About a month ago, the tickets were all booked but…
One week before we were ready to set off on our first excursion in nearly 2 years, my husband and I got sick. Not just, a bit of a cough, sick. But a gut wrenching, head swimming, lung rattling, day losing, hot and cold sweats, kind of sick. It happened to us both. My husband was the first to go down, like a stunned 1000 lb. buffalo. Before I could even begin to effectively nurse him back to health, down I went the very next day.
It’s been a long time since I’ve travelled. It’s hard to admit, as a travel writer/blogger/ enthusiast. I knew when I decided to head back to college that travel would take a backseat to my studies, but I suppose, I was in denial. Graduate school is still in full swing, but recently, I had finally gotten the point where the tradeoff was too high. I missed road trips, and maps, and hotel rooms, and the surge of adrenaline you get when arriving in a new town with nothing but a plan. I missed that feeling of starting off lost and the satisfaction of those little victories when you start finding your way, bit by bit.
I have decided to slow things down with my studies. I initially thought I’d muscle my way through to a master’s degree in film producing as quickly as possible. But after a couple of semesters of sheer grinding, I realized that I’d prefer to have some of my life back. I want time to visit friends, to take in a play, maybe even be in a play, and most importantly, time to travel.
Thanks to my student status, the budget is tight, but I’m comfortable with that. I’ve always been a bit frugal, even when it comes to luxuries. When checking the discount airline, Spirit Airlines on a whim, I came across an incredibly sweet deal— one way flights at $20 bucks each. Just to make sure that deal wasn’t too good to be true, though, Spirit Airlines weaved in some hurdles. The deal was for only for select flights on select days and you had to take the roundabout route to get back home.
So after about two hours of figurlating (a very technical term) and puzzling together various route combinations, I was able to find an itinerary that I found both satisfactory and full of potential sunshine. I booked Chicago to Las Vegas, Vegas to San Diego, San Diego to Houston, then back to Chicago. The rate before baggage fees and reserved seats came to only $115, so I booked seats for myself and Hubs.
Then it happened, we got sick. For an entire week, despite the hacking and vomiting, I kept my hopes up that we might still make our trip. However, as the day of our departure neared, I knew that my deepest fears would most likely be realized. The Hubs and I were not going to make this trip. A huge part of me was tempted to go anyway, to simply suffer through, even though I knew it would be a disaster. Who wants to feel coughy and achy through a tour of the Hoover Dam?
I knew in my honest place, that place where I think really wise thoughts, that if we went, there would be full blown breakdowns, lots of full blown breakdowns. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go. Not going, was the best thing that we could do under the circumstances. Staying home and allowing our bodies to heal was the wisest, safest, most sensible action that we could take.
So why did I feel like such a failure?
It clearly wasn’t my fault that we got sick. But for nearly two weeks, while stuck in bed, I would revisit that itinerary that I posted on the fridge and wonder what if? I even foolishly refused to cancel the tickets, thinking that we might actually catch up to our trip on the leg to San Diego or maybe Houston. But we never did. We remained under the weather for nearly 4 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I get that of all of the things that can go really wrong in a person’s life, this set back was a very small one. But I couldn’t help but wonder, why? Why me? Why have the opportunity to book this trip, only to not go? I don’t know if the answer to the why question will ever be answered, but I do know this…
I do not handle disappointment so well.
There you have it. I don’t know why life, the Universe and God in His infinite wisdom chose this time to highlight that little nugget. But it’s true. There is nothing that I hate more than watching something that I have invested time and energy in, not pan out. I suppose it’s a personal flaw that I will have to continue to work on. I am, fortunately, able to recover and “carry on”, but maybe not as gracefully as I would like.
Am I the only one who is like this? How do you handle disappointments in travel?