Before I get started, I think it’s important to let you know that I am not the kind of person who forgets their passport. It has never happened before. Not even close.

I pride myself on my organisational skills.  And I don’t say that lightly. On this occasion I was travelling for business to deliver a training session abroad. I had been planning for ages. I had an electronic list of things to take with me that I had been building almost from the moment I found out about the session. Every time I thought of something new to take it went on the list. I planned for contingencies and I had backups of backups. The day before travelling I reviewed the list for completeness. Then I gathered the items and made a pile, and double checked against the list before those things made it to the suitcase. Yes – you’re reading right, much like Santa Claus I made a list and checked it twice!

The suitcase was at the door the night before with my handbag, in which my liquids in less than 100ml were already in a clear plastic bag. I was so ready!

I didn’t realise I had forgotten it when I was in my (pre-booked a week in advance) taxi all the way to the airport. I didn’t realise when I was downloading my boarding pass on my phone. I was at the airport about to walk through for security clearance when it hit me like that figurative ton of bricks.

The thing is, all the planning and organisation, contingencies and backups would have all been for nothing if I was unable to reach my destination to deliver the session and use them.

And so, I was reminded of 2 things:

It’s all about priorities
Now when I’m making my lists I start with “This cannot take place without” and make sure those items are to the very top of the list. It helps me really focus on the things that are most important and making sure I get those things right. Because everything else on my double checked list could have been worked around or fixed on arrival, but my passport – that was a game changer.

Don’t forget the fundamentals
My passport was arguably the most important thing of all – and it didn’t even make the list. Mostly because I considered it to be too basic, too obvious. But the fundamentals are fundamental for a reason – they are the core, they are critical. I will never take that chance again. If the session can’t take place without it – it now goes on the list no matter how simple, because things that are obvious become less so when you’re busy or have a lot on your mind no matter how much of an organisational rockstar you are!

And hopefully my sharing this means you’ll never forget your passport!