Last night I had dinner with my friend, Jeff, who's turning 30 next month. To celebrate, he's going to Egypt and asked friends to come along. Because of the economy, most of us backed out. Last night, Jeff told me he booked the trip for 3 people, $2000 each - includes airfare, tours, and most of their meals. I almost fell over. I missed out on Egypt for $2000 because I was a little bit afraid of losing my job. (I'm currently still employed.) What a lost opportunity!
Cross-Cultural Solutions contacted me today to see if I had any more questions about booking a trip with them. (They have incredible customer service!) I wrote back a very apologetic note saying that my company had just announced that we'd go through another round of layoffs next month so I had to hold off and see how that worked out for me. Even though a trip with Cross-Cultural Solutions is 100% tax deductible, I still hesitated.
A long time ago a friend of mine sent me a quote that rings in my head all the time: "The world is a very generous place. It gives you the same lesson over and over until you finally learn it and don't have to go through it any more." Costa Rica was my next Egypt.
The moment I got home, I dropped my bag, headed for my Mac, whipped out my credit card, and signed up for a trip to Costa Rica with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Like everyone else I know, I'm nervous about the economy. But does that mean I just go into a holding pattern? Do I not take advantage of a great opportunity out of fear?
Now, I will say that I am in a very good position to just take the money for my trip from my savings and it's a huge benefit to have the trip be tax-deductible. Still, it would be very easily justified to hunker down and not take this trip. It's a matter of priorities, and international travel and volunteering are important to me. So this trip is not an expense, it's an investment opportunity. In me. In the world. And I'm grabbing it with both hands.