Category: tips

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Last Minute Traveling

A lot of us have very set schedules most of the time.  Every now and then, an opportunity to travel presents itself very unexpectedly.  What should you do?  Should you pass on it or take it?  Of course those answers are very personal and will be based on what is going on in your life at that moment.  I have had several of these wonderful last minute opportunities over the past few years.  Most of them I have taken full advantage of.  What should you consider before embrace the spontaneous?  First, can you afford the trip?  If the answer is no, you really should regretfully decline the opportunity.  There will be others.  Second, can you get the time off work for the trip?  If you are going to lose your job by taking off time, the answer should probably be no.  Don’t get me wrong, there are jobs worth losing for an opportunity to travel overseas.  I have done it, but that is a long story.  Third, is this really a place you want to visit, or are you just bored and running from something?  If the previous two questions did not make you pass on the trip, your motives are the next litmus test.  It is definitely NOT a bad thing to travel because you are bored or want a brief escape from your every day life!  I just want you to be aware of the driving force because it will have an impact on your trip.  Fourth, are you going alone or with someone?  Is this someone a person you really enjoy spending time with?  If not, you might want to pass on the trip.  Traveling with someone can be an amazing aspect of the trip, or it can completely ruin the trip for both of you (please do not be the constant whiner/complainer/downer that ruins group trips!).  Lastly, do you have the documentation needed to take the trip?  Is this trip out of the country?  Do you have a passport that has at least 6 months before it expires?  If not, you can’t go – Customs won’t allow it.  These questions are the litmus test that I use for my unplanned and spontaneous trip opportunities that come my way.  I have had a few of these in the past couple of years.

My last opportunity was last month, but due to my work demands and travel schedule, I had to say no to an amazing trip that would have allowed me to watch the solar eclipse in its full glory.  BUMMER!  My favorite one was to Belize.  A friend called my a couple of days before my birthday to say she needed to bug out to clear her head from some major family drama.  She said she would welcome company to distract her.  I asked her for details – she was flying out in 18 hours to Belize, and already had a cabana reserved.  I searched flights and saw it really wasn’t expensive, plus there was a seat right next to her still available on the flight there.  It was a sign!  I booked my flight (though the return flight, I was two rows behind her).  I called work, said I needed to miss the next 2 days of work.  I packed my bags and went overseas for 5 days.  I had a BLAST.  I had several firsts on that trip.  I ziplined for the first time.  I learned to snorkel.  I took the first lesson to get SCUBA certification.  I climbed a Mayan ruin, even with my bad knee.  I swam beside a barrier reef.  It was an amazing trip.  I kept my friend distracted until she was ready to talk about what was going on.  And I discovered that she is an amazing travel buddy – so we intend to take more trips together.

Opportunities can be very few and far between.  But they can also be everywhere, just waiting for you to discover them.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Don’t be so wrapped up in the business of life that you miss out!