Effortless ADHD Travel

 In Maya's Journey to Success

adhd travelLiving more effortless ADHD travel is a long-time goal for me. My family would tell you that the ‘old Dana’ rushed hysterically at the last minute before a trip. The ‘new Dana’ is much nicer to be around. Creating my ADHD travel lists – the ones Maya talks about in her blog – has changed my relationship with travel. That’s why I teach a module on traveling and ADHD to the Success Club. I want everyone with ADD/ADHD to live stress-free traveling! – dr

Blogging about travel when I’m not going anywhere anytime soon is totally unappealing to me, so I’ve put it off all week. After listening to this week’s calls, I realize that I’m blogging like I’m living — in the moment. ADHD is indeed a gift because living in the moment, I can troubleshoot, problem-solve, be present, and live adventurously.

In contrast, in that same moment, I can ignore details, live impulsively, and disregard what my future self needs. My future self needs me to get things done, write stuff down, look at my lists, and take action on priorities. My future self needs me to be a consistent and productive member of my household.

When I travel, I procrastinate packing and everything else. This summer I paid extra for my passport for my Iceland trip with family because I put off the paperwork. On regular trips, I typically rely on my husband to take care of ALL the details, and I just pack my own bag and help my daughter pack hers. The question I ask myself now is, “What conscious and advanced actions can I take to make traveling easier for myself and my family?”

Listening to this week’s calls, I heard a lot of what I intuitively know about effortless ADHD travel, yet don’t do, as well as several tips that could serve me well. Before my next trip, I think the main thing I should do is try out Dana’s lists as I plan. Here are Dana’s ADHD travel lists and how each list will help me:  

  1. Initial Planning: This list is chock full of just what I need — details that need to be thought of ahead of time such as scheduling, planning, pet care, and clothing. Without planning ahead of time, my family can be scrambling at the last minute.
  2. Two Week Count Down: This list is great because this is where I’m challenged to make sure the essentials are taken care of with enough buffer time for me to get things done.
  3. Last Minute — The Final Countdown: This list is great and full of the sorts of things I forget (from packing earbuds to cleaning the fridge — this list is amazing).

When trip time comes, I can really use these lists as a guide, and as I work through the lists, I can add anything that’s needed for me personally. When I first listened to Dana and looked at the ADHD travel lists, I felt overwhelmed, but I now see how these lists can be just what I need to avoid overwhelm.

Later this week, I will be taking an overnight trip to visit my mother and take her to a doctor’s appointment. On a micro-level, I will try to apply this module to that short trip by making phone calls to family members who have questions for doctors, by checking to make sure my toiletries travel bag is fully stocked, by packing on Monday (to not miss out on Halloween time with kids on Tuesday before I go), and by completing my substitute lesson plans ahead of time.

Yes, travel and everything else can be overwhelming when I fail to take conscious and advanced actions to set the stage for my future self. While living in the now is part of the gift of ADHD, I have to put limits on where I let the now take me and how I let the now control me. Living in the present HAS to include preparing for the future. Without realizing that, in the way I live, I compromise the quality of my life. Small intentional steps forward keep me on my journey to living successfully with ADHD. Thanks, Dana. Maybe a tropical vacation isn’t in my near future; however, organizing myself with focused and deliberate actions is essential.

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