Somewhere – I can’t recall where exactly – I read that the seasoned traveler, if he or she expects to maximize the adventure, must adjust to changing circumstances. The implication of course is that if one is to get a kick out of discovery one must embrace what comes along – good or bad – and not be defeated by it. The prescription might well apply to life in general though it is admittedly appropriate to travel in particular as the agenda is so often charted in advance and ripples and delays are especially pronounced or at the very least unwelcome. The adage about adaptation also heightens the significance of a higher goal than merely fulfilling a travel writer’s scripted performance. Let’s face it there is nothing more dreary than a travel account that hasn’t any of the annoying fragmentation of real life. That would be like Cinderella without the wicked sisters. I’m not saying that we should welcome undesirable events but we should at least cultivate a sanguine attitude to apparent obstruction.
As you might imagine, all this philosophic drivel is but a preamble to our own bit of kerfuffle. Yesterday while waiting on the dock for the arrival of our tour boat in Ivy Lea Village, His Lordship suddenly sputtered “Oh! Oh!” and I turned my head from absorption of the dazzling sunshine to see him greedily devouring an email on his iPhone. He informed me that our estate agent on Hilton Head Island had written to advise that construction of a new house had just begun behind the place we had agreed to rent for five months this coming winter. Instantly I telephoned the estate agent to acknowledge receipt of her advice and to confirm our ready willingness to alter our course accordingly. The facts were clear; the required action was beyond dispute. It was time to bail!
Since encountering that hurdle we have ruminated at length upon the many alternatives which suddenly materialized. We did for example consider switching destinations from Hilton Head Island, SC to Tybee Island, GA though our over-arching reluctance was that we had never visited Tybee Island (as we plan to do late this Fall). As much as parachuting into a place site unseen has its high-spirited element we thought it wiser on the balance to check it out first. Plus if we cancel our arrangements with the estate agent we suffer the penalty of an administrative fee (not to mention that our estate agent warranted our continued favour for her selfless disclosure). We have therefore resolved to carry on with the same agency but change our accommodations to something less grand. The estate agent established at the outset that getting a place similar to what we had arranged months ago for the same period and for the same price would be difficult. In fact she said there is currently only one such property available. As a result we have down-graded our expectations from a large house to a 2-bedroom condominium apartment.
This is in fact a modification which fits well with us both as we have to admit that having a 5-bedroom house didn’t make a lot of sense. As it turns out, one of the condominiums which is available for the full five months is in the same building where we parked ourselves quite comfortably last year for two weeks before our house became available. It is also located in South Beach on Sea Pines Plantation where we regularly bicycled. The South Beach Marina is located nearby and the area is very quiet (being located just steps from Lands End at the southernmost tip of the Island). It is undeniable that we will save a significant amount of money by making this switch. Lately our enthusiasm for expenditure has inversely dwindled proportionately with the extension of our journeys. In plain terms the buzz of an escapade becomes less impressive with time; reasonableness ultimately trumps excess.
This particular detour isn’t likely to engender sympathy from anyone. Nor should it. For our part we’re quite willing to rise to the occasion. We are canny enough to acknowledge that, once the initial thrill of a place has passed, it’s back to bicycling and daily routine on a barrier Island on the Atlantic Ocean. I think we’ll manage to adjust. But wouldn’t you know…