*Disclaimer: my keyboard is all f’d up so proofreading has been aggravating!
Wow two blogs in one week!
This past weekend I listened to my gut. At first I thought I was just hungry, but after I shoved some hummus and bread in my face, I knew it was more than just hunger pains. My gut was telling me to cancel my October trip to Austin and Camp Grounded.
I recently read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and it’s become one of my top 10 favorite books. I think I got many of the answers I really needed from that book, which was that if the trip wasn’t a, “hell yes!,” then it should be a “no.”*
So one by one I cancelled my Airbnb, flight, hotel on the last night, cat sitter, and Camp Grounded.
I got all my money/Southwest points back except $30 for Airbnb, and half of my Camp Grounded ticket, which was $294.
Some of you (especially huge travel fans) might be shaking your head. So here’s my explanation:
Too much travel
I’m a 100% bonafide, introverted homebody (which is a great way to be if you want to save money). While I do love travel, too much travel in too short of time stresses me out. The thought of the logistics, packing, laundry, airports, transportation, etc., can really make me anxious if I’m not fully prepared and rested.
I have a trip to Nashville next week (which I am a, “hell yes” about”), and Fincon in September. And those who have attended Fincon know how much that’s draining, even for you extrovert types.
To turn around less than two weeks later to travel again? Oy Vey!
OK just because I said I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I always want to spend time alone. I like traveling with other people. In fact, two of my favorite trips were group travel trips to New Zealand and Hawaii. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to necessarily make arrangements around a friend’s schedule, but I also got to be with people when I was there. And best of all, I didn’t have to think about the logistics of getting from point A to point B, excursions, etc. I got to turn my brain off. Sometimes I like traveling alone, but I have to feel geared up and ready for it.
While I was going to Camp Grounded to be with other people, there was still time I would have to spend alone in a fun city like Austin. I just wasn’t feeling up to it.
While I’ve been doing a great job saving, I haven’t saved up enough for that trip, plus Nashville and Fincon (I still have to pay for a cat sitter for Fincon even though I’m going on my company’s dime). Plus, I also took an unexpected trip to Detroit in July for a funeral, after having been there a month earlier.
I do not want to repeat old patterns and spend money that is not allocated for trips. And because I was alone for Austin, I couldn’t split accommodations or renting a car (they do not have Uber or Lyft in Austin).
That was all my vacation time
When I was freelancing I had all the time in the world but no money, but now I have money and limited time. The trade off for full time. Needless to say, going on that trip would have eaten up the rest of my vacation time, plus one unpaid day off.
I recently got an email from Camp Grounded saying they were in financial trouble and you could donate to a GoFundMe campaign. That raised a huge red flag. They seem like a great organization but I think they got too big, too quick. I didn’t want to go and have it be an “underfunded” experience.
While I would never NOT use my vacation time just because of work, right now the infrastructure is such that it would have been a big headache for me to plan around that trip. With Fincon so close to when the trip started, it would have been very stressful to work out all the details of trying to leave at that time.
The lessons learned?
I think I jump in too quickly with decisions when I haven’t weighed out all the details more carefully. I planned this trip last January because isn’t it typical to get excited about the rest of the year in January? Big dreams. Big plans! I get lured in by the, “buy now because next month the price will go up” thing. I need to be more patient and pragmatic with decisions (more emphasis on patient). I also need to space out travel a LOT in my calendar.
Anyway, it felt like a HUGE relief when all was said and done, and now I can go on the trip to Nashville guilt-free (with plenty of discretionary spending)!
Best of all, less stress!
Have you ever cancelled a trip before for any of the same reasons? Do you try to muscle your way through events even though going caused you some grief?
* This concept from the book was taken from Derek Sivers.
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