When I was a student, I was a great list maker. I had a big notebook and every time I started studying for an exam I would use it to make a precise day-by-day study plan: in tidy handwriting (yes, it was before heavily IT reliant times, I am THAT old!) I would define my study workload for each day, separating morning and afternoon tasks according to their difficulty and amount of caffeine needed for each. It was probably a bit of an obsessive exercise, but it worked for me: I knew where I was, where I wanted to be and how to get there – I wish I could say the same about the rest of my life!
After college years, I lost my knack for making lists: the arrival of the kids and their infinite crayons made paper notes ephemeral and access to the computer sketchy, so lists now are mostly in my head and get mostly ignored – the important things get done, and the less important ones get forgotten until the next mental list, where the circle starts again.
But this way of dealing with things does not suit me. I miss my lists and the beginning of the year, with its flourishing of resolutions and blog posts about desired achievements, made me want to get back to that old habit.
So here we go: I am going to start this 2016 with a list of family travel and blogging plans. Let’s see if committing them to paper makes them more real!
Family travel and blogging plans for 2016
January: I don’t have travel plans for this month so will devote my time to blogging housekeeping and posts from older trips. First goal: to finally write my Florence mini guide for families and a couple of personal stories about fun things we did there. Spoiler: one will include a Ferrari, a rare site in this slow travel blog! Update: click on the links to go to the relevant posts.
Blogging wise, I will probably make January the month when I will stop sending out a weekly digest of posts and replace it with a monthly newsletter – If you want to keep receiving posts in your inbox, let me know, otherwise, make sure you keep up with me daily on facebook or twitter.
February: 12 years ago in February I moved to Brussels, a city that gave me some incredible friends, my husband and therefore, somehow, my kids. I’ve never written about it and find the prospect daunting (so emotionally charged!) but we went back with the kids once and so a weekend guide to Brussels for families sounds like something I should most definitely write. February is also time for school breaks so hopefully I’ll be able to find some nice local attractions for the kids here in Ireland (I am thinking windmills and castles: you can find a list of my favourite family days out near Dublin here).
March: Time to go to Rome. Hoping in decent weather, at the end of March, we will be heading to Rome, to visit my parents and catch up with friends. Snow permitting, we might also stretch up to the mountains of Abruzzo and give the kids their first taste of real snow. March is also a time when this part of the world starts seeing some sun: among other things, the arrival of the spring usually inspires me to cook, so this might be the month when I launch a new series of posts with recipes. Would you join me in the kitchen?
April: April will see me going to Wales. I am very excited about this trip as it’s going to be my first time at a blogging conference. I am looking forward to the workshops, but even more to meeting in person some of my blogging friends. How will they be? Are their blogs true to who they are? Update: I had a fantastic time in Wales, check out some of my photos from wonderful Cardiff here
May: Time to plan for tbex Stockholm! Hoping to be energized by my first blogging conference, May should be the month when I plan my tbex trip to Sweden: I have already visited Stockholm with kids, so this could be my chance to finally go back through those memories and write a mini guide to Stockholm too (do you see a trend here? 2016 is the year when I want to start writing mini guides). Should the first conference be a disaster, I might revise this plan and blog about that instead.
June: A friend of mine will come visiting from Rome with her husband and kids, so this will be our chance to be tourists in Ireland. June will also be the months when I get my house ready for the home exchange: it does take a bit of work but since it finances our holiday, it’s work I don’t mind doing. It’s also a great excuse to get rid of stuff, one of my favourite pastimes!!
July – August: school summer holiday, aka: time to leave the blog for a while and make it social – FB, Instagram, snapchat – how would you like to follow us? We’ll be reporting from Northern California!
September: a big month for us as this is when my little girl starts big school! Its is also going to be the first month in 6 years that will have more than 2 hours without the children at home… what will that time bring: more blogging, more work, more relaxed days or a sense of restlessness and not knowing what to do with myself? The plan would be to use it to catch up with writing about tbex and California – will see how that goes…
October: time for one more trip to Rome for the famous ottobrate romane – I just need to save a bit before committing to this one as the California leap will hit the budget pretty hard
November: no plans for this month, but this is usually when I head south with a friend to get some winter sun and tapas! A good way to sweep away the winter blues
December: Christmas time, family time! Some rest for the blog and surely some going back over to this list to see how much of this I have actually done, what I have done instead and how goals change over time.
Ok, this list got me excited: I seem to have a busy year ahead! Will our paths overlap in 2016?
Happy new year!