When the calendar pages between now and trip time dwindle down to a couple sheets it becomes a bit easier to crack down on spending. It’s still hard though, to give up something now in exchange for the thought of something in the future as intangible as travel. The only thing I can compare this to is the time I dieted drastically a few years ago. I gave up eating food I liked in exchange for the hope of a slimmer self. I remember sitting at a bar after work with friends one evening, staring hard at a basket of fried cheesy goodness. My mental mantra repeated: Nothing tastes as good as being a size 2 will feel. The ruthless self-restraint paid off but it was hard to picture at the time when all I wanted was a gooey cheese stick or four.
Before a trip we have to find things to cut in order to save money. I leave in just under three months for Paris and am in a bit of a panic about having enough money. The plunging dollar makes the cost of so much as a solo dinner in Paris hideous to contemplate.
I rode to work with Brian this morning as he had a conference to attend downtown. We discussed dinner plans on the way. We often like to eat out or have Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Pizza (yum! thank goodness I don’t diet these days) on Fridays. Fresh from reviewing my budget in my Google docs, I ventured a sure-to-be-unpopular suggestion. “Why don’t we cook at home tonight with groceries we already have?”
There’s no good reason for Brian to go along with this and the further scrimping to come. It’s not *his*trip to Paris. It is his Friday night. Without missing a beat he agreed. “Sure,” he said. No comments about giving up one of his pleasures in order that I can swing a visit to the Louvre. Not even a momentary glance to say, “I hope you appreciate that I’m willingly foregoing a treat I look forward to so that you can go on *your* trip to Paris.” Just a perfectly content “sure.”
I told him how much I appreciate that he’s joining me in the pre-trip crackdown when he doesn’t get the later rewards. “You’d do the same for me,” he said. I’m glad he thinks so. I’m not so sure I’m that unselfish myself.
So props to my travel partner of many an adventure, to his generous heart and ungrudging spirit. And I look forward to the completion of his no-vacation sentence of one year so that we can go back to pinching pennies for a trip we’ll take together.