I still can’t believe I agreed to this. In three short months, I will be dropped off at O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 5. International Terminal. I will be gone for ten days, nine sleeps. I will have no frickin’ clue to where my destination is until I get to the ticket counter.
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A few months ago, my friends Kelly, Amy and myself went out to breakfast. I never thought you could get in so much trouble while trying to decide between an omelet or some french toast. But here we are.
We were talking about our recent hiking trip and the vacation Kelly & her husband were planning over Thanksgiving (Katmandu & Nepal). With the holidays approaching I started talking about the photo album project I needed to start for my mom and niece. I wanted to capture the Ireland vacation we took in 2017, and have it be a Christmas gift, but I had yet to start it. This led to how I would love to head back to Ireland, as would Kelly. Amy had never been. Therefore, logically, we should do a girls trip. To Ireland. In the spring of 2019.
I was of course, agreeable, as I loved Ireland. But, seriously, who actually goes leaves a Sunday breakfast with friends and books a trip? It’s not going to actually happen, right? Right??
Then, the email…
KELLY THEN STARTED TO THINK…and sent us this email…
“How about we just say we’re traveling in April or May.
And how about we say we go where ever we can get to on a good deal on those dates. And how about I don’t tell you where that is.
As in – you don’t know until we get to the airport and walk up to the gate.
I mean, maybe it *is* Ireland.
And maybe it isn’t.
It would just depend on what sort of deals I could find.
But it would be to Europe – Ireland, Iceland, England, Prague, or one of those nifty Scandinavian countries…
I’d do the Kelly trip plan thing…sort out the destinations and whatnot, maybe only plan one “absolute” excursion – the rest of the time we can wing it. Or I can plan a trip to Ireland and you can tell me to shut it and settle down. That works too”
We know Kelly plans amazing trips. We went climbing in New Paltz, New York last spring that was perfect. She & her husband have gone to Ireland, Scotland and soon to Nepal. Adventures were well thought out, unique and always cost effective. Then there is me – organized, play by the book, have an itinerary with planning almost daily leading up to the trip. My local vacations or day trips are fun, but there is always a plan and I KNOW THE PLAN. This email was the opposite over everything I logically stand for.
I was certain that Amy would put a stop to this madness. She didn’t. Not only was she a willing participant, but then the destination was wide open. I could have said no. I know I could have said no. BUT WHAT IF IT WAS A REALLY COOL VACATION AND I MISSED OUT??? I mean, Kelly is planning this. She always plans awesome vacations and we tell her she should plan trips for other people, but I assumed the people going on the trip would know what the trip was! I was so torn on what to do.
I replied to the email. Yes.
Then I put my head in my hands and started to have my first of many panic attacks. This is so outside my comfort zone, what the heck did I get myself in to. Of course, there was still time to back out. There’s always time to back out until the tickets are bought.
Three weeks ago we gave the final “ok” on the dates (late April – early May) and the general price tag, and then were told our vacation was officially booked. We had a mere 24 hours to change our minds. None of us did. The travelers will be Kelly, Amy, her daughter Emma and myself and only Kelly knows where we will be going.
What we know…
Before the booking, we knew there were some parameters. It wasn’t a place anyone of us had been before. That means Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Italy, Scotland, and England were out. We do need our passport, so it is outside of the United States. We have some dietary restrictions and prior conversations revealed that anything in Asia would be difficult to manage without prior planning. We wouldn’t need immunizations. It wasn’t a place where we needed to defend ourselves from polar bears. (Long story).
We received this text last week and know so very little more about our adventure
There are more things: Just so you all are hearing the same story:
– you will need a bathing suit
– there will be a boat
-we are always in walking distance to restaurants, cafes, pubs, patisseries, and/or eateries of some variety. We will also have a kitchen in 2 places
– no washer in the 1 or 2 actually but there’s a washer (no dryer) in the third.
-we will be in an urban area eating dinner out the 2nd and 3rd night, so decent (not schmancy) clothes for one of those.
-if you haven’t already done it – make sure you have either the google translate app on your phone or Duolingo works too (I’ll give you the language at the airport)
– If you like, I can order currency in advance; I’d need whatever amount you’d want to change over no later than 1 1/2 weeks prior to the trip so it can be ordered. Your credit cards will work in
The text did help. Not certain if it helped my excitement or my anxiety, but it did help.
Three months till departure
The only thing I have control over is packing. Of course, I have no idea what to pack. I do know I will have one carry-on and one checked
So, packing is the only thing I can focus on, but I have no idea what I am packing for. Ugh. What have I done? Is this something you would even fathom doing? Am I crazy?? What should I pack? What shouldn’t I pack?? Where do you think we are going???
Only three months till we find out.