When in doubt, go for a trip!

Isn’t it fun when you just get the chance to get up and go? An unplanned trip brings all the same joys and excitement of a planned one, but this one happens out of the blue! Over my Christmas break I had the chance to do one of these unplanned trips myself so they’re fresh on my mind. If you are like me and get excited by these last minute adventures I’ve found an article for you. National Geographic posted this on these sudden journeys. In the article they list 25 stories from people who found themselves in this position. Below is my favorite story:

Two Quick Tickets To Madrid, by Mel White

Samuel Johnson wrote that nothing concentrates a man’s mind like being told he is to be hanged in a fortnight. And nothing concentrates a traveler’s mind like opening an envelope and suddenly realizing he’s lost 30,000-plus frequent-flier miles because he—that would be me—just plain forgot that they were going to expire the previous week.

Frantic calls to airline. First person says, essentially, “Tough luck.” Second person says, “Let me talk to a supervisor,” and then returns to say, “We’ll let you buy some of them back.” Third person is very nice and says, “I tell you what: If you want to book something today, we’ll just pretend the miles didn’t expire.” (A rule of life for everyone, not just travelers: When calling an 800 number at a giant, faceless corporation, if you don’t get somebody sympathetic at first, hang up and call back. Repeat as many times as it takes.)

At that point I’d been trying for years to get some travel publisher to send me to Spain, the number one country on my wish list. There’d been a couple of mild expressions of interest, but nothing had happened. So, with the airline staffer’s offer, I’m thinking, “The hell with it, I’m going.”

Suddenly I’m booking two tickets to Madrid. We’re off for ten days in May, wandering through Extremadura and Andalusia, visiting the “white cities” and the Costa del Sol, sampling vino tinto and tapas, for what turned out to be one of the best vacations of my life. Maybe even, in fact, my new favorite country.

After the trip, I’m home three weeks and a travel editor calls to ask if I’d like to do a story on the Costa Brava. And so it goes.

If you are interested in reading more of these journeys, go to www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler