Our Anniversary was this month and we like to celebrate with a trip. Some years they are little getaways to our favorite semi local places, like Traverse City, while other years we go really big. I started planning this year’s trip to Portugal over a year ago.
Looking at weather and what we wanted to see and do, mid September seemed like the best time to go. After deciding on the WHEN, I spent a lot of time toiling over tour books and maps selecting the places WHERE we would visit and creating a solid itinerary. This would be our first solo trip to Europe, and I was excited to test my budget travel skills out to see how low I could get the costs.
We had plenty of points and free night certificates saved up to cover all of our hotel nights. Just when we had finished gathering up enough points to cover round trip airfare for both of us and were preparing to start booking hotels and flights, Covid19 showed up. Ugh! At first, I thought that this thing would run its course and be over in a month or so. Now, I am not sure how long it will take for this to play out.
Everything is very fluid with this situation and nobody really knows when travel will be realistic again. I have heard some of the European Heads of State say that they may not reopen the boarders until after September. I am still holding on to a small glimmer of hope, but in the back of my mind, I am prepared for this trip to be delayed.
I asked my husband the other day if he though we would still get to go to Portugal this year and he replied “Right now you can’t even go to your office.”
True. One step at a time I guess.
Life happens and this isn’t the first time that we have had to postpone a really big trip.
Our first trip to Europe had been 12 days traveling through Italy for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. In 2016 we started planning our second trip to Europe. This trip would be 14 days and 7 Countries. A pretty big undertaking. For a trip this big I like to start the planning almost a year out to make sure I have everything in place.
We had decided that a tour was the best plan for handling such complex logistics. So I started combing through all the brochures looking for one that was the closest match to the destinations and sites we had in mind. After a few months of deliberation, we settled on the best tour. We put the ball in motion with our Travel Agent and began saving up for the Deposit. I began secretly hoarding up cash I earned at my side job in a coffee can.
The deposit for the trip was due the first Monday of August, but on the Friday before that, the central air went out in our house. Our system had been living on borrowed time and we were just hoping it would limp through this one last summer. When the Repair Man came out, he said that we would need to replace the old unit because we could not longer get parts for it. The cost for a new unit was almost exactly the same amount as the deposit for our trip. Go figure! My husband was fretting about how we would pay for this and the trip. I went to the cupboard, grabbed my coffee can and pulled out my wad of cash. His eyes got as big as saucers because he had no idea that I had stashed that much cash away. When I want to travel, I buckle down on the saving!
Although we were disappointed, we made the unanimous decision to use the money to cover the cost of the new central air unit and postpone taking our trip for 1 full year. I think it was the best choice. When I called to tell our Travel Agent, I am sure she was skeptical that we would still take the trip the next year. But that we did, and it was fabulous.
Maybe it Wasn’t Meant to Be
I always like to think there is some grand mystical reason that I am not supposed to know about when these things happen. Like the Gods are looking down on us and rearranging things to get a better outcome, or just one they like better. It helps me feel a little bit less disappointed if I look at it like the universe was somehow protecting me by altering my plans.
But don’t get me wrong, although I fear this trip is doomed for 2020, if somehow we manage to get through all of this by fall I am still all in and ready to go!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure……and sometimes Drop Back and Punt!