I'm heading down to Plymouth this afternoon to visit a school. It's roughly a 3 hour train journey, overnight stay in a nice hotel and 3 hours back.
It's not a big journey. Many have managed it before me.
Meanwhile, my ladywife is about to go to Uganda for 2 weeks to film a documentary. Her trip will involve treks through rainforest, tracking down locals who don't want to be found, conspiracy, danger and wild animals.
And how do we prepare for our respective journeys?
I started packing 3 days ago, panicking about my itinerary and assembling my essential travel kit. My essential travel kit includes:
4 "luxury spiced" hot cross buns from M&S
A packet of biltong
An innocent fruit smoothie
2 pens (2 particular pens)
3 different bars of dark chocolate
3 packets of tictacs (various flavours)
The novel I'm reading, plus a back-up novel and a back-up-back-up book in case I need some non-fiction.
Elastic bands. I don't know why.
A typed itinerary. It's quite detailed & includes the word 'Plymouth' 6 times.
That's just the start of it. There's plenty more, but you get the gist.
I researched my destination (Plymouth. This is a trip to Plymouth, remember. A 24 hour trip to Plymouth) even though I've been there twice before.
I studied a map of the town so I could identify the snooker club and the sushi restaurant. I visualised all the possible journeys between those destinations and my hotel.
I visualised them again, this time pretending it was dark.
I practised, aloud, asking a cab driver to take me from Plymouth station to my hotel. I'm not exaggerating here - I practised it aloud, while being well aware of how ridiculous this was.
Meanwhile, the ladywife has a shower, throws some clothes in a bag, grabs her passport... and she's off.
I don't even know whether she's planning on getting currant buns at the airport or at the station. Or whether he has any elastic bands.