In my travels over the years, I’ve been lucky/blessed/fortunate, or whatever adjective you can summon (as well as incorporating intervention from a customary deity of choice), to not reach the position of having to cancel part of my trip, after it had been booked. Sure, there have been many plans along the way which were modified heavily and even postponed for years, but never with only three weeks until departure; the honeymoon is over and I’m finally giving up my (multiple, arrrgggghh!) non-refundable flight cancellation cherry.
I always say things can be worse – of course they can. It’s just travel, it’s just flights and money and time and, well, going to places which inspire my love of the planet (even occasionally its people!). I constantly remind myself that the unexpected news I received could have been delivered while I was already in-situ and then I would have been royally fucked. It’s a temporary setback which will get resolved and should send me on my way for the second half of the journey, less than a year later than planned.
See, sometimes when life hands you lemons, a number of them are not ripe. In this situation, it is sometimes better to place those to one side instead of compensating with extra sugar, to hide the acid, all in a forced attempt to make lemonade. You will spend endless hours on tasting and mixing, constantly trying to sweeten something which is Just Not Ready. As soon as I took my own advice and meditated on this as a life lesson, it all made sense.
Let’s look at the upside. India and Asia aren’t going anywhere in the next year (unless you’re prescribing to end-of-world scenarios) and every bit of foundation, planning and research for going there, has already been done; all I will need to do is re-book the same hotels, the same flights and off I go. Heck, I can even plan on longer in some of the places, now there’s no time restriction. This is looking good.
Of course it doesn’t come for free and the loss of $1500 worth of flights is a hole in the pocket I did not need to feel burning through. So what could I have done? Travel insurance first before flights? absolutely, refundable flights? Possibly but at a higher cost. Saving more money to cover these kind of setbacks? Well, duh but then if we wait for the ‘perfect’ day, the commitment of going in the first place, often suffers diminishing returns, at the hand of other life issues; too much planning and contingency, can cause suffocation of the intent.
What’s important to remember here, is that a setback in life is hopefully temporary but even if it isn’t, there’s invaluable experience and learning to be acquired and absorbed. One day, you’ll reach into your life to find out that those lemons have ripened and you’re ready to finish making that lemonade.