By Barry Zander
Do you have a bucket list or are you just a dreamer? If you have a bucket list of places you plan to visit – like all major league baseball stadiums, every presidential library, National Parks in the contiguous states – then, this article isn’t for you. You are already motivated to get there as soon as we’re allowed to roam freely again.
But if you’re one of those folks who contemplates driving your RV to see a specific place or an old friend or relative, Let’s talk!
Let’s talk about Joan. She’s a feisty lady with energy far beyond what you would think her age allows. She was born on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes, and she still has kin living there. She wants to visit with them; but, will she?
She’s one of those dreamers mentioned above. Why won’t she go? Because she’s supposedly too busy at home moving “stuff” about, as if she will ever finish “organizing.” Is there hope for her to ever see those Canuck relatives? Probably not, but there is hope for other “someday I’ll …” folks.
While you’re mostly confined to staying close to home these days, you can build excitement in your life by taking a few steps toward fulfilling those dreams.
Step One – Focus on THE PLACE: a family member you want to visit, a place you saw on TV that beckons you, the adventures of just driving down roads you’ve never taken.
Step Two – Call or email the state or local Chamber of Commerce to ask them to send you A MAP and tourism information. Then find ways of getting maps of states all along the route to that destination. For most people, having a full paper trail in color to pore over rather than segmented spurts along the way makes planning easier, plus it makes them/us aware of other attractions along the way worth detouring to see.
Mental health specialists encourage “dreamers” to put something tangible in their hands, like maps and guidebooks, to promote visualization of the course ahead. The lines on maps become roads in your mind that get the excitement flowing.
Step 3 – And this is the most important and often the hardest. Set your “TAKE-OFF DATE.” Look into the future to pick a time in the not-too-distant weeks ahead when you have a blank on your calendar. Write it down: “I’m going to leave on [for example] September 7.”
Our experience is that from the time we set that date, everything that could interfere with leaving on or around that day seems to vanish. It’s not a perfect plan, but it works pretty well.
Now, in these days of social isolation you’re probably thinking, “I don’t know when we can travel.” Let’s say you set the date for next spring. We have a trip to the Great Lakes planned for next May that excites us NOW. As we get closer, we know it may be necessary to reschedule it months or more in the future, but there’s still that air of expectation surrounding us now. And we will continue to avoid making doctors’ appointments or family gatherings that could cause us to change plans.
That said, give it a try: Steps 1 through 3. Highlight the route on your maps, daydream, think about the clothes you will need, schedule dates for RV preparation, and get moving forward toward a trip of your dreams.