“Surprise: To cause the feeling of wonder, astonishment, or amazement, at something unanticipated”
It’s a fact that I’ve never been great when it comes to surprises, I like to know everything about everything. I think it’s got something to do with my day job, I’m an Emergency Planner and have been for 12 years – I plan for when bad things happen and write contingency plans. In order to do that I need as much information as possible to make informed decisions regarding how best to respond. There used to be a time when someone told me they had a surprise for me it instinctively filled me with dread.
Once a year I TRY and allow Mr ESLT to surprise me with a birthday trip. We don’t buy each other presents we give each other the gift of travel. I say try because I always manage to wrangle the destination out of him so I can plan our trip, not because I don’t trust him to arrange an amazing break but because I just can’t help it. So when I tricked him into telling me we were heading to Venice for my birthday back in 2010 I was very excited and instantly went into overdrive surfing the net, reading my guidebook from cover to cover and making list after list of sights I wanted to see, restaurants I wanted to eat at, and things I wanted to do.We jumped on the plane and headed to Italy, giddy about our four days of sightseeing (and pizza). Venice was as beautiful as I had expected and had seen in pictures and on the internet. With the sun shining, it couldn’t have been a better choice for a birthday break. Armed with our camera and my (ridiculously) long Venice Bucket list we hit the streets and started ticking things off one by one – hopping on a water taxi on the Grand Canal, seeing the Bridge of Sighs, eating gelato in St Mark’s Square, walking over the Rialto Bridge and of course taking a romantic gondola ride.
Although not surprise activities, they were wonderful nevertheless. Bless Mr ESLT for allowing me to be anal and neurotic when it comes to (over) planning, he knows me too well to try to stop me. He knew ‘I hate surprises’ I’d told him enough times for it to register. But then, one special evening whilst in Venice, one of the most beautiful places in the world, he unleashed the biggest (and shiniest) surprise ever and one that I could never hate…..he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife!!! I certainly felt wonder, astonishment, AND amazement, at something unanticipated! Making me realise that surprises can be truly awesome, life changing (in a good way) and not to be feared.
So, 6 years on….I’m still not that great with surprises but I’m certainly trying to be more spontaneous and allowing myself to be surprised. I’ve stepped away from the guidebooks (a little bit) and actually quite enjoy ‘getting lost’ in new cities. Sometimes not planning everything to the n’th degree actually is not as scary as I used to think.
“Life is full of surprises, you never know who will surprise you” – unknown