A few months ago, I was scanning through my email and came across an ad from an airline offering a “flash” sale. While I get many of these emails each week, being the aviation nerd that I am, I took a peak to see the offerings. I noticed that the sale included $38 one-way fares from BWI to Boston. I delved a little further and found that I could do a round-trip day in Boston for $150 for my girlfriend and I. So I found an open date (a Tuesday in December), and quickly called my girlfriend. I begged her to take a day off of work and fly with me to Boston. I told her we had to buy the tickets that day (for a travel date six week out), as the sale was ending in a matter of hours.
You should know that neither my girlfriend nor I are prone to fits of spontaneity. It took some serious convincing on my part, but eventually my girlfriend agreed and I booked the tickets. We had an 8 a.m. flight leaving BWI with a 9 p.m. return flight that night. I was very excited for our day trip to Boston.
For the six weeks leading up to the trip, I researched the best way to spend our 11 hours in the city. Boston is a very tourist-friendly city and Logan Airport is easily accessible to downtown via the T (Boston’s mass transit system). Both my girlfriend and I have been to Boston before, but never together. After doing some research and getting some suggestions, we settled on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile self-guided walking tour throughout the city which allows tourist to explore the historic sites of Boston at their own pace.
Still, even after booking the trip, my girlfriend was hesitant about taking a day off of work. Although we were both on approved leave for the day, a lingering nervous twinge persisted about playing “hooky.”
We flew to Boston carrying not much more than our winter attire and a backpack. On that cold Tuesday, we had the Freedom Trail almost to ourselves. Despite the subfreezing temperatures, it was a beautiful day in Boston for our adventure. We saw the historic sites all of us have read about in some sort of U.S. history class (my favorite being Paul Revere’s house), and took our time strolling through some of the beautiful old streets and neighborhoods of Boston.
The trail ends at the Bunker Hill Monument. We decided to cap off our adventure by ascending the 294 steps to the top of the monument. The narrow spiral staircase leads to one of the best views of Boston, so the reward was worth the added leg strain. The trail took longer than expected, so we had just enough time to meet my cousin and his wife for dinner. After dinner, we hopped in an Uber and 10 minutes later we were at Logan Airport.
On board our half-empty flight home, my girlfriend and I both realized what a fantastic day we just experienced. Our Fitbits showed we walked over 28,000 steps during the day, which is by far my personal one day record. We were tired, but satisfied.
I share this story to emphasize that taking a day off every now and then to do something spontaneous is necessary for mental well-being. My girlfriend and I both felt refreshed and relaxed after our day playing hooky in Boston and returned to our jobs the next day in better mental states than before we left.
Of course, this trip would not have happened if not for the airline’s flash sale and our lack of other familial commitments. But I would offer that, if the opportunity presents itself for you to take a random day off to do something special, don’t hesitate. You’ll appreciate it later.