Ok, so it wasn’t a trip to Paris. THAT I would have cried over. But I let an absolutely amazing door prize – a vacation package with lodging and airfare included – slip through my fingers at a recent benefit dinner for a client.
I bought a raffle ticket. I actually bought one. I never buy those things. I don’t like them. I can’t really explain why. Some sort of sense of dread – maybe of getting my hopes up and then having my dreams dashed to pieces before my eyes all because of chance. Because of a number.
I’ve never been good with numbers.
Still, I bought the thing. Only ten bucks! It’s for a good cause! What’s there to lose?
Honestly, I’d had a few drinks and had completely forgotten about the ticket when a coworker rushed out of the auditorium – to where I was situated next to the doors – yelling, “The winning number ended in 47!”
“They called it out five times and then drew the next number!”
And there you go. Hopes built. Dreams dashed. And numbers? Evil.
“You have to be in the room when they call it to claim the prize … blah, blah, blah”
I never win these things. This is how I rationalize. I don’t win stuff like this. If I had been in the room, they would have called another number.
Truth be told, it all just seemed too nice anyway. A little above our heads, the boy’s and mine (though he was just as upset when he heard of my simultaneous win and loss later that night). Who knows? It may have been a lovely trip. But it also may have been a little stiff, a little forced. When the two of us talk of traveling together, I generally have a different image in mind.
I’m fairly certain, in my own experience at least, that these sorts of all-inclusive, “we’ll take care of all the details” sort of vacations actually hinder the experience of traveling to a new place. Not that comfort isn’t a welcome part of any trip. But when the travel, lodging, entertainment, dining, and every other detail has been decided for you, how can you really feel anything other than being shuttled around like cattle?
When I think of travel, I think of writing my own itinerary. Deciding to go see something at a moment’s notice with nothing holding me back. Packing belongings in a car and taking off in whatever direction sounds good at the time. Making a scrapbook along the way of photos and postcards and words describing who and what we saw. Planning a soundtrack that later will transport us back to that time and place instantly. Wandering aimlessly between the historic and the odd; between the Grand Canyon and the largest ball of yarn west of the Mississippi.
Or maybe Mt. Rushmore. That seems it would be a perfect combination of the revered and the weird.
Yep. Paris would have been completely sterile compared to the trip I’m planning in my own head.
(Artwork courtesy of The Graphic Fairy)