I was rich! Went to bed dirt poor and woke up a Millionair, at least thats how I felt. I was 19 years old and had just gotten $500 out of the blue. An older gentleman, a neighbor who I adored when I was a kid and who I pestered every chance I got, had just died a couple of weeks earlier. His daughter visited us the night before, she talked with my Grandmother for a long time and then they both handed me an envelope with a bunch of money. The old Italian currency Lira was not really worth the paper it was printed on, if I remember right 10,000 lira were about $5. So, I had an envelope full with money bills. Yes, I felt rich.
Grandma asked me what I wanted to do, if I
- wanted to put it in my savings account and somehow it didn’t sound tempting at all. I was studying and had all kind of odd, little jobs. I didn’t have many bills to pay, so every month I could add money to my small savings. I didn’t feel overly excited, but I drove to the bank the next day and made another deposit. It felt alright, but I don’t think that’s why my older friend had in mind, when he left me the money.
- “You could get a better car”. She had a point there. My little beetle was a bit of an eyesore. It had rust marks all over and the inside, underneath the colorful, hand-knitted seatcovers wasn’t much better. The heater didn’t work right and I made smoke signals every time I started the engine. I bought a newspaper and read the used car ads. There were a few that I liked, I even looked at a couple and went for test drives. I didn’t like any of them. Other vehicles just didn’t have character, like my car, they were just cars. That’s not how I wanted to spend the money.
- “Spend it on something fun” yes, that was an option. But what kind of fun? I wanted to see the world, wanted to travel to all the places I heard of. I only knew Italy and Austria…there was more to explore and I was ready. Oh it sounded heavenly, I would spend the $500 on my first vacation. Grandma wasn’t pleased, she didn’t say much, but gave me “the look“. My mind was made up, vacation…yes that felt right, that’s what I wanted to do.
I drove to the city the next day and walked into a travel agency. The posters on the wall looked so inviting. Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Hungary and many more…so many places in Europe were just waiting for me.
There was one poster showing an island, it was beautiful “Las Palmas de Gran Canaria”. Heaven’s sake…where is Gran Canaria? The lady told me all about it, showed it to me on the globe. A spanish island, in the Atlantic Ocean only 100 miles away from the shores of Africa. My eyes got bigger and bigger. It couldn’t be reached by car or train, I would have to fly in a real plane. I could afford 2 week and would have money left over. I walked outside, jumped into my old car and drove to the bank to withdraw the money.
I went back to the travel agency and booked 1 week for 2 people in a beautiful hotel, including flight, breakfast and dinner.
My Grandma’s reaction to the news, that she would fly with me to an island so close to Africa will fill another post…one day.
Looking back I can say that my final choice was not just right one, it was perfect!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Hello, Goldilocks!.” Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at “just right.”