Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Trip I Never Took That Changed My Life

Earlier today I paid a visit to the Met to view the fashion exhibit I was supposed to check out last week. The fashion exhibit was well worth it but that review will come later this week. In order to get to the fashion exhibit, I had to walk through the Egyptian one first. Now, the Egyptian section of the Met is truly one of my favorite places in NYC. As I made my way through, I remembered the story about Egypt below I never posted.

While perusing a magazine rack recently, I noticed a compelling coverline on an issue of Travel & Leisure mag: The Trip That Changed My Life. I then began to think about the trips (big and small) that made a significant impression on my own life. There’s a slew of them because I learn something every place I travel to. Some stuff certainly seems more profound than others but it’s knowledge all the same.

But soon after I thought about the trip that I didn’t take that changed me. Changed for the better too. God works in such mysterious ways…

It was 1994 -- my senior year of high school. A group of my friends were in a youth social organization called Jack & Jill. (I’m sure many of you reading this were Jack & Jill members.) Well, said friends were going on a big trip to Egypt to celebrate completing high school. Several chapters were involved and the trip was in the works for some time. About a month before their actual departure, someone apparently dropped out and I was asked if I wanted to take their place. I contemplated going initially, especially after my dear mother scrambled up the funds for my possible trip. But I had mixed feelings about the invitation that led me to reconsider going. I felt as though I was an afterthought, a charity-case even. I wasn’t in the loop from the beginning and didn’t want to seem as though I was "trying to fit in". I was not a Jack & Jill member, wasn’t in on the trip from the get-go and therefore I eventually said, "No".

My 17 year-old self didn’t have the wisdom to kick my pride to the curb. I didn’t know that visiting Egypt was an opportunity to walk on the soil where civilization began, take personal pics of the pyramids that still boggle the minds of anthropologists and view the place that the Sphinx calls home. I didn’t know that a decade or so later, I wouldn’t care in the least what my then peers thought about me. Now, some 14 years later, I haven’t a clue what I did that week during Spring Break when my friends were in Cairo. But I do know that I won’t allow my ego to ever get in the way of such a fabulous opportunity again. Ever. As an adult, I try to take advantage of any and every chance to travel to a new place. And when I do finally make that trip to Egypt (because I will), it will be that much more rewarding.

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