Is it really happening? Am I truly about to go on vacation? These and some other questions have been on my mind pretty much since I bought the plane tickets back in March. The biggest question I have been pondering lately, however, is exactly when does a long-anticipated vacation become a reality.
Certainly it's real on the last day in the office and just as real upon driving away from home or stepping on to the airplane, train, or boat that will soon put much mileage between hearth and holiday. For some the adventure becomes a reality when the final destination is decided upon and the initial planning stages have commenced. For others it is only real when the front door is locked and the plane is in the air.
As mentioned I purchased my ticket back in March when air fares to the South Pacific were going at fire sale rates. Indeed, they haven't gotten much higher in the seven months since then but I played my hunch correctly in getting in a near rock bottom levels that have not been seen again. Yay, but with seven months to go before V-Day the time in between served only to school me in what so many go through each and every year: that vacation is a once a year thing that takes all year to save up and prepare for.
So here I am on the cusp of the big event, not quite believing it is finally here and also counting the minutes and mentally "checking out" of work as much as I'm able. Most major projects are on auto-pilot, I've written the instructions for my back-ups while I'm out and, most importantly, finished all the major reservations for my vacation in just one day. Yes, one day.
Traveling alone makes it easy to set up cars and hotels. The bills are paid, the mail service to the house has been suspended, the clothes are bought and the iPod playlists are set. All I have to do now is survive this short week at work, keep my mouth shut and respond to any request with as much decorum and good cheer as I can muster! For me, it seems then that the vacation is now officially real.
I decided on New Zealand and Australia all the way back in February and bought the ticket the following month. That didn't make it real because the plans were seven long months and a few financial challenges away. Just dreaming about going of course doesn't shed any reality on the venture, either. I've put in the hours at work, the money away in savings and the time in planning; now that it is less than five days away and all the reservations have been set, yes, pinch me, it's real. It's finally here, I can't wait and it is certainly shaping up to be all that I would hope for.
Just don't ask me how excited I'll be after boarding the plane, waiting for the cabin door to close and when the 747 finally backs away from the gate!