“Travel to Bologna, Italy. Stay with your good friend. Come during Trufflefest!”
How could I resist this invitation from my travel buddy? The option looked like a slam dunk. Of course I should take this chance to see a new city with a close friend at a unique time.
Doubt crept in.
Perhaps I shouldn’t.
The decision rolled round my head like pebbles in a Coca Cola can. To reinvigorate the “yes,”
- I repositioned the options to be a simple this-or-that question. Travel to see new and different or stay home to experience familiar. Apples or oranges. One would prove just as interesting as the other.
When we travel, we search for the familiar — the cafe that serves our favorite coffee, the hotel room reminding us of Aunt Barb’s house, or the book store with the reading nook just like the one we sat in as a child. OR, when we stay home, we stumble across the disparate — “Have you tried the new bakery in town?”
- I recognized the road that once held many bumps to keep me from traveling at a moment’s notice was now smooth.My bills appeared online;
I lived in a condo; and
I had no pets 🙁
I also kept a bag partially packed and held a ready-made checklist for anything else I might need. I was poised to travel.
- I reviewed those devilish details — costs, available air miles, logistics of landing/transfers, my writing objectives, commitments to friends. I checked calendars, flight times, and bank accounts to gather data.
I realized the obvious.
Trufflefest will be there next year. I probably will be in good health for a good while longer. I have a hefty credit card payment due.
There’s nothing more luscious than a new opportunity to go abroad, but perhaps this trip was not meant to be.
Where was my real travel head?
Why was I having such a difficult time making a decision?
Scientists tell us most of the time our fast, intuitive mind takes control of all of our decisions. We run into difficulties when it makes decisions that should be made by our slower, logical system.
The article, “How Do We Really Make Decisions,” says our thinking is riddled with systematic mistakes known to psychologists as cognitive biases …. They affect our beliefs, our opinions, and our decisions, and we have no idea it is happening.
“Your logical, slow mind is a master at inventing a cover story. Most of the beliefs or opinions you have come from an automatic response. But then your logical mind invents a reason why you think or believe something.”
Case in Point
My initial desire to travel to Italy found acceptance with my intuition. “Great idea,” it said.
When logic (and my bank statements) got involved, I received a different internal response. My logical mind lied to me. It said, “You’ll suddenly become a foodie — and know the difference between truffles and mushrooms.” And, “You’ll save money while you travel and be able to pay off that debt.”
And yet logically, I needed to take a breather. I have writing objectives best satisfied by staying home. My bank account needs to top up. And, if I plan to travel during the snowy Wisconsin winter, I need to organize and plan.
With sadness, I wrote my friend in Italy:” I won’t be coming to Trufflefest this October.”
Then, to soften the blow to my intuition, I arranged to visit Southern Indiana to view the upcoming eclipse. It’s travel — just not Italian truffle-infused.
Your thoughts and opinion are always welcome by scrolling down or emailing JudyO@JOHaselhoef.com.
Judy O Haselhoef, a social artist, story-teller, and author of “GIVE & TAKE: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti,” blogs regularly at her website, www.JOHaselhoef.com.
Copyright @2017: If you’d like to use any part of it (up to 200 words), please give full attribution and this website, www.JOHaselhoef.com.