Japan is coming up! Sixty some odd days until we go.
And we still feel like a whole bunch has to be done. Does it actually? We weren’t sure, because after a couple crazy work months, and taking December to relax, we had let planning go to crap. Why not, we than thought, take a night to ourselves to plan our big upcoming adventure.
So the two of us sat down at the table and opened our Trello board. Such geeks we are, using an organization/list app to plan a honey moon. But it’s really, really handy.
We took the time to go through the biggest thing on our minds: our To Do list. We had an old one but it was super outdated, so opened up that card and quickly checked off or deleted items from the check list.
Although super busy, we had a board for ‘Discussion’ and ‘to Add’ for our To Do, and also the cards for the individual items didn’t match up, so the rest of our time we spent emptying the discussion board into the to do list and making sure the check lists and the individual cards match up.
‘Cards’ can be assigned (you can see people’s faces in the sample picture) and have due dates, so we went through and assigned any personal things to one of us, but gave EVERYTHING a due date.
The camera bag list? Yeah, that’s all me. Assign it to myself annnnnnnnd… give me until end of Feb to decide what I’m bringing, what I may need, and what I’m willing to spend on more equipment…
Right! We wanted to see if we can find Taiko drumming classes… hmm, let’s see what a quick search does. Oh hey, here’s a greatly, highly reviewed class in Kyoto! Why don’t we just book it now?
The more we sorted through, the more we would think of and add to the list, assigning dates and, if need be, due dates.
Right, we should have the post office hold our mail.
You know what, we should make a note of potential Christmas gifts we can pick up while there… and make a budget for it. That second part, super important.
We should both probably put down that we need away notifications for work…
A couple hours later we had had enough. We hadn’t though up everything, we both knew that. But sitting down and going through this all had a couple major benefits.
One benefit was that it got us all excited again, and that’s motivation.
Although you may think at first “you need motivation for this trip?” But the reality is that this is a big and expensive trip for two people with full time jobs (and teams worried about not having them for a month) and a family of furry ones, to a country where the temperatures we are going to encounter range from 0-25 (Celsius). It takes a lot of planning, even if you plan to play things by ear for the most part when you land.
So the motivation is to get you through the research, the packing, the organizing and prep before hand, so once you get there it’s all about fun, relaxation and excitement.
The second big thing it did was calm some nerves.
Realistically, we could leave as we are now and be perfectly fine. We’ve go the flights, hotels, passports, etc. Well… we’d still want things like the JR Pass to save some money, but otherwise all the big ticket items are done. That’s a relief.
So as we made the list, it was all small things. All small things that, for the most part, we’ve already started on and thought a lot about. And if not, than they are small things that may only take a few minutes to accomplish.
We’ve got everything under control.
Sure we may come up with more items over the next little while, but otherwise, we’ve got everything noted and under control, and it feels good.
It also helped us work on splitting tasks, who does what, etc. It helped make the honeymoon planning very much a joint experience which is good for relationship building and keeping the peace while getting everything done. We also got each others opinions on things: “How much are you willing to pay for this?” “When do you want to have this done?” “What do you want to have figured out before we make this decision?”
This trip is supposed to be a big important event for the two of us, so keeping it as a joint venture the whole way is important. It also makes us feel super accomplished to get so much done together.
I’d recommend to anyone planning a big trip with a group to try Trello to make lists and divide tasks. I’d also always recommend taking time to sit down together and review progress and what’s ahead, if only to improve communication and collaboration, and for that sweet sweet feeling of accomplishment from seeing how much of a good place you’ve put yourself in.
For me and Ed, now it’s time to curl up with some dessert and watch some shows, all happy and giddy with excitement.