Posted by: Marco | July 12, 2010

To do lists – blessing or bane?

To do lists. To do lists. They’re everywhere. On the computer. On bits of paper. On a white board in the kitchen. In notebooks that we can no longer find. In our heads. We can’t escape them… and we don’t want to. They keep us organized and on track. To be truthful, Shannon is a professional project manager and we’re both pretty organized people, so we have a good grip on what’s left to be done.

Mercifully, the lists are getting shorter and the tasks are getting easier. Today, for example, since we are away from home on a “farewell tour” visiting with Shannon’s family, we will head to Owen Sound to get our International Driver’s License. Quick and easy — one more item stroked off the list. Ahhh.

If you are curious about the nuts and bolts of taking a year off and not forgetting anything, you can do what we did. We bought a handbook. It’s called the The Family Sabbatical Handbook: The Budget Guide to Living Abroad With Your Children. There are chapters about how to finance your trip, what to pack, how to find accommodation, medical concerns, homesickness, and even how to reintegrate into life at home. The book is great and I highly recommend it to anyone contemplating doing what we’re doing. We also consulted websites, travel blogs, and guidebooks. We contacted folks who had done it before. And finally, we racked our memories for what we had done last time.

You see, Shannon and I have done this before. In 1996, we sold our house, packed up our belongings, put them into longterm storage, and headed to Korea and South-East Asia for 15 months. It was easier then. We had no kids. This time around it seems much more complex.

Thank goodness for to do lists, they’re a blessing.

Carpe annum,


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