Just Book It
It all started about 5 years ago. It was spring of 2014 and I was about to convocate from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. I was finished exams, I had a week off from work before the convocation ceremony, and I had the worst case of spring fever.
I just felt like I had to go somewhere.
I decided that it would be a great time to return to Italy - a graduation present to myself, from myself. I had been once before in 2005 when I participated in the Rome Marathon as a member of Team Diabetes. I got a little taste of the country and ever since then I dreamed of one day returning. I figured this would be as good a time as any.
Some google searching led me to the Amalfi Coast. I was scrolling through the long list of accommodations available in that area when the photo of a rooml totally caught my eye. I stopped scrolling. The thumbnail picture showed a room that was nearly 3/4 windows, and the view from that room was amazing.
I am going to pause to tell you something about myself: I am the kind of person who is more than willing to spend way more money than I should on a room just because of its location and/or its view. I LOVE natural light. And a great view makes my soul happy. A good location just makes everything easier.
I just knew had to stay there.
Unfortunately, there were no rooms available for the week I would be venturing to Italy - not even one night. I emailed the hotel to ask if they had a cancellation list but much to my dismay they replied saying they did not, and that they often book up a year in advance.
I admit, I was quite disappointed. But at the same time I realized it was probably for the best because I really had no money to go as it was, and this hotel was quite pricey for my college student/not yet making much money budget.
I picked another place to stay, and found a flight that could get me there, but I never actually pushed the book-it button. I gave myself one night to think it over. Well, giving myself to think made me nervous - I had never really traveled out of the country by myself before and I really just wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do with not much money in my pocket.
Fast forward 2 years to December 2016. The thought of traveling to Italy returned, as it had many times over the years. One night I decided to humour my fantasy. I was searching for things to do and places to visit and adding them to my already long lists on Pinterest and a spreadsheet I’ve been updating for what seemed like forever.
As I was daydreaming, that thumbnail of the hotel room came to mind. I could see it, it plain as day, like it had been etched upon my memory, tattooed on my heart
The funny thing is, even though I could see that photograph in my mind, I could not remember the name of the hotel. To be honest, I couldn’t even remember where the hotel was. After googling the regions of Italy I was able to remember it was somewhere on the Amalfi coast.
Just so you know, when you search the Amalfi Coast, a VERY long list of accommodations show up. I thought to myself, how will I ever find it? But I just knew I would recognize it if they still had the same photograph or one similar.
I entered a date in September when I thought might be an ok time for me to get away from work. I scrolled through a few pages of listings when, right in front of me, there it was.
My heart began pounding. Could I really be seeing what I was seeing?
The hotel was available for the night I picked. I searched for the night before and the night after - no availability. It could be mine for that one night only.
Oh. My. God.
I remember the email. “we book a year in advance.”
Suddenly I didn’t know what to do. I was torn between booking a night at this unicorn of a hotel that I just know my heart would sing and my soul would come alive if I stayed there. But, it still seemed expensive to me. I didn’t even know if I could get away from work. Where else would I stay when I was there?
So many questions.
There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t and only one real reason why I should: because I wanted to.
I had dreamed about staying in this hotel many times, for goodness sake. It seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. If I go to book the next day, it might be gone. If I wait until I know I can go, it will probably be another year after that until the hotel is available.
I’m not very good at making decisions… if you were to sit down with me and look at menu, you would know this. My blood pressure started to rise, beads of sweat appeared upon my forehead.
Finally, I just told myself I was being foolish. Why in the world wouldn’t I let myself have this? Something I’ve dreamed about for years and years. I spent 7 years in university so I could afford to travel and live my best life. Why wasn’t I living it?
So I pushed the damn book-it button.
And just like that, I was going back to Italy!
All questions aside, I knew that I would make it work, even if I was only going to be there for one or two nights. It didn’t end there, however. I was on a roll and I just kept daydreaming once I pushed that book it button. I managed to create a 2.5 month itinerary which included almost everything on my list of things to see and do.
I asked my manager if I could have the time away from work, and I got it.
I booked my flights that very same day and over the next 8 months I fine tuned all the details over and over until it was time to go. I started in Naples and took the train to Sorrento where I was taken to Maison La Minervetta. They showed me my room and let me tell you, it was JUST like it was in the pictures.
My heart soared.
And it sank, all at the same time. it was already 5pm and I just got to the hotel, I had to shower as I had a long day already - earlier I had climbed up to Mt. Vesuvius - I still had to go find something to eat. I was not going to get to spend near enough time in that room as I wanted.
I stayed in my room until the sun started to set, staring out the window into the ocean, watching people on the beach below, feeling like I was a princess looking out over my kingdom. Then I went out for dinner and returned in the rain later that night. I slept with my window open, letting the salt air, ocean breeze, and sound of raindrops pitter-pattering, lull me to sleep.
I woke in the morning to a magical view of Mt. Vesuvius in the distance, well-rested from the comfortable bed, but more than that - I was happy. Somehow it all worked out and I was on my bucket-list trip because I took a chance and just pushed that big, scary, book-it button.