July 7, 2011

When Wanderlust Starts Cluttering Up Your Thoughts

I am currently experiencing a serious bout of wanderlust. Late spring, summer and autumn are my favorite times of year. Winter, not so much. In fact, I absolutely loathe winter with every fiber of my being. Other than getting to wear my nice sweaters, I find nothing redeeming about winter and it’s the time of year that I always try to plan a vacation get-a-way to someplace warm and sunny. However, given that I have been working almost non-stop for months now, I feel like I need a vacation sometime soon. Waiting until the snowflakes fly again just isn’t going to cut it if I want to stay on top of my game, work, health and sanity-wise. That means it’s time to get organized and seriously start thinking about the where, when and how of taking a vacation. Because I so love to travel, if I don’t translate my thoughts into action, they begin to clutter up my thinking and crowd out other things I need to be concentrating on.

If you also suffer from wanderlust and it’s mental distractions, here are some tips to help you organize your thoughts and take them from dream to reality.

TIP #1 – STAY FOCUSED; START PLANNING: An idea without a plan is just a dream. The key to making a vacation happen is to stay focused on your goal. Taking small steps on the road to your big trip will help you to avoid never getting past the dream stage.

TIP #2 – DEDICATE TIME: Setting aside specific, dedicated times to indulge your wanderlust and plan your vacation frees you up to concentrate on other issues you need to be focusing on. Schedule appointments with yourself on your calendar or planner and start making your dreams real.

TIP #3 – MAKE YOUR FANTASIES A REALITY: One way to make your dreams real is to cut out pictures of and articles about travel destinations that interest you from magazines and newspapers and collect them all in a travel folder for handy access and trip planning. Put a picture of your dream destination up in a central location and let it inspire you to take action. Surf the web for information on travel destinations, travel companies, travel blogs, etc. and gather all your digital notes together in one convenient place using Evernote. Evernote is free and it can help you capture everything you come across online that you like and want to access again. It works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device known to man and is searchable by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images. Check it out.

TIP #4 – START SAVING: Work out how much you will need for your trip and start putting money aside, if you need to. Open a bank account dedicated solely to travel and fund it regularly, but only if you can trust yourself not to dip into it for other things! If you get tempted to dip, keep your mind on the prize.

TIP #5 – THE VALUE OF VACATIONS: Time away from home/work helps you recharge your physical and mental batteries. Recharged mental batteries help you to keep your life and “stuff” well organized.

TIP #6 – SHORT TRIPS: Can’t get away for a week, 10 days or a two vacation? Instead of going entirely without, take smaller or weekend trips to satisfy your wanderlust and give your brain - and it’s organizing power - a break and a boost. Or take advantage of a staycation where you don't actually leave town, but take advantage of all that your own home or home environs have to offer. The point is to do something out of the ordinary to change your daily routine and recharge your batteries. Visit local parks, museums and farmers markets, for example. Watch your home movies! Have a family cook night; pick a new recipe and try to make it. Take those board games gathering dust off the shelf in the closet and play them. Schedule a Monopoly marathon or improve your skills with Yahtzee (math), Scrabble (spelling), Clue (strategy), etc. You’re going to have more fun than you think!

TIP #7 – AVOIDING THE POST VACATION BLUES: Start planning your next trip as soon as you get home from the trip that you’re on! It will give you something to look forward to and it’s how dreams become reality.

TIP #8 – WHEN WANDERLUST IS REALLY ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE: When wanderlust and the idea of getting away from it all is about more than simply needing a vacation and the lift that can come from traveling to someplace new, schedule time in your calendar or planner to work on making those dreams come true. If it’s an unsatisfying job you’re longing to get away from, schedule time to work on your resume and check out potential new jobs. If it’s a new home and a change of scenery you want, schedule time to contact a real estate broker or peruse real estate listings online or in the newspaper. The point is that nothing happens if you don’t make it happen.

TIP #9 – EVEN IF YOU DON’T END UP GOING: Keep daydreaming! Daydreaming can make you feel happy, positive and inspired. Daydreaming helps to keep hope alive and where there is hope, there is possibility. If you didn’t get to take a vacation this time, there’s always next time.

If you're committed to making positive changes in your life, help (including a free phone consultation) is just a call -- (212) 228-8375 -- or an email away.



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