Sunday, February 21, 2010

Travel Preparedness: A Four Part Series - Part 2

This week, The Harrington Times again picks up with Melissa Harrington as she lays out some of the details as to how her and the hubs are going about preparing for their world travel. This week, Melissa takes a look at how they have taken steps to prepare mentally.

It seems to me, the preparing mentally may be the hardest to describe, but I'll give it my best shot. I'll begin by bringing in some overlapping preparation 'techniques' from our talk on preparing physically. In our post regarding physical preparation I discussed our commitment to reading books, blogs and other online resources in a manner of preparing where our physical bodies will rest and what adventures they will enjoy. For obvious reasons, reading is also a crucial step in preparing ourselves mentally for our travels. By spending time reading about traveling in general to reading about our specific cultural destinations we are able to prepare our minds for any challenges or celebratory moments that may present themselves.

A couple of examples: Mike in particular has done much reading in regards to the types of adventures available to those travelling the Garden Route of South Africa. These have included such things as diving with sharks, bungee jumping, tearing down a mountain on a mountain bike, walking among cheetahs and putting elephants to bed. Each of these has, especially for myself, some need of mental preparation. I find myself asking: "Can I REALLY handle bungee jumping off of a bridge? What will I think of myself if I don't participate in such-and-such crazy adventure? Will I be able to stand my ground and say 'no' to some of these activities which I'm not excited about?" And so, the mental preparation continues in due course.

Because our travels have us ending in an Asian nation to teach English as a Foreign Language, mental preparation has also included completing online coursework to receive a TEFL certificate - offering us the mental process of examining our own language and becoming even more accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of our native language.

Beyond these manifestations of preparing mentally, we must constantly keep all our preperations in check. This becomes a mental, emotional and spiritual process of keeping ourselves in the current moment, not allowing fear of potential travel crises to gain a firm grip on our emotions but rather allowing them to move us forward in preparation, seeking out wisdom in regards to travel safety and so much more.

Join us again next week as the Harrington's offer their readers some insight as to how they've gone about preparing for their travels on an emotional front.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will await next week's post with anxious anticipation. However, I guess I do have to ask, from a mental standpoint have you mentally wrapped your head around the long-term aspect of your travels? This might also be covered in your "emotional preparation" section. But I figured it was worth asking anyhow. Apparently, I'm full of questions regarding this pending adventure for the Harringtons. :)


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