Book a Ticket and Just Leave

via scribnerbooks:

how about it, yeah?

Why the fuck not?

When I was in college, I managed to save up just enough to buy a tiny second-hand VW. And then I didn’t. And then I spent on traveling instead, came home every time with just enough resources and energy to recover for another ticket. My family’s well off, but not so rich that we don’t have to pool our resources from time to time to make ends meet. After everything, we’re left to deal with ourselves as individuals, and rather than deal with bitterness or fear alone, I figured at a certain age that I would rather deal with it broke and ridiculously happy in a city where no one knows me. I don’t know how to maintain a car anyway. Scratch that, I do, but I’m not going to use spending on a car as an excuse for missing out on what I like doing.

There is no such thing here as “I’m planning to…” or “When the universe conspires…” because when “now” arrives (now being a cheap ticket) just book a date and find a cat sitter. If you think about it, the ticket just buys you the flight, and you can sleep through that, which means the most expensive part of of the journey is not necessarily the most significant.

If you say you want to travel, you will. And for that, you will stand to forego little luxuries here and there, save gas by taking the train or walking, earn on the side instead of hanging out, relinquish certain possessions for the sake of making your life a little richer, then just do it, because you said you wanted or planned to. Dip into your savings while you can, because whatever you’re saving for might not last into the kind of future you envisioned. That’s why it’s in the future tense. I’m not being negative or cynical, quite the opposite really.

I’ve been called out for insensitivity on this matter, with insinuations of a lack of foresight and selfishness, but please don’t take it out of context. I’m speaking as a single woman, no rent, no husband, no kids, with a tenure-track job to hold me firmly in place for the next few years. There has been foresight, sort of, in which I’ve controlled my own savings since I was a high school (freshman) and learned to divide it among several accounts so that there will always be money I won’t have to touch, money for utilities, and money for this.

I also figured that if the plane crashes on the way home, at least I still got what I wanted.

2 thoughts on “Book a Ticket and Just Leave

  1. I share your view of travelling. Except while doing so, I’ve never met people with this vision. So I’m glad you’ve done a nice poster to celebrate it, thanks!

    1. I wish I did the poster, but I got it from the tumblr of scribner books, and the link’s up there. It’s great to see someone else who shares this perspective. Thanks for reading!

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