My Kind of Curveball

“When life throws you a curveball, all you have to do is adjust your swing”
Usually, when people refer to curveballs, it typically is in one of two ways: a.) They’re actually talking about baseball or b.) They’re faced with some sort of unexpected challenge. But what about a positive curveball? A plan you had no intention of making, yet it literally would slap you in the face if you didn’t make it?
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend casually mentioned the idea of taking a trip to China with his family. Considering my everlasting love of travel, my interest was immediately piqued–then reality set in and I realized that it just wouldn’t be in the cards considering my financial goals and already planned trip to Ireland. As I was opening my mouth to tell him this, he smiled as he explained that it would cost me about $300 plus the cost of my flight for EIGHT days, all-inclusive. To say the least, I was stunned and stood there sputtering for a few seconds before it registered that my jaw was still hanging open.

It turns out that there is an incredible promotion, subsidized I believe by the Chinese government, for overseas Chinese people. Essentially, they want their native citizens to return home for a short while and in return, they are offering an insane incentive: For $49 (yes, you read that correctly), all native citizens currently with dual citizenship in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, or New Zealand can book a package for 7 nights/8 days which includes all meals, hotels (4 & 5-star!), transportation, guides, tours, and miscellaneous entry fees. The only additional fees are the mandatory $10/day tip and personal incidentals plus the cost of the flight over. The idea is that people coming over will spend their money shopping, etc. as opposed to paying for lodging, meals, and tours. 

The one hitch for me is that I am not native Chinese (my boyfriend and his family are). The beautiful, glorious silver lining is that because I would be traveling with a family of native Chinese people, I, too, can take advantage of this opportunity by paying the $149 non-native subsidy. Total cost for 8 days in Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou? A (whopping) $199. This, my friends, is my kind of curveball. 
I certainly hadn’t planned to take a trip to China this year, but I’d be a cotton-headed ninny muggins not to take advantage of this opportunity. And in true PF blogger style, I will be figuring out a way to bring in extra income to cover the costs of the flight over, taxes, the tips, and spending money; thus ensuring the livelihood of my 2012 goals.
Have you ever been thrown a positive curveball? 
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