Darlings, I have been on a whirlwind of travel over the last week. And why not? My motto: Traveling can be a well thought out plan or a spur of the moment escapade. So, when a spur of the moment travel pops up, how do you say yes to unexpected opportunities.
When Unexpected Opportunity Knocks
In today’s story, an unexpected opportunity knocked on my door. I welcomed it knowing full well it would take a great deal of motivation. Why? Within four days, I would fly Chicago to New York and then back to Chicago. I was home in Chicago for one day, and then onto another flight to California with my ultimate concierge and pooch in tow. Shelly and I had planned the California trip for quite some time, but the New York trip was a very unexpected opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Organizing for unexpected travel is a real test, a mix of excitement, organization skill, and a keep calm attitude (good luck with that one!)
‘The world is your oyster’ is an idiom created by William Shakespeare. It means that every person has every advantage necessary to achieve and to enjoy life. It usually refers to someone young, but, I believe Darlings that women over 50 know who they are and what they enjoy and want.
I make my world my oyster. I hope you do, too, because it is there for the taking in big and small ways; an excellent read of a fascinating novel, a walk in the park admiring the colorful change in the Seasons, or thrust into an unexpected adventure. Traveling my way, though hectic, becomes an extraordinary adventure and a challenge to be organized when unexpected opportunities present themselves.
Saying Yes to an Unexpected Invitation from Neiman Marcus
I received a phone call from Louis, the Ippolita Jewelry Specialist from the Chicago Neiman Marcus store, inviting a companion of choice and me to fly to New York. We were to spend Tuesday and Wednesday with the talented designer jeweler, Ippolita Rostagno. In attendance, there would be other women chosen from other cities. How could I say no to this experience? I couldn’t, Darlings, even though on Friday, our little family was flying to California to spend the winter months. And I had not even started to pack!
My motto: Traveling can be a well thought out plan or a spur of the moment escapade.
So, I decided while on the phone with Louis, I would do it all.
After I hung up, I breathlessly ran through our apartment. Entered into the den and in my excited voice, said, “Shelly, Shelly, guess what?!?! I have been invited to New York to meet the designer, Ippolita, and I can bring a companion; you, my Darling you! Please say yes!” My ultimate concierge looked somewhat shocked but did not hesitate and with a smile, said, “I’m in.”
I fiercely packed boxes all weekend. Monday, the boxes were loaded up in our cars, the trucker picked up our vehicles and headed West to meet us in Rancho Mirage, CA. On Monday I was now free to pack both of us for an early Tuesday morning departure out of O’Hare to La Guardia. Everything was on schedule. Having synchronized timely organization is the key to relieving the stress of unexpected travel.
Ippolita and Neiman Marcus
I adore Ippolita earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces in silver and gold and sparkling stones. I usually walk into Neiman Marcus to buy my favorite Tom Ford lipstick or La Mer moisturizer and inevitably leave the store with a pair of Ippolita earrings! Now, given the chance, I had to meet the woman behind the brand, Ippolita Rostagno.
This is a designer that brings me joy each time I open my jewelry drawer and gaze at her beautiful work. When I glance into my mirror and see her earrings sparkle with gorgeous stones in electrifying colors, my heart sings.
To watch Ippolita’s gifted artisans, in her New York City Design Workshop, exhibit the process of taking exquisite multi-faceted loose stones, turn them into artistic pieces of stunning jewelry was an opportunity not to miss. My ultimate concierge and I would get to know Ippolita as we spent time with her in different venues.
The two reasons I was able to realize this experience with Ippolita were knowing how to organize unexpected travel, and the everlasting belief that the world is my oyster!
In an upcoming story, I will divulge all the delicious details of my fascinating and wonderous meeting with Ippolita, her team, and Louis, the Ippolita Jewelry Specialist at the Chicago Neiman Marcus store. Stay tuned!
It Was All Worth It
It is Sunday morning, 3:46 am. The cars unpacked, and we are geared up to start our ‘winter’ stay in California.
Looking back over those last four days of the frantic hustle and bustle, do I have any regrets? No.
Would it have been easier to say no to Louis’ call, take my time packing for the six-month stay to California? Probably.
But look at what I would have missed! I guess what I am trying to convey to you Darlings; we make our choices, and we pleasantly live by them. I want this to be an inspiration on how to say yes to unexpected opportunities.
Sure there are going to be the “Oh Noes”. That’s life. I can handle that.
Questions I Ask Myself for Unexpected Opportunities
- Brave the ice and snow to spend time in Antarctica? Yes.
- Travel without a guide? No.
- Camp out in sleeping bags and go down the Colorado River rafting? Yes.
- Stay in a B&B? No.
- Travel to Africa to see the Silver Back Gorillas and visit Saudi Arabia and Iran? Yes.
- Return to South America? No.
- Do my due diligence in planning a trip with an authorized travel company? Yes.
- Travel with a guide book as my guide? No.
- Hire a travel agent who plans trips on her computer? No.
- Plan a trip with a travel agent who has traveled the world? Yes.
- Pack with care? Yes.
- Guess what I think I will need? No.
- Travel with friends? Yes.
- Travel alone with my best friend, my ultimate concierge? Yes.
- Travel with my Grands? Yes! Yes!
- Travel in groups? Yes, but it is my fourth choice.
- Be afraid when I travel? No.
- Try new cuisines? Yes.
- Eat Sushi? No.
- Shop when I travel? Yes, for a memory of a country.
- Shop for clothes, etc.? No.
- Be a disorganized traveler? No.
- Carry antibiotics and making sure all of our shots are up to date? Yes.
- Only stay in hotels? Yes.
- Travel with only a guide book? No.
- Go on a cruise? Yes.
- Take trips on land? Yes.
- Prefer land or the Sea? No.
My answers illustrate my love of travel and my openness to new ideas and adventures.
I can’t go into every detail about my method of organized travel because there is so much to discuss. I have written an article before on Tips and Tricks for Stress-Free Travel Over 50. That article details choosing the books I buy before a trip, to how I select a travel agent (making a mistake is emotionally and financially a horror), how I find restaurants, hotels, and venues. I recommend places you must see, and places to travel with Grands. As a direct result of my trials, successes, and errors I have developed systems over the years.
I could write a book on my travel experiences, and I think you would come away saying, let’s plan a trip! But this article. my Darlings, isn’t just about travel; it’s about how to say yes to unexpected opportunities that come up. Rather than see unexpected situations as a stressor, think of it as an opportunity!
Just Say Yes!
Unexpected opportunities, like my invitation to Neiman Marcus, often force you to travel where you wouldn’t have gone before. These opportunities have opened up my world to stunning sights, dress, music, art, flowers, intriguing cultures, a variety of new flavors in foods, incredible architecture, mindful religions, exotic customs, and unforgettable people. The world of travel has expanded my reach to be curious and to wonder about everything. How nice is that!
Saying ‘Yes’ to unexpected opportunities is also open for discussion. I am curious about your methods of saying ‘Yes’. What questions do you ask yourself? Share with me, please.