Summer has arrived once again, and once again, I find myself without a holiday plan. I can’t fathom how everyone else manages it—with their organized diaries, set dates, savings, cat-sitting arrangements, and preemptive decisions. It’s not that I lack the desire for a holiday; I crave it intensely. My internal vacation clock starts ticking in the dead of winter, conjuring dreams of sunny beaches and fresh seafood. Yet, as time passes, I remain stuck, paralyzed by indecision and a lack of creativity.

This, I now understand, is when everyone else is booking their time off, browsing rental homes near the sea, and negotiating which friends and their kids they can tolerate for a week without upending long-standing relationships. Good for you all.

Now, as I scramble to find a holiday spot for my family during the school break, I keep coming back to something online called the Ultimate Mystery Holiday. Perhaps you’ve encountered it too, heard its subtle allure in your pre-sleep thoughts, and found its mysteries seeping into your waking dreams. The Ultimate Mystery Holiday is featured on a popular voucher site, alongside compost bins and cream teas, offering “an Ultimate Mystery Getaway from £99 per person.”

The description promises destinations like Bali, Mexico, New York, the Dominican Republic, Iceland, Italy, Egypt, and more. Initially, my world-weary skepticism, born from a lifetime of disappointments, made me suspect that I’d end up in some obscure place called “More.” But I kept returning to the website, just for a little look, I told myself. There were city breaks in Rome and Porto, beach holidays in Cyprus and Malta, with indistinct photos of turquoise waters and mocked-up Polaroids of pyramids and sand. What’s the worst that could happen, I wondered, as my finger hovered over the buy now button.

My cynical side would then list all the potential disasters: wet-floored self-catering units overlooking sewage-treatment plants, romantic city breaks in conflict zones, buffet breakfasts consisting solely of ham, and turbulent flights arriving at 4 a.m. to hastily constructed resorts. Eventually, I chose to ignore this voice and focus on the potential bliss of beautiful beaches and affordable wine. The true gift of the Ultimate Mystery Holiday, even if it goes horribly wrong, is that it takes the decision-making out of my hands. Surely that alone is worth £99.

Sure, I could book a trip to that Italian island all my friends rave about on Instagram. But let’s be honest—I don’t share their exuberance, nor do I have their budget, nor can I run in a bikini without embarrassment. And if I want to holiday with friends, I first need to make a friend who has the patience and skill to organize such a trip.

Reaching middle age does not magically bestow the efficiency or desire to coordinate vacation dates, sift through rental options, and navigate friends’ budgets, bathroom preferences, and unspoken expectations. This is a skill honed over years, and few are willing to take on that responsibility. Solo holidays can seem appealing in theory—times of self-discovery and travel—but often end up being about breakfast cocktails and early bedtimes. Vacationing is hard; it’s not easy.

So, I’m talking myself into the Ultimate Mystery Holiday because what is a holiday if not a chance to escape the known, to take a week-long risk and throw our routines into the air like dice? A holiday is a balance—the possibility of it being awful against the slim chance of it being wonderful. What’s a holiday for, if not the chance for brief, exquisite freedom from yourself? At £99, it’s a bargain.