- I have 30 days of vacation that I must use before December 31. (35 if you count sick days).
- After five years of gaining points on my miles credit card I have enough miles built up to buy a ticket worth around $1000. Which basically means I can go anywhere in the world, maybe twice. (I'd like to thank my ridiculous rent from the past 5 years for it's major contribution to this outlandish balance).
- I finally faced filing my tax return, and somehow, magically, I am getting back a FAT return.
- I have this sort-of half-formed goal of going to every continent (except Antarctica, brrrr!) before I'm married, or dead. Whichever comes first.
and now for the part where I make the obvious unnecessarily complicated .....
- None of my friends have any days of vacation, let alone 30 days.
- None of my friends have any money to spend.
- I'm sort of scared of traveling by myself. It just seems so overwhelming! All of that time - all day every day - to entertain myself - by myself - no one to comment on the prettiness to except strangers - strange strangers - who may or may not want to use me to smuggle cocaine or diamonds into the US - lots and lots of strangers - all speaking strange languages and using strange colored money - requiring me to convert their strange colored money which, as you know, I cannot do - and do you or do you not include tip here? - will my failure to haggle (or convert) leave me stranded in the street after dark? - with the mafia? - and stray dogs? - it's a bit overwhelming.
- I'm a worrywart chicken.
Sooooooooo. I'm sure you can see how these two sets of bullet points have succeeded in canceling each other out, and thereby reduced me to a quivering blob of indecision.
Which is how I got to the point where I'm starting to seriously entertain the idea of Voluntourism. Have you guys heard of this? Basically you travel somewhere and do some volunteer work while you're there, and then you can travel around a little bit before, during, or after depending on the program.
Under normal circumstances this would be pretty much the opposite of what I'd want to do for a vacation. This is a definite do-gooders type of vacation and so the percentage of people apt to be wearing patchouli oil and hemp clothing is WAY too high for my liking. I'm not really a Build-A-Hut-In-The-Amazon kind of girl. But I read about this project where you work to reconstruct these historic stone buildings that are crumbling away. Oh and it's in the countryside in Provence. FRANCE. After a morning mortaring you can spend your afternoons ambling around the countryside. I mentioned the part about Provence, right?
So now I'm thinking to myself that this could be the best of both worlds. Perhaps this type of program would give me a little structure so that I'm not overwhelmed with the possibilities - good and bad - of how to spend my days which would otherwise cause me to freeze into stuttering spaz who can't make up their mind (see worrywart chicken bullet point above). It would allow me to also have some interaction with people in a safe and engaging way, but still have some time to be able to do my own thing. Yes! And Please!
Of course, it might not be that great. It could be a trip with a bunch of kumbaya drum-beating weirdos. And they're all jazzed to save the earth, and I'd be like, "Well, yeah the Earth is pretty great and all ... but do we need to smell SO bad to save it?" and they'll be all like, "Your global footprint puts Sasquatch to shame." And then we'd glare at each other from across the drum circle. So obviously we won't like each other but we'll still be forced to share mortar and get along! It will be torture!
See how easy that was? One little jaunt down Imagination Lane and I'm back to being a quivering blob of indecision. Help me, Internets, you're my only hope!
Should I travel alone? Or do Voluntourism? Or just stay at home and put my tax refund toward a house?