Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
There's a line in "Eat Pray Love" that zeroed in on me early.
Liz and Delia have slipped upstairs to change Delia's baby, when Delia mentions in response to a question Liz asked about "when did you know you wanted to have a baby," that she's had "the box" since before she got married.
Liz retrieves the box from under the bed, and begins going through a stack of baby clothes while Delia explains that she's been filling it with baby things and waiting until Andy was ready to be a father, and Liz remarks, "I have a box just like this except it's filled with National Geographics and the Times Travel section of all the places I want to see before I die."
Suddenly, I wasn't the only one. There WERE others out there.
I used to call it my wish list. Then a couple of years ago, I started calling it my Bucket List (thank you, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) but I thought that was a bit too negative of a way of looking at it. So I just started calling it my Travel Box.
It's actually a suitcase that I picked up at a garage sale; a 1950s-era overnight bag, I'd imagine. Tan with tarnished gold latches holding it shut that have a release that slides, which give them that satisfying "Snap!" when they open, and a matching Bakelite handle to lug it around.
So how do you go about creating your own Travel Box? Here are a few ideas.
1. Procure a container - whether it's an overnight bag from grandma's basement collection, a hat box (one of my personal favorites - if I didn't have my suitcase I'd find one of those), or a cardboard box that you pick up at your local craft store and adorn with your own travel energy and ideas - it doesn't matter. Just get something that speaks to your heart and is special.
2. Get a small journal that fits in your Travel Box. I have a journal that has a map theme to it. Whenever I hear of a place that I want to go, I write it down. I make a note of what I heard about it and where, and I date it so I know when I wrote it down. I knew after watching Bottle Shock that I wanted to go to Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, CA, so I wrote it down there since all I had to go by was the movie. I've also got a small collection of corks from other Napa wineries that I want to visit. They're small enough to go in without taking up too much room.
3. Tear up your own magazines with abandon (others' by permission). If I see an article featuring a place that I know I have to see, I rip it out and in my suitcase it goes.
4. Review your Travel Box as often as you'd like, but especially when you've saved for a vacation or are planning this year's or next's excursions.
If you need more organization than this, you can also create a "Travel Box Presentation" file that has photos copied and pasted into it from internet sites, as well as the web addresses from whence they came.
I don't limit its contents. If I see a destination in Food & Wine, it's just as likely to get torn out and placed in my travel box as something from Travel & Leisure. I started this practice when I noticed that my work was taking me to the same places over and over again, so I started looking for places around those places I was going over and over again, too. So it's not so much of "I want to go to Boston," for example, as it's "I want to go to the Museum of Fine Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue in Boston, MA."
In all, creating your Travel Box should be a joyous occasion! If you scrapbook or create vision boards, you can use your skills in those areas to do the same for your travel dreams.