Last weekend my friend invited me to spend a ski-weekend at her chalet in Switzerland, as well as attend a black-tie party held by the Rothschilds. (Yes, hosted by the European banking dynasty family that is partially royal.)
And guess what?
I couldn’t go.
Photo from my 2008 trip to Switzerland. And I’m going to sprinkle the rest of this post with photos from Switzerland so I can further wallow.
And why, you may ask, would I miss out on a ski trip when my literal FAVORITE THING EVER is skiing? When I consider Switzerland to be the most jaw-droppingly beautiful country in Europe and the friend who invited me is very, very dear to me?
When, um… okay, let’s be honest. Opportunities like this don’t exactly fall into my lap
Previous amazing ski trips. At left, Bariloche, Argentina (2009), upper right, Vail, CO (2011), bottom right, Lake Tahoe, CA (2008)
Well, I turned the extraordinarily tempting invitation down because I’m saving up to travel. More specifically, because I’m saving up to backpack Southeast Asia in the fall and thus can’t even remotely justify the cost of a 300 euro train ticket when I think about how far that money would take me in, let’s say, rural Cambodia.
But still. I’m really bummed. Because how many chances in my life will I get to stay in a Swiss ski chalet? Not many, I assure you.
How can you say no to Swiss cows?
And here are some bleak stats about my current financial situation- as an au pair I make 125 euros a week. And as I’ve been working here since the beginning of November, I have worked a grand total of about 15 weeks. Theoretically, I should have around 1,875 euros, when in reality my bank statement reports I have somewhere around 800. So blowing half of my savings on one weekend just wouldn’t make sense right now if I am ever to scuba-dive in Thailand, slurp down pho in Vietnam and take artsy pictures of Angkor Wat.
But it sucks. And it feels strange, to miss out on travel for more travel.
Which brings up another issue- saving up money inevitably hampers your enjoyment of the present moment. I know others have struggled with what C’est Christine calls “The Expat Dilemma”, in which she asks the exact question I am now asking myself-
“Did I move to the New York City to experience the greatest city in the world, or am I simply treating it as a stopover for my next destination? Namely: am I living here, completely in the now, or am I forsaking the thrills of today for an unpromised tomorrow?“
Did I move to Paris to miss out on sipping noisettes at the café while gabbing away with friends? Spending lazy Saturdays checking out the new exhibition at Pompidou? Taking the train last minute to see a medieval abbey or 17th century chateau?
I know I shouldn’t whine because I am incredibly, absurdly lucky. I thank God every single day for the blessed and fulfilling life I’m so fortunate to live, and for my health, family, and friends… but I won’t lie- missing out on the trip to Switzerland, as well as many other little opportunities that have come my way is definitely dissappointing.
Have you ever had to miss out on the present moment to save up for something? Do you think I made the right choice? Am I just being a brat?