A few weeks ago I had to make a horrible decision. Having just got back from Morocco and with a crazy amount of emails and work tasks piling up on my desk, I decided a planned trip to Iceland with 4 amazing friends simply could not happen. They would have to go without me (they did – lucky sods!) and I would have to cry myself to sleep, at least for 1 night.
Then I had an idea. Just because I can’t go to Iceland shouldn’t mean someone else can’t take my place. The amount of times strangers have helped me out on my travels is phenomenal so I thought it was about time I ‘paid it forward’ so to speak.
I decided to offer my return flights to Iceland to a random stranger. For free. I first shared with my own Facebook friends and then advertised the tickers on Twitter. No takers.
With just 1 week to go I was under pressure, so I started posting in all the Facebook travel groups I am a member of such as ‘GirlCrew Trips and Travel’ and ‘Nomads – A Life of Cheap Travel’ groups. Many people thought the idea was cool and were super interested in the flights…but none of these people lived in Ireland!
Turned To Reddit
Then I thought, what the hell, I might as well post it on the Ireland Reddit. I simple said, “Does anyone want free flights to Iceland? There yours if you want them!” The reaction was pretty awesome and within a few hours I had found guy who said he would take the flights off my hands. I honestly didn’t mind losing the money (around 150 euro as I had paid for 20kg of checked in baggage) as long as the flights didn’t go to waste.
However, it looked like all this energy might have been wasted. Suddenly EasyJet were demanding a 88 euro change-of-name fee, something I thought wasn’t applicable because I had booked with a debit card. I was wrong. After emailing back the guy for an hour, we finally made an agreement. We had come this far, it would be SUCH a shame to see the tickets wasted. I agreed to pay half of the name-change fee. 44 euros. What’s another 44 euro when you have already lost 150?! All done and dusted I felt pretty good and thought that was that.
My friends headed off to Iceland and started uploading the most stunning photographs. Jealous, or travel envy as I like to call it, overpowered my entire being for that week and I was honestly feeling quite depressed. Major FOMO.
Fast forward to last Friday, when I randomly clicked on to Reddit to see if anything interesting was going on, only to see the guy who had taken my ticket had posted. He posted over 30 stunning photographs of his trip to Iceland with his Girlfriend. I was scared to click the link, for fear I would be filled with travel envy yet again. I couldn’t resist, however, and must admit it made me feel all warm and fuzzy to see his pics and to see how awesome their trip was. Iceland looks absolutely stunning and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I will make a trip there before the end of the year.
Instead of feeling jealous, I just felt overwhelmingly happy that someone else got to have such an incredible adventure. That’s what travel is all about at the end of the day. Sharing your experiences with others, filling people with wanderlust and encouraging others to make the leap and see what the world had to offer us.
I may not have made it to Iceland, but some other lucky duck sure did.