Back in May, I floated an exciting idea past my other half. “How about I book a trip for us, but don’t tell you where we are going until we get to the airport?” I asked.
This turned into a long and enthusiastic conversation about how it could work and how much fun it would be. By the end of it, we were determined that we wanted to go one step further by planning for him not to find out where we are travelling to until we landed in the mystery country of my choice. And ok, so the logistics for all of that seem pretty tricky but nothing is impossible as they say…
Once we agreed to go for it I started to think over some ideas, and after looking at my diary for the rest of the year (yes I am one of those uber organised people who loves basically anything that involves segmenting my life into a neat little Filofax!) I slotted the words “Mystery Trip” into the October bank holiday weekend. At the time it felt like AGES away. Usually, when you have a secret at least one other person is in on it too, right? Well, this was completely new to me. I questioned how I was going to be able to keep it all to myself for so long.
Putting self-doubt aside, the next item on the agenda was to choose the destination. I spent ages planning – comparing cities, flight prices, accommodation options and in the end I think I settled on a good choice. Somewhere vibrant, with lots to do during both day and night. We made a deal to stay in Europe so we don’t have to worry about currency or a really long flight. And since Europe is pretty big (and incredible!) it still left lots of places to choose from.
The waiting game has been a really interesting journey so far. I’m proud to say that I haven’t told a single soul where we are going, not even Mum who usually hears every minute detail of my life (Sorry Mum!), but you know, that has actually been half the fun for me. He gets the excitement of landing somewhere tomorrow and not having an iota where he is, and I‘ve had this delicious secret all to myself for the past couple of months.
Along the way, the reactions have been equally hilarious and fascinating. I get asked about where I am off to next all the time, and with this trip, I’ve been saying “It’s a surprise”, which automatically leads to lots of “Awws” and “Your boyfriend is so sweet”
But, I can’t lie so I end up saying something like “Well no actually, I planned it, but he doesn’t know where we are going yet, so I can’t tell you”.
Cue responses such as “But sure I don’t even know him, JUST TELL ME!”.
Either that or the person stands there listing off every city in Europe they can think of, in hopes that I’ll flinch if they get it right.
I’ve even had one “Jesus you’re not proposing are you?!”
No people, I will not be getting down on my bended 21st-century-woman knee this weekend, thank you very much.
After all the planning and secrecy, we’re almost there. We just have to get through tomorrow morning. The plan is I will look after our check-in and boarding cards at the airport. I won’t take him to the gate until the last minute and he’s agreed not to have a sneaky peek at the flight screens as we board. He is going to listening to a VERY LOUD playlist thus avoiding hearing any announcements, and he’ll keep the headphones in during the flight, which will also eliminate any chatty flight attendants en route. It really helps that he is so on board (just a little travel pun there, don’t mind me!) and enthusiastic about the idea too.
The rest is now down to him, he simply has to perform the mission impossible style journey to a mystery country, while at all times not looking at or listening to any clues around him.
I am excited, yet also looking forward to finally being able to share the secret. Of course, I have worried about whether the place I picked will be a letdown or not, but then I think; it really doesn’t matter. The fun has been in the build-up and the game. Going on the actual trip is an added bonus.
Roll on tomorrow!!
Written with love,
Ps. Feel free to follow us on Instagram for trip updates and antics over the weekend @rachaels_travelbug #Briansmysterytrip