We all have that one place we dream about traveling to. That place that seems so far out of our reach that we have told ourselves that it will always stay in Dreamland. That place for me has always been New Zealand. I have been itching to go there for about 15 years. I, like countless others, fell in love with The Lord of the Rings trilogy–the books, the movies, the languages. All. Of. It. (Have I told you before that I’m a nerd? I think I covered that already. But just in case there was any doubt, I think you know now.) I even wrote a small fan-fiction novel in my down time between classes at school (that I will keep hidden away for eternity). So, naturally, I wanted to go to the place where the movies were filmed. I HAD to go to New Zealand.
Around a year ago, my boyfriend and I were chatting about different places we could go for a vacation. I, jokingly, was like, “How about New Zealand?” And do you know what he said, “Why not? Lets make it happen.” And so began the planning and research. I reached out to a few different travel agencies to get quotes, wrote down different places we would want to visit around the country, narrowed down an itinerary, etc. We figured out what the final cost of our trip would be and started to save every single month. Slowly but surely getting closer to our financial goal.
Then the day came: we had everything figured out and it was time to book. Buuuut there was a problem. A big problem. Within the month of planning that we had done, our ticket prices had doubled! Yes, DOUBLED! My heart sank. How insane was that?! I thought there had to have been a mistake. But nope, the numbers were right. We were trying to travel during what was apparently peak tourism season for New Zealand. So, instead, we postponed our trip just a few months and the prices went back down. Crisis averted and back on budget.
Now I’m sitting here writing this and I still can’t believe this trip is happening. And it’s less than a month away. THE trip. THE trip that I thought was lost to Dreamland forever. And, I mean, we have legitimate reasons for putting those dream trips into the realm of Aint-ever-gonna-happen Dreamland, right? It’s too expensive. It’s too far away. Totally legitimate. But just because they are very real and sensible reasons doesn’t mean you have to let them hold you back! Fight for it. Set aside a little bit of money each week, each month. Take mini stay-cations at home over a long, built-in 3-day holiday weekend so that you can save up some of those vacation days. Make a plan. Figure out how much it would cost you to get you there and then make small, achievable goals for yourself. Set yourself up for success. And then set yourself up for adventure.
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
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