I’m obsessed with Pandas. I have video footage of my first birthday where I received a giant panda teddy bear as big as my little body and a plaque that said “save the pandas” that I still have. I have multiple mini panda teddy bears, panda keychains, panda reusable shopping bags, panda socks, panda earrings etc. It’s the go to gift everyone gets me, and twice now I’ve received as a birthday gift an “adoption” of a panda through WWF. I even have a tattoo of a panda.
I am obsessed with pandas. Combine this obsession with a trip to China and you have a very happy girl.
My friend (who is also going to China) discovered the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where they have 50 + pandas (and red pandas!) in natural looking habitats that are fairly open for your to photograph and view the pandas.
Imagine my enthusiasm when we found out that you can pay extra to hold a panda! ACTUALLY HOLD AND HUG A REAL LIVE GIANT PANDA!
My immediate thought: Whatever the cost I am doing that. I need to do that.
Then she found this blog post of two sisters who went there and their experiences doing the various activities the Research Base offers. I was so pumped watching their 2 minute video of them hugging the panda that I was jumping up and down in excitement with the biggest smile.
After watching the video I read the article… and that’s when I read that in order to have this two minute cuddle/photoshoot you needed to make a steep donation.
Of $323 USD.
… That’s 426.36 Canadian.
My excitement and joy instantaneously turned to sadness and tears. Everything I’ve ever believed about money and saving was put in to question upon reading this.
Can I really justify $426 for TWO MINUTES of my life?
It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity… When else will I ever be able to hold a panda? But does that mean it’s a valuable enough experience to spend that much money?
Will I regret this decision for my whole life if I don’t? For $426 I could take a trip a cabin in the woods for a weekend…. or a cheap flight to Toronto to visit my family…