Today, I clicked the button.
What’s so hard about clicking a button? Most of us click lots of buttons every day. In fact, I do, too. This button, however, wasn’t just any ordinary button. This button committed me to a life-altering change.
I purchased my one way ticket to Australia. Non-refundable.
That single click is, I think, one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life so far. I’ve made purchases this large before (larger, even), but while losing a non-refundable ticket wouldn’t be the end of the world, it will surely be a great motivator to make my dream reality.
Let me tell you how it went down:
I’d been dream-searching for flights–you know, when you don’t have any intention of buying, but you’re looking anyway. I’ve been keeping an eye on what flights cost for some time now, for budgeting purposes more than anything else.
There’s a WordPress conference in San Francisco in October. I went last year, and wanted to go again this year, so I thought, let’s just check the price for a two-week layover in California.
The price was so much lower than any price I’ve seen before, even with all of the permutations of layovers, days of the week, and times of day I’ve been playing with forever. My first three thoughts, in order, were:
- “I should book this while it’s available.”
- “No, I need to save more money before I can actually commit to going.”
- “How much money is in my savings account right now?”
When I realized I actually had the money, right then, to buy the plane tickets, I hesitated–for almost an hour. Arguing back and forth in my head (I’m good at that), I decided to keep looking.
After refining my search and playing around some more with the dates, I realized that, no matter what, there would be at least two layovers; one at LAX; the other, as it turns out, in Fiji.
I have friends (with a couch) in San Diego that I really want to see again before going overseas, so extending the LA layover was pretty much a no-brainer.
“Fiji,” I wondered. “Sounds like a nice place to be for a while.” In fact, inserting the extra week into my trip added just $94 dollars to the cost of the plane ticket.” I opened a new browser tab (by this point I had at least 30 or 40 open just on this one topic), typed in “Hostels Fiji,” and found that I could stay there for just $9/night, a little more than a third of what I pay for rent here in NYC. “$150 for a trip to Fiji?” I thought. “Yeah, that’s happening.”
I still hesitated. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach, moving around as if they were trying to escape a fire. I talked to some friends that I chat with on Skype, and they told me I should go for it. I debated, back and forth, in my own head. “I’m going to do it,” I said.
But I still hesitated. The butterflies were now frantic, as they tried to escape my stomach. I fought them back down.
I typed in my name, then my address, then my phone number. I clicked “Continue.”
I chose seats for each flight (four in all), and clicked “Continue.”
Now, I was presented with a screen; a terrifying, yet promising screen, filled with text fields labeled “Card number,” and “Billing Address.” The button at the bottom no longer said “Continue,” but rather “Pay and Book Flights.”
I must have sat, staring at that page, for–while it felt like an hour–at least five minutes. I had typed in the requested information, moved my mouse pointer to the afore-mentioned button, and waited. My mind raced, “Should I do this now? Should I wait? Oh hey, I got a notification on Facebook. I could use a sandwich. OMG, what am I thinking, my stomach is floating right now! I think I’m going to do it. I’m gonna do it! I’M DOING IT!”
I clicked the button.
And immediately, I felt relieved. All of that anxiety that had built up finally went away, and my stomach settled down to, well at least a light rumble.
There’s still a LOT I have a lot to do.
I need to line up ways to fund my life abroad, get background checks, certified documents, visas, etc. I have six months to raise about $6,000, so I can even make the trip.
But the hardest part is done. I have a plane ticket (well, four) that will take me to my destination, a life overseas.
My dream is suddenly something real, a tangible thing that still may or may not come to be, but is one giant step closer to happening.
Who knew a button could hold so much power?