“…since life has an agonizing tendency to offer us the best and the worst at the same time, to give us what we ask for in an utterly unforeseen form, even fairly predictable outcomes prove unrecognizable upon arrival.” – Robert Leleux
Even on vacation — or maybe I should say “especially on vacation” — things can go wrong. (Just see Barb’s post here for proof of that.) On our most recent Caribbean cruise, we got the unwelcome news that one of the stops we had most looked forward to had been changed due to some weather-related reason. We would be docking at a different destination that day. After a bit of disappointment, we decided to make lemonade from the lemons and do something we almost never do; buy a ship-sponsored tour.
Normally, I have no interest in packaged tours. I like to travel “off the beaten path” which saves money and feels more like an authentic experience of wherever we are. I actually prefer using the local public transportation to an air-conditioned tour bus, and it’s sometimes way more, shall we say, exciting — or at least more interesting.
But I didn’t have time to make a plan for this new arrival spot, and we didn’t want to waste the day, so we opted for a mostly self-guided tour of a local nature preserve. It turned out the be the highlight of the trip. It was my first and only chance to interact with monkeys who were not in some sort of cage. That alone would have made it worthwhile, but the entire day was fabulous, with beautiful foliage and flowers, funny animals to watch, and swaying rope-suspended bridges to cross.
Cruises tend to be fairly predictable, and that’s one reason Jeff likes them so much. But even with a schedule, life is ALWAYS unpredictable, and some of our happiest gifts arrive in wrapping that might be unfamiliar or even distasteful to us at first. I’ve come to the conclusion that being flexible in such situations is a key to defeating despair. Besides saving us a great deal of frustration, it can open doors to adventures we didn’t know we wanted.
Have you ever had something wonderful show up in an unrecognizable form on arrival?
One year ago today:
This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.
- Posted in: Uncategorized
- Tagged: changes in plans, contentment, disappointment, expectations, flexibility, joy, mixed blessings, serendipity, surprise
Jeff’s face and expression are captivating. There is kindness and mirth in his gaze. Is it because he is looking at you there behind the camera? Was it related to your having fun with the monkeys or was it because you actually had made your way across a swaying bridge (which in itself must warrant some sort of badge of honor, at least in my book!)?
This is a great photo and memory that you’re sharing again with us. I do wish you’d do a book of your blog entries — hmm, seems like I’ve said that before 🙂
Hi Judy, re: Jeff’s expression, I think it was all of the above! Regarding putting the blog into a book: I’d love to do it, but the problem is that I’d want to include all the reader comments, which made the blog so much more complete. But almost every blog post runs MANY pages long when the comments are included! (I’ve actually tried transferring them to a printable format.) Multiply that times over 1100, and you can see that a book of this blog would run several volumes! I have considered trying to do just the posts without the comments, but even the posts usually take up 2-3 pages. To put another way, my writing here is the equivalent of several novels, in terms of word count. So, I suppose it shall have to remain online, although it can be backed up to a file that has to be opened in WordPress. I’ve done this several times (backup) but not in recent years.