“Carpe Diem!” – Horace
Summer’s almost here and I get paid next week. Know what that means? I’ll be making plans and buying plane tickets for my two weeks of paid vacation this July and August. Hey-o!
My original plan was to, of course, visit some places around Asia: China, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia are all on my list. However, a couple of friends have planted the “Herrang Seed” in my head these past few months. In case you didn’t know this already, I’m a dancer– more specifically, a lindy hopper. Herrang is the largest Lindy Hop dance camp in the world, and it’s held every July in Sweden. I’ve never been to Herrang before, but all I’ve ever heard about it is positive things: “It’s AMAZING.”; “It’s like Lindy Hop heaven.”; “Every lindy hopper has to go at least once.”
After the Herrang Seed was planted, I thought, “If I’m going to be in Europe for a week, I might as well travel to a couple other places the following week. I’ve always wanted to go to Spain and Italy!” As my wheels started turning, I started searching on the nearest computer for plane flights. And then I saw how expensive my dream trip would be; we’re talking around $2000 for plane tickets alone. Now that I have a full-time job, I can actually afford $2000 plane tickets, but it would mean using money I’m supposed to be putting away in my savings. So, I talked myself out of it.
Then I started talking to some of my friends about my short-lived plans and they quickly talked me back into it: “You are young and exploring the world. Do it.”; “Right now you have the time and the money to travel. Take advantage of this time while you can, or you’ll regret it later.”; “You have just gotten out into the bigger world. Enjoy it.”
Going once. Going twice. Sold.
Next week, I’m going to buy a plane ticket to Sweden for the last week of July. The first week of August, I will spend three days in Italy, and then three days in Spain. This trip is going to be expensive, but I plan on “cutting corners” to make it work: picking up another tutoring gig, shopping abstinence, eating ramen for a month– whatever I have to do to make my dream of going to Herrang and traveling around Europe again a reality. Because after I move back home next March and go back to grad school in the fall, there’s no telling when I’ll get another opportunity like this one again.
Oh, and as for China, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia? I’m saving those all for my paid winter vacation. Eight countries in one year? Elizabeth Gilbert has nothing on me.