Arizona horseback riding in August (of mumble mumble year). I sure hope I was wearing sunscreen!

That Time I Made a Mistake and Didn’t Go to Phoenix

The deal to fly to Phoenix was SO good.  I was so excited. I requested the time off work and purchased the tickets. I was going to be visiting my friend in Arizona in January! January! I’d been waiting a long time to go somewhere warm in the middle of winter and I hadn’t seen my friend in a few years. Phoenix was the perfect choice. Warm weather, here I come!

Side Gig: Actress

But I forgot to double check my side job schedule. I didn’t have anything written in my calendar, but we did have a gig that I’d already agreed to work. My side job was rather unusual. I was an actress in a traveling dinner theatre. The work was sporadic, fun, and I loved it. I emailed my director to let her know my vacation schedule.

We had a show the weekend I booked the trip to Phoenix. A big show. My director really wanted me to do the performance. She was my understudy, but she needed to be available to keep the client happy during this particular gig.

So I incurred the costs to change the tickets. My cheap tickets were no longer that cheap, but that was okay because I was still going to Arizona during the winter. Good-bye winter blahs!

My first trip to Phoenix. Horseback riding.

Horseback riding through the desert near Phoenix, Arizona, during my first visit.

“Okay, I changed the tickets February, ” I told my director, via the telephone.

“Natalie, the big show is the February show. I can cover the January show, but I really need you to be in town for the February show,” she said.

“I thought you said the January show was the big show and the February show was the small one I could miss,” I said.

“No,” she said. “The February show is the large one.”

I hung up the phone and I cried. I cried right there at my desk.

Thank goodness it was lunchtime and no one was around to notice. It was so stupid and I did not want to explain to anyone why I was upset.

I was angry. I was sad. I was embarrassed. I was also out $400 and I didn’t have enough to book another flight anywhere for awhile. I was angry that I had misunderstood my director the first time we spoke. I was  angry at myself for not double checking before switching those tickets. I also became a little resentful of acting. Acting takes up time and if you aren’t in the big time, it’s a labor of love. Actually, even if you are trying for the big time, it’s a huge sacrifice for little to no pay. The pay at the dinner theatre wasn’t enough to live on, but it made me feel good that I was “using” my theatre degree.

Me, dressed as one of my dinner theatre characters. The character resemebles Marilyn Monroe with her iconic blonde hair and brown mole.

Me, dressed as one of my dinner theatre characters, Candy Monroe.

After the Tears For Phoenix

It became clear that I need to be more direct and assertive in my life, which is a slow process (and I’m still working on it over a decade later). It was not my director’s fault that I didn’t check my schedule with her before I booked my flight(s). I was aware of my responsibility. I didn’t have my ducks in a row. Lesson: Get your ducks in a row! I was able to do that a year or two later on my Seattle/Bellingham trip.

What’s the most ridiculous mistake you’ve made while traveling? Have you ever been unable to go on a planned trip?


10 thoughts on “That Time I Made a Mistake and Didn’t Go to Phoenix

  1. Bharat & Supriya says:

    Our biggest blunder was losing passports on the way from Italy to France. Our Portugal trip was all ruined due to this and we returned back home via Paris.

    We wrote a blog about this and when we look back, we remember the street food delicacies we were able to eat in Paris at it was nearer to the Holiday season. Also it’s a story we can share with our grand kids someday…lol!

  2. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage says:

    Ohhhh that is rough! We never had a mix up like this, but one time I was in Brussels for work for just the day and was so tired I decided to go to the airport a little early. I ended up on the wrong train, thankfully a local girl helped me have a taxi waiting at the station and they sped all the way to the airport to make the flight with 5 minuets and 150euro taxi ride… Travel and life is never perfect, all part of the adventure and lessons learnt!

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