My job requires travel, lots and lots of travel. I travel to places where many people would never want to go; it’s my job, it’s the life I have chosen. Because I have to travel in order to perform my job, it is not in my best interests to: (1) be surprised when I need to go someplace; (2) be unwilling to change my personal plans at a moment’s notice; or (3) take a long time to get ready to go. I am constantly amazed by my dear friends, clients, and others who have poor time management skills, such that they are often late to arrive at the pre-arranged time of our meeting. I am ready to go! I look at my schedule for the day, the days ahead, and in advance so that I know what is coming. I start getting ready well in advance by being sure my clothes, toiletries, bass guitar and amplifier, camera, or whatever else I may need to take with me are stocked, in working order, and ready to go so that my precious time is not wasted scrambling around at the last minute looking for a forgotten item. I don’t like to wait on those who are tardy, nor do I like to be the person for whom others are waiting, so I get ready, now, for what I know is going to take place, later. It’s so easy! Try it and see!
Many, many years ago I came to know some new neighbors who moved into the big riverfront house next door. The Goederts had moved into Mr. Goedert’s dream house because it had a dock and boathouse on the river. My brother and I became his buddies because he had raised 4 daughters and had no sons with whom to fish or, later, hunt. And, I learned they both liked to travel. I’ll never forget Mrs. Goedert telling me she always kept a suitcase packed because she never knew when “Freddie” would call and say “let’s go.” At that time, the concept of always being packed seemed exotic. Now that I/we stay ready to go on short notice, and the reasons we go most places are work related, this concept seems more practical than exotic. But having a set of toiletries, and a packing list for different types of trips (work, pleasure, or both) and destinations (cold v. hot) simplifies the travel process and alleviates at least some of the stress of travel. And, like Melissa, I have various things in ready mode – the type of trip and transportation to be used determines which briefcase or which suitcase to use and how many cameras to take in which camera bag. Keeping photo equipment organized is important to me, and these days, with digital equipment, there is another layer of gear to take – battery chargers and spare, charged, batteries. This was much less a problem with film cameras and now the space I save not carrying film is filled with battery chargers – but at least they can be X-rayed. But, I digress. The point of this post is that, as with many aspects of work and life, having a plan and being ready to respond to opportunities and responsibilities as they present themselves is an efficient, smart, way to conduct oneself. And, if you live in places like California where earthquakes can happen at any time, having a go bag or earthquake kit in your car trunk is a not matter of convenience, it is a matter of survival.