After long talks about our leave date, our two weeks of vacation days, and what our options were, it has been approved by the powers of English Village that we may use our vacation days to come home for most of the Christmas holidays. When these talks first became serious, and previous to any plans actually being confirmed, my nagging adventure-loving cricket that sits on my shoulder giving me advice played his song of sorrow for our lack of upcoming vacations.
"Be quiet" I told him, "we will have plenty of opportunities to travel later."
Sorrowful violin playing followed
"We will be home for Christmas." I added, "doesn't that make you excited?"
a note was broken for a brief moment as he he pondered this, and then went on wielding his instrument in affliction.
Later however, it came to our attention that what is considered "Korean Thanksgiving" Chusok has three national holidays right smack in the middle of the week.
"We could work overtime and get compensation days instead of pay and go on a vacation." Kyle explained to me excitedly.
"We could go to the Philippines!" I added feverishly, "Let's look at tickets now!"
And it was decided that we would actually go on a vacation. I have discovered something about myself, but in general I think that this is probably true of many people. The thought of something fun and exciting in your future invigorates the mind and soul. It doesn't necessarily breed more productivity at work...., but I have a pep in my step now as I walk to work. I imagine daily my week in the Philippines. This daydreaming is augmented by my obsessive behavior when in comes to trips.
Obsessive? Vanessa? NEVER! But alas, it seems a trait that runs in the family when it comes to particular projects of interest. Our minds just cannot help but run over and over and over, and over the same topic until it has been flattened and completely smoothed over by our obsessive and occasional feverishly insane behavior.
Last Sunday I spent literally my entire day looking up hotels and places to go in the Philippines. I made plane charts with prices. I made hotel charts according to their location and price. I felt exhausted by the end of it, and a little wasteful spending an entire day working on it, but I had gotten a lot done.
I wish I could say that was the end of my obsessive story, but it didn't stop there. We couldn't decide. So I continued to look. I found a website with nearly 11 pages of hotels listed. Some people may not be aware of this, but I am often considered cheap. This vacation will be a sort of anniversary celebration, so I am willing to splurge some, but I also have to know that I am getting the best deal possible with the most included in order to make a decision. Which means that it was necessary to go through all 11 pages to determine, I was getting the right deal. Wiki travel is pretty awesome and seems to provide a good amount of information.
I told myself at work the next day that I would only spend an hour on it. On hour stretched to two hours which stretched to the next day as well. On about the third day of obsessing I found the agoda website. I normally prefer to go straight through the hotel, but after comparing prices, I found that it was possible to get a better deal for some of the hotels though some of the travel agent sites. Ten pages of notes later, I handed my list to Kyle and said, pick your top 5 favorites and we will choose from there.
Partially what took so long was the fact that we had to convert each amount from Philippino pesos to dollars. It isn't an easy conversion so glancing at the number basically didn't help unless I put it into a converter. I also had to look at trip advisor for how people reviewed the hotel. I also had to make a list of important quailities of each hotel. Does it have a pool, are the rooms ugly or cute? Do they have a terrace? Do they over look the ocean? Is it a beachfront property? So many questions to answer.
And normally I cease when I find the PERFECT place, but non of them were perfect, unless of course we wanted to spend boucoups of money. We aren't rich. We have saved quite a bit of money, but so far, all of that money has a place it has to return to eventually whether it be a credit card debt, a parental debt or a savings account, but either way, although I have expensive tastes, and I prefer imagining myself as wealthy, we have limited money and so we must make choices. Spend more money on our hotel, or on activities. And personally I prefer the activities.
Hopefully my obsessive behavior will pay off in the end, but if we don't have the perfect hotel after hours upon hours of researching, one of us will be very frustrated. Lets all hope for Kyle's sake, that the right decision is made in the end :)