Notes From the Home Front: I Need A Kick in the Pants

I have a confession.

I’ve been procrastinating.

Just a few months ago I was so excited about planning this trip! I had spreadsheets, word documents and a pile of highlighted guidebooks. I had information compiled, opinions stockpiled and a calendar with a big red X on it. I was gung ho and ready to go!

Creative Commons License photo credit: purpleslog

Lately though, it has been much harder to get motivated. I’ve been busy with other things; stressed about work and the blog. Trip
planning has fallen low on my list of priorities. I haven’t cracked a guidebook in weeks. Or done any of the things on my growing monster to do list (I’m actually afraid to look at it). I haven’t sold a single thing like I promised to two months ago. I haven’t talked to my doctor about shots.

This is not a good thing, especially now that I’m finally within spitting range of this trip. With just a little over four months to go I’m finally at the point where concrete plans need to be made, tickets need to be bough and equipment picked out. But for some reason I’m just… not.

I’ve always been better at planning things in the abstract than at actually getting them done. It’s a lot easier to make lists and plans than to make actual decisions. I wrote my pre-departure to-do list months ago. I’ve been planning this trip in one way or another for almost two years now. I think part of me got so used to the habit of telling myself to wait until later, that now that later is here I’m not sure how to get myself moving.

So maybe I’m not so much unmotivated as overwhelmed. I’m so excited about actually TRAVELING, but there’s still a lot that needs to be done to put a trip this large into motion It’s hard to even know where to start. My countdown clock-which has pulled me through some rough times in the past few months, now fills me with anxiety.

What are some things you do to keep motivated?

About The Author

38 thoughts on “Notes From the Home Front: I Need A Kick in the Pants”

  1. Besides breaking the lists down and starting with the most important things (shots, visas, tickets) you might also take another look at your itinerary. I was really procrastinating about my next trip earlier this year, and when I took Central Asia out everything fell into place and I really got moving.

  2. I agree with Nate. I try to do one thing each day that takes me a little closer to my goal, even if it’s something small. I have a similar time frame as you (I’m leaving October 1st) and it definitely seems like there is an overwhelming amount of things to do to prepare.

    “One day at a time” has been my mantra and I’ve picked up some extra work to save more money, which has the double benefit of giving me less time to actually spend my money. I’ve also been reading lots of other travel blogs to boost my motivation.

  3. I went through the same thing. I wrote down everything I needed to do and broke it down into weeks so it felt less daunting.

    Have you bought your ticket yet?

    1. I haven’t bought tickets yet and that may be part of the problem. Just doesn’t seem “real”yet. Once I buy a plane ticket I will HAVE to get a move on!

  4. Just plan to do 1 thing each day. It takes a lot of the pressure off by putting your focus on that single task. Seems stupidly simple, I know, but it works for me all the time!
    .-= Nate´s last blog ..get a burst of energy =-.

  5. Oh my god, I’m so like this. I plan everything with spreadsheets and list upon list. I’ve been planning this for a year and now, with just over 2 weeks to go, I find it hard to even pick up a guidebook or complete my to do list.

    I think it’s a case of too many things going on in my head at once. I’m thinking about places to go and things to see in 10 different countries, what to pack, work, my blog, leaving parties, visas… I’m excited but as you put it, very ‘overwhelmed!’

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me although it doesn’t look like things get easier the sooner to D-day huh?

  6. Don’t worry, chances are you’ll blitz it all in the last 2 weeks, I went through similar when I was planning too.

    Only thing I suggest you get started now is doctors shots, as they are done over a long period (like 1-3 months), it’s not a one off, so get that done now!

    Breaking it down into pieces is good too.
    .-= AdventureRob´s last blog ..Australia Day 2010 =-.

  7. Start setting yourself some interim deadlines before the big departure date. That way you can break down The Terrifying List into manageable chunks and it won’t seem half as daunting.

    Eg. By the end of next week I will have made an appointment for getting my travel jabs and bought a backpack. By the end of the week after that, I’ll have my camera and accessories sorted out, and have booked at least my initial flights and a couple of nights accommodation. And so on, and so on.

    With four months still to go, you’ve got plenty of time to just be able to tick off two or three things a week and still have plenty of days left at the end for the last minute stuff that you invariably forget.

    Don’t panic, it’s all good. 🙂
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..The Friday Photo #7 – Hoi An, Vietnam =-.

  8. Sounds to me like you have classic fear of success. Contrary to what may seem logical, people are often driven to procrastination by the fear that they will succeed at what they’re doing and that it will change the status quo, rather than that they will fail and things will continue as normal. Which is more frightening?
    .-= Kelsey´s last blog ..Jamestown Colors =-.

    1. I dunno, fear of success is not one of my usual issues. Lazyness and being overwhelmed are more likely culprits this time around.

    2. Ian [EagerExistence]

      Wow… that must be what I’ve got.
      But, I can only procrastinate so far! Ive already quit my job, rented out my house… so if the big date comes & I still haven’t got moving… 😮

    1. That’s kind of a releif to know it’s not just me with this problem! I’m hoping people will leave some helpful advice.

      1. I think for us, we’re in that limbo time, there’s still four months to go, so can’t do any real plans, but it’s too close to postulate what countries to go to etc.

        I think once my exams are over, I hope I will be more motivated to do travel things 🙂

      2. Definitely not just you, Steph! I’m a month out and I’ve still got a ton to do. If the past is any indicator, I can’t get anything done until the last minute. My strategy is just to get the genuinely important things done (vaccinations, insurance, 1st ticket etc)- everything else has a way of working itself out. I’ve always worked better under pressure- I think I just need that late-in-the-game adrenaline surge as motivation. Good luck!
        .-= Josh | The Wander Project´s last blog ..Travel Delays are Unavoidable, Annoying and Perhaps for the Best =-.

      You must slow down to shed the stress you feel. Come on, enjoy the moment! Focus on what needs priority and do it! Remember, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top