I am sitting here, relaxing on a Sunday afternoon and getting ready to return to work after a week off (staycation!). I am not packing my bags, I am not rushing to the airport and I will not be attending the European wedding of a dear friend in Malta later this week.
Malta, can you imagine? Gorgeous island coastline surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, ancient buildings, the works. It would be pretty amazing, right?
A little background…
Mr. Adventure Rich and I (along with AR Jr.!) are invited to attend a wedding taking place later this week in Malta. The bride is a German woman, Maria*, who is a dear friend and my “German sister”. Maria lived with my family for a year as an exchange student when we were in high school and we have kept in close contact since that time!
*Maria = not her real name
As we shared the European wedding invite with others, time and time again, we were told some version of the following:
“You can afford it, why not?!?”
“Don’t you want to support your dear friend at her wedding?”
“You have an excuse to go to Europe, why not?”
Mr. Adventure Rich and I seriously considered attending Maria’s wedding. We found compelling reasons both to attend and not to attend the wedding and we went back and forth many times with what we should do. It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, we chose to stay home.
Reason #1- Quality Time with My Dear Friend
I would absolutely love to be at Maria’s wedding. She is my exchange student “sister” and we have remained close over the years. She even made the trip to the States to attend our wedding several years ago! I love her.
But I’m going to be honest. Attending Maria’s wedding, while an incredible gift, is not the best way for me to connect or spend time with her. As anyone who has been (or has been anywhere near!) a bride during wedding week knows, this is the one of the worst times to show up and want to “hang out”. The days before a wedding are filled with final to-dos and detail confirmations, family obligations, and rehearsals. Not to mention, the bride probably wants to spend at least 5 minutes a day with her husband-to-be!
I look forward to the next time I will be able to catch up with Maria via Skype or in person, but I will not try to make this happen the week of her wedding. My sincere hope is that Mr. Adventure Rich and I will be able to visit Maria and her husband in the coming years. At that time, we will be free to spend a relaxing time with the couple, exploring their area and spending late nights reminiscing about her year in America. I cannot wait!
Reason #2- Expensive Trip
We can afford to go to Malta. But we choose not to afford going to Malta at this time.
(Sound familiar? This philosophy comes from Paula Pant over at Afford Anything. We highly recommend both her blog and podcast!)
What do I mean by this?
We could pay for a trip to Malta, but we are actively choosing to either spend or save our money in other ways. In the past year, we bought a house, a plow truck for the ¼ mile long driveway and various other household/property maintenance items. We also are aggressively saving for financial independence and a new roof that is needed in the next year or two.
Each of these choices are choices we joyfully made, knowing full well that by choosing to spend and save our money this way, we were simultaneously closing the door to spend our money in other ways (say, to fund a trip to Malta…).
Reason #3- Not Ideal for a European Family Trip
Isn’t a wedding a perfect excuse to escape with your family to Europe?!?
It may be! But here is my thinking as to why this is not exactly the ideal time for a family trip overseas.
Travel is Not a High Priority:
While the Adventure Rich family would love to travel here and there, we are not exactly dead set on globe trotting every chance we get. One of the reasons is that we live in a beautiful area in northern Michigan that we love to explore! We chose this location for our forever home (we hope!) because of the plethora of adventures at our doorstep. So while we will travel on occasion, we are also more than content (we are ecstatic!) to spend time in our new home area (Case in Point: my recent “staycation” week)!
Our son is two years old. While he may remember a few things here and there, I would like to save our money/Chase Sapphire card points for a time when he is old enough to appreciate a trip to Europe a bit more. Nothing against traveling with young kids! But since travel is lower on the priority tree for us than, say, making improvements to our property and investing for financial independence, we will travel strategically and when it will create the most “bang for the buck”.
When we travel abroad, we would like to do so in a leisurely manner. There are two major hurdles that could prevent the trip to Malta from being as leisurely as we would like.
One hurdle is the wedding itself. Weddings are not just one day ordeals. Since we would be traveling a long way, Maria offered to have us join in the festivities several days before the wedding day. While this would be a blast in some way, it would limit our ability to sightsee and explore as much as we would like to on a trip to Europe.
Another hurdle is scheduling. August is a very busy month for Mr. Adventure Rich at work, so our timeframe for trip would be limited to around one week. Not terrible, but if we are buying tickets to Europe, I hope we spend more that just 1 week there!
So there you have it, we will not be jet setting to an island in the Mediterranean this week for a dear friend’s wedding, but we are ok with that. Actually, we are more than ok. We are happy to have clear, defined reasons for making our decision and other goals that are enabled by our choice to stay home.
Has anyone else been invited to a wedding in a far-off land? Did you choose to go or stay home… and why? 🙂 I’m always curious to see the thought process around attending weddings when they get in the pricey-travel category!
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich