The Lure of Expectations

It’s shame that kept me away.

I wrote a rousing entry mid-December about committing to writing blog entries and then…crickets. It wasn’t for lack of wanting but work, the holidays and the never-ending question of what to write that got in the way. Well, that and travel. That’s right…TRAVEL.

I [finally!] took a major departure from my daily life to travel. It had been such a long time since I had traveled for the pure thrill of recreation, packing a bag and hitting the road. This most recent adventure really fell into my lap, an unexpected and truly wonderful gift.

One week sailing in the British Virgin Islands.

Thanks to a generous invitation from my good friends Rob and Taryn (who you may remember from an earlier entry), my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to travel to Tortola and embark on a week-long sailing trip through turquoise Caribbean waters in search of wind, moorings and Painkillers (not that kind!).

The weeks leading up to the trip I was beside myself. The thoughts of what awaited us: white sand beaches, standing at the helm and feeling the wind rushing past my face, and what it would be like to sail up to Anegada, a flat atoll that rises out of the sea like a mirage. The endless possibilities were enough to send my imagination into overdrive. But I had to stop. Why you might ask?

Because I suffer from one of life’s cruelest afflictions: a [sometimes] crippling, overactive imagination. So much so, that I have been crushed when the reality of a trip conflicts with the dream-like scenario that I had envisioned (Hogmanay 2001? I’m remembering you specifically). Days turn into a never-ending saga: an event that doesn’t stack up leaves me feeling like I somehow missed out, then I’m upset that I’m feeling let down because, after all, I’m in this beautiful place that I had always wanted to visit. Since I should be open to the possibility of what’s in store, positive feelings ensue.  Trigger a second shortfall and repeat.

So I make a concerted effort to keep my mind in check. Get a guide book, read about the sights, ask for recommendations and sketch out a loose agenda of what I may want to see, eat or do on any given day. At least now I know the triggers. As soon as I find my mind wandering into what could potentially happen or how life changing some sight will be, I quickly reel it in.

I’m happy to report that this trip was a success. Well, almost. But lucky for me the view of Anegada was even more breath-taking than I could have imagined…

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2 thoughts on “The Lure of Expectations

  1. I can relate to the expectations versus reality on vacations. I love to plan our trips, however all of the studying can result in expectations that realistically can’t be met. Or, once there, I catch myself thinking ahead to the next event rather than enjoying the current activity. A phrase I heard recently: “Be here now”. So simple…reminds me to appreciate the moment.
    Glad you had fun on your sailing trip!

    • Thanks, Ann. It can be hard to appreciate being in the moment — but it’s nice when we can slow down for a moment and truly enjoy where we are. “Be here now.” – I’ll have to remember that one!

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