Those who know me will know that I love a good list. Trivial stuff, mostly: Top 5 New Zealand hip hop albums of all time. Best Buffy episodes. Sub-divided daily to-do lists organised by context. That sort of thing. However, I just made a list that I’m quite excited about. And it’s a list that I made to ensure that I don’t die.
Okay so “die” might be putting too fine a point on it, but it is a list that has the words “first aid kit” on it, which is certainly a first for me.
In a couple of hours time, I pick up a rental car and make my way up to the Lake District. I’m staying in youth hostels, and I’m going to be doing some hiking. People who have known me for a long time will probably find this surprising. I’m not known for my intrepid outdoors adventures.
So more than ever before, I’m preparing for this trip. I’ve been doing research, taking lessons from friends who have done this sort of thing before, talking to the guys in the outdoor equipment store (who managed to sell me a few things along the way), and even downloading a couple of useful apps.
I’ve travelled a lot, and I’ve been to some really amazing places, but there’s something about spending time on very deliberate preparation that makes the whole adventure more exciting in a way that I hadn’t really encountered before. Usually, I simply turn up and see what happens. I’ve been known to arrive in foreign countries only to realise at the airport that I don’t know where I’m staying or the names and contact details of the people I’m there to see. It generally seems to work out okay.
But this is new territory. I have my flask of coffee, my hiking boots, a backpack full of useful things, my waterproof jacket, and – an unprecedented marker of preparedness for me – a folder full of information that I’ve printed out about the places I’m going.
And I have my list. I think I’m all set. I’ll see you on the other side.
Have a fantastic Easter.