk about the Harrington's upcoming travels and Erin's own desires to do some travelling herself in the next year or so. The note Melissa received included a couple of poignant questions regarding travel and preparing travel. The questions have thus inclined Melissa to offer readers of The Harrington Times an insiders look at the processing involved with long-term travel plans. Melissa will take a look at preparing to travel in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual senses. Today, Melissa begins with a look at Travel Preparedness in the Physical Sense. To the Readers of The Harrington Times, I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you the process, thoughts and conversations that have surrounded Mike and I planning for our world tour. When asked to consider how we prepare to travel physically, many things come to mind. I think of our physical condition, I think of our physical belongings, I think of physically having a place to stay. So it is with such things in mind that I delve into how Mike and I prepare for travel in the physical sense, attempting not to overlap into other areas, but also hoping not to be overly compartmentalized in our view of travel.

To begin our physical preparation there has been our long standing practice of eating in a Freegan manner - meaning we have enjoyed the joy of dumpster diving and eating dumpster gourmet for over a year now. While it may seem silly to many, we have always joked that by eating food items that are on their 'last leg' we are strengthening our immune and digestive systems which will surely pay off when eating various foods around the world. Obviously, we have no true sense of whether or not this is true, but continue to view it as one small way we have prepared for world travel in a physical sense.

Beyond eating discarded food items we have also done some reading. Mike especially has been immersed in various Travel Guides, online travel sources and Nelson Mandela's autobiography. These readings have helped us to book hostels, consider various adventure outings while in various locations and to begin to get a feel for the cultures and people we will be visiting. As St. Augustine says about travel: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only page." And as we feel about books, by reading more than one page, we are better equipped and prepared to travel.

Other than reading and booking places to lay our weary physical bodies during our days of travel we also take physical precautions, such as vaccinations. We are often checking and conversing about which vaccinations we have, that which we need, and what prescriptions we may need. We are up to date on our Hepatitis series, looking at our Tetanus records, Typhoid records and considering Yellow Fever. We know that we will need a prescription for anti-Malaria pills and that we will be wise to have had our teeth cleaned and eyes checked prior to boarding the plane.

The last way in which we prepare physically is also a way in which we prepare materialistically. We spend many conversations discussing what to do with our belongings and of course how to pack for a years worth of travel. Being that we are still young in our marriage and careers, we have few belongings of deep value, so we plan to sell lots of our belongings. However, we also have conversations with friends and family, asking whether or not they are willing to help us by storing and keeping things until we return, we are blessed to often hear that they are willing and even happy to help us. We've also received advice on things to take and ways to ensure we can bring souvenirs back home.

So we move forward, preparing physically to leave this home and set up home throughout the world, recognizing that it is not in our possessions that we find happiness or fulfillment but that it is in experiencing love and grace, compassion and joy. This is what we look forward to seeing in our travels.

We are always open to suggestions, advice, questions etc. So, if you are well-versed in travel or have picked up some valuable tips in your lifetime- please comment or contact us, we don't go about these travel plans alone. Thank you.

The Harrington Times will continue with this series next week as we take a look into how the Harrington's are preparing for thier trip in a mental capacity. Until then, safe travels.


In the life of Nikki and Gary said...

We have a big garage and tons of room in the crawl space if you need a free place to store your possessions! We are happy to help you out if you need :)

erin co said...

Yay! Thanks for allowing the answers to my questions to be shared with everyone! I definitely look forward to reading the rest of the series because I know I will definitely need to start considering all that you have and will discuss! Thanks, friend! Can't wait to read next week!


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