I’ve been a planner.
I have wanted to plan and know things well in advance; know what will happen, when and where I’ll be, with whom, what we will do. When this tendency was at its worst, I would ask my then boyfriend on Sunday evening what we would be doing the next weekend; if we would be doing something together (and what it would be) or should I plan something for myself only.
The same “you better plan well ahead” tendency has obviously also applied to my travel plans, as well. If I wanted to go abroad, I would plan the trip, not to mention book the flight and sort out the accommodation issues, months and months ahead of the date when I would head for the airport.
Security – somewhat maximised.
Spontaneity – practically nonexistent.
Somewhat consuming in the long run, don’t you think? (Not to mention boring, eventually.)
At least that’s the conclusion I came to at some point some years back. Well, to be frank, a lot of things have happened during the last couple of years that have changed me, as well as my perception of and attitude to life in general. (Quite much, in fact.) As a result, I have been moving, slowly edging, bit by bit, on the security–spontaneity scale from the “maximising security” end towards more spontaneity.
In terms of travelling that has meant that during the last years, I’ve made a surprising (coming from the background that I had) amount of unexpected decisions, even on the last minute, to go somewhere – within the borders of Finland. As concerns travelling abroad, I’ve kept to the same old song and system: book well ahead, plan well ahead.
As you might guess – because you are reading a blog about new things I am undertaking – things are about to change.
Since the past summer in Finland was mostly characterised by rather cold weather and a mere minimum of sunshine and warmth, I’ve been wanting to go someplace warm, ever since I had the idea sometime in August. Yes – even those of us living here in the north do sometimes have a hankering for feeling the heat of the sun on our skin. However, although I’ve been checking out flight prices to nice destinations every now and then, somehow the time never felt right.
Once again, things started happening on my 29th birthday (that really seems to have been an important date in my life!): I received a phone call that put a thought process in motion. A thought process about booking a last-minute holiday. A thought process of “what the hell, just do it”. A few days later I sat in front of the computer, found a flight that would take me where I wanted to go at a reasonable price, and suddenly all seemed to click into place. The time felt right, the place felt right, and I thought, what the hell, just do it, and clicked “buy”.
This was the first time in my life that I was about to buy a last-minute holiday abroad. And I was truly surprised to notice that it was such a big thing, after all, that it indeed caused a concrete physical reaction: increased heart rate, blushed cheeks, and above all, excitement. Finally! Not only because I finally found the right time to go for a holiday abroad I’ve been longing for, but also because I finally had the opportunity to cross the threshold and extend the new-found and delightful spontaneity from domestic travel to a destination outside the borders of Finland.
This may sound like a really small step, and in retrospect it really is somehow quite sympathetic that it has taken me so long to take this step, but sometimes the smallest things just take their time… but the sweeter the moment when at long last the time is right and you are ready, willing, and able to take that small step and go through the door that has been waiting there, half open, for you to enter. Simple.
When this blog post is published (I have scheduled it to be updated online some days after the moment of its writing) I will already be on the island of Aphrodite, hopefully enjoying some sun, sea and sand. I love it already!