Tiburón -Shark- Žralok

Tiburón -Shark- Žralok: Writing Cooking Traveling

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why I impulsively bought a ticket to London

Almost everyone I know who has traveled even a little bit has a I-was-in-a-party-in-London story. This is something that I want very badly.

OK, you're right, that doesn't quite answer for my 2am purchase of a ticket on Icelandic Air for a week in October doing God knows what in the capital of England .

Would the fact that its my birthday week help?

You're right, its my birthday every year and unless I happen to be in a foreign country-- like when I studied in Prague-- still not a good enough reason for why I would decided this year I want to celebrate it in London where I hope my ex's friends will invite me to a party to fulfill my desire for a good story.

I guess my desire for a good story is kind of the bottomline. That and because right now I can honestly say, Why not?

Now that I'm writing about travel, it seems prudent that I should travel. Every day I read dozens of blogs by equally young, equally broke travelers who scrape and save or swindle their way into traveling abroad. They don't have those excuses of time, money, relationships, 9 to 5s, that so many people who say "I wish I'd gone there" or "I wish I'd done that" do. Now granted, it isn't that black and white. Currently I'm an ideal position to impulsively plan a trip to London-- did I mention via Iceland? Yeah, I get to spend a day in Iceland. I have no one to support, I live at home, a bed is not a requirement when I seek out lodgings in a foreign country (thought free or cheap is), and I've done this before. Basically, if not now, when?

I had an interesting phone call the other day with Time Warner (I know, this can go nowhere good). I'd been fighting with my ex over an unsettled bill which he insisted he'd already paid. So I called them myself and turns out it was just a miscommunication but the customer service rep at one point pauses and asks, "Do you live in Puerto Rico?" I was still wearing my tone of indignation that I've refined for talking to customer service reps of major phone and internet providers and I answer righteously, "Yes."

"What's that like, if you don't mind my asking?"

Struggling to get the indignation out of my voice and confused, "Its great, some of the time."

This was a sincere answer and the guy on the other end, somewhere in Texas, laughed. I then tried to smooth that out a little because every Puerto Rican knows that you have to sell the island well, even if later you're going to make fun of the same tourists you demand love your island. So I told him it was nice.

"That's great. I'm planning on going there with my wife in February."

We then have a ten minute exchange where I recommend he rent a car and he says he just wants to lie on a beach, until finally this semi-awkward discussion takes a tight left turn to, "Would you like to make that payment with a credit card?"

I settle my bill and before hanging up the guy tells me, "I think this is a sign that I need to just do it and go to Puerto Rico. Thank you for inspiring me. And thank you for choosing Time Warner, you have a great day."

I was so taken aback and delighted by this exchanged I called back my ex to tell him he should mail me a check and for the first time in months spoke to him in neither a stern nor slightly angry voice. I was nearly giggly.

Traveling is an investment, as I once tried to convince a friend of mine who was debating whether to chase the then man of her dreams who resided in Austria. The many annoyingly happy and Twitter-obsessed bloggers I follow will atest to this. So for me this trip to London is a step in their direction. Maybe next time it'll be Libya where my friend's family lives or Moscow or Seoul both of which hold a strange fascination for me, or a road trip around Spain... Other people are going so far as the Middle East and Australia, London is about as far from Puerto Rico as LA.

I don't know how long this will be sustainable or how prudent my impulsiveness is as a long-term planning mechanism, but for now I feel inspired and I have no reason not to go. And if I do have a reason not to go, hopefully my travel insurance will cover. Should be OK.

Did I mention I'm spending a day in Iceland??


  1. I beg of you, see a show at the Globe for me. God I loved that place. Also, there's an avenue near Leicester Square full of nothing but bookstores, and it is amazing.

  2. Awesome! I will write these down. Super excited. :)