Saturday, March 24, 2012

WHEN MY MIDDLE EAST TRIP GOT CANCELLED

The ancient city of Petra, one of the New Seve...
The ancient city of Petra.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had been excitedly planning and researching my trip to Israel and Jordan for months when it had to be unexpectedly cancelled three weeks before departure. The decision was unavoidable due to a serious illness in the family and disappointing as, for me, it was to be a trip of a lifetime. But Israel and Petra will patiently wait as they have done for thousands of years until my husband and I can reschedule the visit.

This circumstance set me thinking:
  • The whole process of cancellation was easy - none of our flights or hotels had policies that meant we were out of pocket (yes, we had travel insurance too, but didn't need it). We avoid booking anything with difficult cancellation terms.
  • I can continue my research, which can now be more in depth given my assignments. 
  • My magazine editors were completely understanding of my situation and very kind, despite having already slotted my articles into their editorial calendars. Why? Because I'd informed them immediately, even before I called the airlines. The worst thing a freelance writer can do is fail to keep their editors in the loop.
Medieval Dinan, France, 2011
© Julie H. Ferguson
(Photos by Pharos)

The other interesting outcome of the loss has been a radical revision of my bucket list. The more I travel, the more places get added. The first visit to a new country or region is more like a reconnaissance for me; I need a second trip to get to see what I didn't know about the first time or to go back to places or events for a more in-depth visit. So my bucket list now is a list of countries with sub-headings and sub-sub-headings. Will I ever complete it? Probably not!

The top of my list this week? A camel safari in the Negev Desert.

What's yours?
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