Since I came back from my (slightly unplanned) Mediterranean cruise in October 2004 I've always thought, believed and told people that my next European trip would be a river cruise from Amsterdam (for the dolls houses and Anne Frank's House) to Budapest (so I could visit Vienna, home of the Vienna Secession)
River cruises are fiendishly expensive (especially when you're travelling solo) so the concept has been put off for almost 6 years and smaller, less expensive (but less architecturally and miniaturely significant) trips have been made instead.
Last night I received an email telling me about a 50% off offer on just the itinerary I was looking at taking. 50%! With no single supplement to boot!
I got excited. I started dreaming. I convinced myself that it was worth paying for it with credit and paying it off.
This morning I even got the OK to have leave from job #2 and my internship.
And then I stopped. And, as is my habit now before I buy anything I stepped back and asked that very important question: Is there a better and cheaper option?
It was then I realised my wish to go on a river cruise was just habit. For almost 6 years I'd accepted that desire as an important one. And, over that six years, I've changed quite a lot but not reassessed if my dreams are still relevant to who I am now.
And you know what? I feel very relaxed. I've decided I don't want to go on a river cruise. And spend two days in places I'm interested in and the rest of the trip visiting places that may well be interesting but not must sees on my list.
I've decided to pencil a trip to Europe into my calendar for November 2010 or thereabouts. By then (fingers crossed) I'll be debt free and have saved the cash I need to pay for the trip. I'll fly there. I'll be able to spend a few days in Amsterdam exploring the things that are important to me. I'll go to Vienna (maybe I'll take a train) and spend some time there. And (I'm hoping) be able to do a side trip to Dessau where, I've just discovered, I can actually stay in a dormitory at the Bauhaus school!
It should cost less, be much more meaningful and give me almost 18 months of dreaming and planning to look forward to. A much better idea all round, really.
Cook from the cupboard
Breakfast: Cup of tea. Crumpets with apricot and vanilla jam. Yoghurt
Morning tea: Crackers and hummus. Apple
Lunch: Sweet chili tuna with rice, peas and corn. Sweets.
Afternoon tea: Apricot danish. Coffee.
Dinner: Wine and Grain Waves. (Hey, it's Friday!)
1 takeaway coffee: $3.70
Total for today: $3.70
Total for June: $325.94