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The Life-Changing Travel that didn’t Happen

What you are about to read isn’t some inspiring or heartwarming travel story with amazing photographs to go along with it. This is not your typical fairy tale where everything ends well. Instead, you’d be reading, a boring narrative on how travel can change one’s perspectives in life, which in this case is mine.

It is one of the most-anticipated times of the year when travelers and destination dreamers alike prepare for bloodshed. One of the major players in the airline industry is holding a promo offering ridiculously cheap flights to all of their destinations. I am just another warrior fully geared up for the war of finding the best price of plane tickets for our next vacation.

I have my two credit cards with me. I already listed the places we want to visit. My account with the airline company is up on my computer screen. I’m good to go. The clock strikes 12 midnight and the war is on.

I hit the search bar in hopes of finding a good deal for Naga. My brother’s partner gave birth to my first and only niece in Camarines Sur last October and I haven’t seen her in person ever since. She is just so cute that I can no longer wait to see, cuddle, and kiss her. It just so happened that I am in a very ugly situation of a financial crisis that any unplanned out-of-town vacation is just out of the question.

Wego Life-Changing Travel Story
Everyone, meet my niece Sophie. This photo was sent by her mother two weeks after her birth. She is now five months old.

Then the results came in and they seem favorable. The prices of the tickets are like 70% less than their original prices. Oh! I’m going to see our little princess! I excitedly entered my credit card details and waited for the confirmation number when poof, it became Koko Krunch! Error. Pft. I don’t know what’s wrong but I’m pretty sure that I have enough funds left on my credit card. I tried it again, not twice but thrice and got the same annoying red message indicating a failed booking. Off with the next destination.

Frustrated, I again hit the search bar for a Cebu deal for the 2015 Sinulog Festival. You see, shoestring travelers like us can’t afford to buy plane tickets a few days prior to our planned date of departure as they are priced over our budget. So we have to do it way, way ahead to get cheaper prices.

My husband and I have long been wanting to experience the Sinulog party before we start creating our own family regardless if I become pregnant or not in the next few months. We are not getting any younger and we think we ought to add a new member to our travel duo.

The loading of the page stops and the discounted prices of the tickets are now in front of me. Great! I again filled out all the details needed before I can proceed with the payment. When I am done and about to hit the payment button, I had the second most disappointing moment that day. The second credit card that I have isn’t one of the accepted cards by the airline.

Okay, I give up. I am a lost cause. Maybe traveling is not meant to happen just yet. My niece won’t get angry and will definitely understand if I cannot visit her sooner than expected. Sinulog won’t cease this 2015 and we will have all the time in the world to attend the festival in any of the following years.

It then all dawned on me that we have other priorities in life that are more serious. We incurred a significant amount of debt during our last major trip which we are still settling. We have monthly bills to pay. We need to continuously fund the housing project which we started last year. We still need to save up for the rainy days. These and that are some of the things that are worth more of our attention than our want for traveling.

I think this is the reality of life that some of us fail to understand. That there are far better things we should focus on than any superficial and short-term pleasures there are. I may have lost this battle but I have learned lessons which I will remember for the rest of my existence. Besides, the places we want to go to are just there and won’t perish anytime soon. One aspect of traveling that I love is that it makes you eager and determined. And that being said, I will find ways to make travel happen if not now, then at a later time.

I joined the wrong competition. I should’ve joined a contest titled, “The Life-Changing Travel that Didn’t Happen.” Guess I’ll see you later, Naga and Cebu!

PS. Did I mention that I am still sending my youngest brother to school? The day after the mega sale, I received a message from him informing me of his school dues; that if we don’t meet the deadline, he will not be able to take his exams. I’m glad that I didn’t see the option where I can pay cash for the tickets I was booking else I have used all of my money and won’t have anything to give my brother for his school dues. Talk about blessings in disguise.

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