America 18/70

The Scale of the Challenge!

I can’t climb every mountain!

This trip covers about one third of the American Continent and will pass through at least 14 States. That means I have a huge amount of information to be mined and prospected and held onto during the planning selection and decision stages! My first thoughts were to capture the basics in the blog because I least, I will know where I have put them! This may result in nothing more interesting than a gazetteer for my readers but hopefully, when I go in deeper and start mining the items, I shall be able to reveal the more interesting nuggets. I can identify with this guy!

Meanwhile, here’s a couple of essential items from my planning kit! 

My Favourite Wall Map!


Another research life-saver! 

ps. I do work with these alongside Uncle Google!

So, I’ve made a start on the direction of travel leaving New York, following the original pioneer route up the Hudson valley, and turning west at Albany. Then its OMG, I feel completely overwhelmed by all the information and decide it’s time to bring on the Cavalry!

Let me introduce you to Kelly Field and her company!  Kelly is a crystal clear communicator and a great mentor. She understands exactly how I think and how I work! I explained the enormity of the travel plans and the fun I was having in the archives, constantly exploring. Kelly, in her lovely quiet way, said that it all sounds wonderful but what are you actually going TO DO on the trip? I had been so swept away in the deep recesses of Trauma and Memory in Post-Plantation Southern Literature or wondering how the Supremes managed their re-entry to segregated Detroit following their UK tour in 1966, that I had neglected the fundamental question – “what are we going to do on holiday?”

Kelly’s suggestion was perfect and full of common sense: a weekly Countdown Planner where I would write down three things such as activities, venues, events for each chosen location. I would then plan a weekly update with Paul to handover travel requirements and once a fortnight write up the blog to share the highlights from the three items researched. It is a crystal-clear plan!

However, I am not quite under starter’s orders, as I was still obsessing about information overload. Consequently, I am not yet in a position to share a great destination but here are some great tips for dealing with the Information Mountain from  The Huffington Post

My biggest takeaway from the article was the fact that when we overload ourselves with information we think we are being productive. “After all, what’s more productive than discovering what you don’t know? Yet information overload paralyses us into a state of inaction and if we don’t use the information that we are learning immediately, we lose up to 75% of that information from our memories and brains, making all of the information we are taking in nearly useless!”