Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Ready to Go

We all have our routines when preparing for a trip. About three ago before I leave I start. I pull out a bag I’ve been saving, this time one from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and start to drop things into it. Electrical adapters. Copies of my passport, city maps and a well annotated guidebook.  This time - getting ready to visit Paris, London, Rome and Florence in just two weeks -  I’m also taking a book written by my friend Sophia Stuart.  The book?  How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World to read when the travel gets crazy. ( 

Beyond thinking about what I need to put in my suitcase I’m thinking about what I need to know about where I’m headed.  What’s going on there?  How can I be current about local news - and not assume the issues that are important in LA  - who will be the next head of Disney? – are important in Florence or Paris.

To begin I did a quick  Google search that brought me dozens of links including one to the Huffington Post blog that led to a link to a new-to-me travel site   Reading it reminded of places I love to eat in Paris.  But today’s news?  Not so much.

To find the hot topics it’s easier to set a Google Alert.  I select the country or city and quickly a list of links  comes to my mailbox.  Today’s delivery included 17 articles on 17 topics from sources that included Reuters, the Irish Independent and SkySport.  By the time I leave I’ll know some things to discuss with friends at lunch in Montmartre next Sunday. 

My prep begins with gathering objects and information.  What’s the beginning of your travel preparation?

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