By Amy Woodbridge
Recently, Heineken asked travelers at an airport if they would trade in their travel plans on a whim to play “departure roulette” – pushing a button and heading to whatever destination appeared on the board. Would you say yes? Could you let go of your plans, leave it to fate, and just say, “let’s go”?
Take a look:
I’m an avid traveler, and I like to think I’m reasonably spontaneous. In the past, I’ve left home to teach in Thailand in less time than it takes many people to choose a new color of paint for their kitchen. Watching this video, I wanted to say that I would go for it, take my chances on Departure Roulette, but I’m not sure that I actually would.
I’m making the assumption here that the company covered any potential visa issues involved, and is only sending travelers to safe destinations. With that out of the way:
You only live once! This could be the trip of a lifetime.
It’s good to be spontaneous. I’m not suggesting turning your life upside-down on a regular basis, but being open to new experiences is important. Doing something fun and unexpected can often give us a much-needed psychological and emotional boost.
It would make for a great story. “Well, I was headed to Chicago to visit my cousin, but I ended up in Bali. These things happen, you know?” (Bonus points for delivering this with your best no-big-deal attitude, like you just take last-minute trips to Bali whenever you like).
The downside to this approach, I think, is when it is presented to travelers: while they’re already at the airport with travel plans set. If someone called me and told me to show up at the airport tonight to head to a mysterious destination, then I think I’d go for it! But when I’m at the airport with my bags, I’m usually in one of a few situations:
I’m flying home to see my family. No, it’s not as exciting as a free trip to Cyprus, but when I live so far from my family, I enjoy my rare trips home to see them.
I’m traveling for work. I don’t want to lose my job – I don’t think I have to explain this one.
I already have a vacation planned. The last time I was at an airport, I was headed for a vacation that I was pretty excited for. Depending on my destination and how adventurous I was feeling, I’m not sure whether I’d be willing to change my vacation plans or not.
Under the right circumstances, I would love to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to a mystery destination. There aren’t too many places on Earth I wouldn’t like to visit. Ultimately, though, I probably would turn down this game of Departure Roulette.
How about you? How adventurous are you – would you go for it?
Amy Woodbridge is a writer for Teach Away Inc.