The vacation of our dreams

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High expectations about trips can knock us down

By Glauce Fleury, Contributor

After a long hard year, my friend’s deserved vacation is just around the corner. He’s excited. He checks his savings, chooses his destiny, books his tickets, packs, and goes. He’s finally there, in that sparkling city called New York. He’s exhausted after hours of flying, so he decides to take a shower and get some rest. Getting into bed, he wasn’t expecting to find goose-down pillows and silk linens, but linens from a hospital?

That was an unexpected surprise, although “no surprises” is usually what people hope for while planning their vacation. When the break comes, traveling abroad might be a very good option to enjoy those lazy days out of school, free from our amazing boss, or far from our lovely partner.

Decision made, we create high expectations about exploring new lands, meeting awesome people, and sharing different cultures. Or maybe some of us just want to go camping, hiking, and have some beer. Anyway, when we have expectations, no matter what they are, we try to keep them safe in a box; creating a good plan, checking it every now and then, and, finally, finding the resources to accomplish it. That is what most people do when traveling.

Some of my friends around the world are good examples. My Japanese friend makes plans to come to Vancouver almost every year, because of her passion for the Canadian intercultural society. My Dutch friends traveled to Brazil last year and were really impressed after exploring non-famous cities in the countryside. All of them reached their expectations. That did not happen to my Brazilian peer, who wanted to wake up in that city that never sleeps and find he’s king of the hill.

It was exactly this friend who arrived in New York a couple weeks ago. He booked the hotel that charged him $200 per night. When he pulled the sheet, he could read on the border the name of a hospital in big red letters. Based on the picture I saw, the staff tried to hide that part under the bed, but something made it appear out of the shadows to tarnish the hotel’s reputation. I ask myself, “What the heck were linens from an Atlanta hospital doing on the bed of a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, a block away from Times Square, in one of the most expensive square meters of the world?”

When my friend told me that, I caught myself thinking that maybe the patients in some hospital of Atlanta have been sleeping on mattresses with no sheets, as some of them seem to be stuck in expensive hotels in the Big Apple. Moreover, when I went to New York, I realized I didn’t check which hospital my linens were from. Maybe next time, I could bring some from a Brazilian hospital to feel at home. At least then I wouldn’t create high expectations about what I would find.


The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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