I decided this year I needed a vacation...I told myself I deserved a vacation. I haven't been away for a personal trip in quite some time, I'd say my last 'vacation' was with Doofy in Mexico, what was that, 3 years ago? maybe 4? And I wouldn't say that was a relaxing few days.
I originally signed up for a 15 day trip to India, but that didn't pan out, part of me was relieved because that was quite a bit of money. I was also eyeing some of the Groupon escapes, quite a bit of great deals out there to some amazing places...but I felt like I couldn't commit to a place or a time even though they were so reasonable. How to decide between an African safari, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru, Europe or the Middle East? I want to go everywhere.
But, I wanted to go with someone I knew and experience it with someone else...so instead, I reached out to a friend I don't see often but who I get along really well with, but even more importantly, that I know we travel well together. I've been talking about Yellowstone National Park to be my next National Park I saw for the last few years...it was time to make that a reality.
Originally we spoke about going for about a week, so I started doing research. Many in-park hotels were already sold out. And flight prices kept going up and up and up. I waited two and a half weeks before booking my flight because the flight prices never went down. I wasn't expecting such a high cost flight. Right there I should have known this trip was going to be expensive...but I figured I'd be splitting most of the costs with my friend, making it not so bad.
After weeks of research and looking at maps, an itinerary was set. I love lists, I love knowing where I am going, and I love not scrambling around at the last minute wasting time and trying to figure out where to go. I started to become very excited, so many great things to see and hikes to walk. I couldn't wait to get away. I wanted to clear my head and spend time with nature, seeing and experiencing things I normally don't.
Unfortunately, my friend was not able to make it for as long as I was going to be there. She was fortunate to get a great new job and needs to start working...just bad timing, but life happens, and I am so thrilled that something better came along for her and hopefully other life things will fall into place for her. So all those costs I thought was going to be in half, are not. I just added up all the hotels (they aren't even nice ones...below my 'regular' standards, you know the ones that you might not sleep a wink because you skived out and worry about bugs) and transportation and that is already $1,400+. That doesn't include baggage fees, entertainment, food, gas and one night hotel in an expensive city that I still need to get. So I am guessing a trip to Yellowstone & Grand Teton will be running me about $2,000 - $2,500. Plus of course I needed to get a better camera, hiking boots, and maybe a pair of shorts and a few long sleeve shirts.
That is a domestic 7 1/2 day trip...I keep thinking about those international Groupons. For a few hundred more I could have seen elephants, giant turtles or amazing architecture.
But, I will be seeing geysers and mountains, and even camping for two nights (so glad I did that one night camping last September!). On days that my friend won't be there I've filled my days with some great activities that you will soon read about. I don't want to spoil the suspense.
I am really looking forward to getting away and even though this vacation is pricier than I would have liked, I will be leaving with memories and relaxation...and that is all that really matters.