The Pre-Booking Anxiety
Ten minutes ago I booked a one-way flight to Cartagena, Colombia. It’s not my first trip abroad, and unlike my last one, I’m not leaving by myself. One of my best pals, the aforementioned Garland, is coming with me for a few weeks. And yet, I was still overcome with that nervous pre-booking energy for the weeks leading up to me finding pressing, “Book flight”. It surprised me.
What is it about spending money on a flight that makes the purchase so much more nerve-wracking? Clothes, gas, rent. I’ve thrown thousands of dollars at those purchases without a second thought. A single textbook in college cost almost double the price of this flight. But, I wasn’t overcome with doubt when going to purchase my textbooks, or groceries, or Metrocard. I did it, without any hesitation but still quietly wished that I had been born with a trust fund.
I spent weeks upon weeks watching the price points of the dates I wanted to leave go up. It didn’t make sense. I knew that I was going, that I have a plan, and I’m capable of following through with it. I knew that I’d never regret pressing yes on that purchase. I knew that months from now, I’ll probably look back at that fear and find it funny. I knew that the flight I found was rare (all the days surrounding it doubling in price). At this point, I was basically just sitting around, watching the price I knew I’d eventually pay rise. Today, I’d had enough. I was tired of thinking thoughts beginning in “I’ll buy it when...”.
That’s one of the biggest difficulties about deciding to travel, or really about making any worthwhile move at all. There’s always another day. A time when you’ll have more energy, more stability, more money, more freedom. Most spend lives reading the menu instead of enjoying the banquet (thanks, fortune cookie). Someday is easier than today. All it took for me to realize that today is the only day I’ve got, for sure, was a couple strangers. With the masses of people who were telling me how dangerous Colombia is, it seemed like that was the only opinion anyone had. It wasn’t until this week that a few people came out of nowhere and told me, go. That’s really all it takes. A little reassurance feeling like you’re headed in the right direction. Knowing that no matter what happens after you get on that flight, it’s something you’ll remember.
So, book it.