I am unsure of how to summarize my recent vacation to Europe. But before I try, I need to fill you in on how this trip came about.
One fine afternoon, my friend Angel. and I simultaneously questioned the sequence of events that put us in these gray and un-stimulating cubicles day in and day out. And as good friends do, we tried to make each other feel better by saying this was just temporary and that soon we will be fulfilling our real purpose in life: to travel the world, eating, drinking and having a good ol’ time…..and getting paid for it somehow.
Usually talking to Angel always cheers me up. She is full of inspiration and stories that make me want to go home, run 10 miles, cook a mean dinner for friends, take glamorous pictures of the merriment, and post them online for the world to admire and envy.
For whatever reasons though, this afternoon I needed more than just words. Sitting on my chair at work, I was getting too used to having my butt falling asleep multiple times a day. I needed to get up and go…somewhere, anywhere…an adventure to relight the fading hope of ever breaking free from a stupid job.
Perhaps Angel didn’t sense the extent of my desperation that day because she nonchalantly mentioned how she had been thinking of visiting her friend in Sweden. My eyes lite up. Do it. I said. Do it for me. To shut me up she said, well why don’t you come along!! I think she might have tried to make a point that it isn’t so easy to just get up and go. We are grown-ups with responsibilities after all!
I am not sure if she was terrified or pleasantly surprised with my answer, because I took about 1/4 of a second to say “Yes”. She was stuck with me and I can only imagine the look on her face.
I instantly perked up, stopped thinking rationally and decided I was going to take a week off from work, meet up with Angel in Sweden, and then together we would have some beer in Germany. Angel had already given a two-week notice at her job since she was starting grad school soon. I on the other hand, needed approval from my manager and I was especially nervous about it since the tentative vacation dates were only a few days away. I had recently changed departments and hadn’t had the chance to brown nose my new boss. There was a very good chance that this wasn’t going to get approved. But, in the name of spontaneity I asked Angel to get her tickets and that I’d see her in Sweden in a few days!! My armpits instantly started sweating.
I can only vaguely recollect the exact reasons for how Sweden morphed into Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. We literally came up with these destinations in a matter of minutes after the first question was ever popped. Perhaps I was too high from the possibility of breaking free from this cubicle to question the hows and whys. Or may be I was just scared that being too inquisitive and practical would only result in us changing our minds.
The next day, it took my sweaty palms about 2 hours to compile the email to my boss with the request. I approached it with various angles and at last decided just to be honest and firm. After what seemed like an eternity I got a reply back which simply stated “okay”. I’ve never been so glad to heard that word before. And this is how my adventure began.
Picture: Taken by my friend Angel, this is me drooling over the produce in a farmers market in Salzburg, Austria.