Do you ever have one of those moments where you’re out in a store or browsing on Etsy, and despite all logic you think to yourself, “I gotta have that!”
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. That item that calls out to you. That, “Well, I don’t really need that right now and it’s a little more than I want to spend…but it’s so amazing!”
And either you decide to splurge right then and there or end up thinking about it for weeks.
Yep, I had one of those moments on my five-month trek around South America last year.
It was March 2012, almost a year ago from this very day. I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina, surrounded by beautiful, stylish people. At the moment, I was anything but and I was itching to explore this shopper’s dream and find something, anything that wouldn’t make me look like I just stepped out of an L.L. Bean ad.
Let me paint a picture for you: I am the epitome of a foreigner (yes, I would walk into a store even in Buenos Aires and right away people could pick me out as being from the States) and the antithesis of stylish, in my uber-practical kahki-colored pants that unzip at the bottom to turn into shorts in the type of material that seems to repel both dirt and any sense of fashion. I had my practical shoe-sandals that I could wear in the water and a basic water-wicking t-shirt.
Now add on a ginormous backpack and you’ve got an image of what I looked like for five months.
Ooh yeah, I’m feeling H.O.T. hot. Hot cause I’m carrying around a backpack that weighs as much as a small child.
So on this leg of the trip I decided to buy three very inexpensive pieces of clothing to spruce up my otherwise lackluster traveler’s wardrobe. After wearing the same things for 2 1/2 months, I needed a bit of change. I figured that was enough of a treat.
Then one day, when my sister was visiting, we decided to walk around the trendy Palermo district, which is full of these amazing little boutiques carrying digs by some of the up-and-coming local designers.
The type of place where you could do a lot of damage to your budget.
We stumbled upon adorable little bag shop tucked away on one of the side streets. The shop was full of the most luxurious leather purses in these bold, vibrant colors, from cherry red to emerald green. I had never seen anything like them.
A royal blue suede bag caught my eye. By U.S. prices, it was relatively cheap and it was absolutely stunning.
But it was absurdly big and just about the least practical thing a backpacker could be toting around.
Now that you already have that lovely image of the most unfashionable me you could ever picture (hard to believe, I know), imagine me carrying around a stylish purse.
One of these things is not like the other…
Obviously, this purse of my dreams was just the most ridiculous thing given my current situation.
So I pushed thoughts of that purse out of my head…that big, beautiful purse…(pardon for me while I wipe the drool off my face)
I mean, honestly, I was a month away from heading to the jungle. What on earth was I going to with a suede purse in the hot, humid jungle aside from ruin it? Besides, as good a buy as it was, it was just more than I should have realistically been spending on an impractical and unnecessary luxury in the middle of this trip.
But two weeks later, I couldn’t get that darn purse out of my head.
So when Sam’s parents came down to visit us and we just happened to find ourselves walking by that very shop (Oh hey! What a coincidence! Here is that little shop with the bag I have been obsessing over for two weeks. Maybe we should check it out…) I knew I had to have it.
It may have been impractical, and it might have cost more than I wanted to spend given the situation, but I just had to make the splurge.
So I did it! I enjoyed the purse for a solid week before sending it off with my in-laws back to the States, and when I returned from my trip two months later I had this awesome bag to enjoy and to remind me of my incredible journey.
Alright, so what is my point?
Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to indulge.
I’m not saying go beyond your means and put yourself in financial stress, and certainly this isn’t an encouragement to turn into Miss Greedy Pants. But splurge within reason once in awhile. Get that massage you have wanted to treat yourself to for the last year. Have a latte from a fancy cafe instead of your regular cup of coffee at home. Take that Zumba class you have been dying to try out. Purchase that piece of jewelry on Etsy you have been eyeing. (Oh yeah, I totally went there.)
If you are anything like me, you do a lot for others and make sacrifices. And it is ok to treat yourself once in awhile.So do it. Go make a ridiculous purchase.
When was the last time you indulged?
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