EXPEDITIONIST Diaries: How To Find The Silver Lining When Things Go Wrong While Traveling
There’s no denying that travel (while fulfilling and a wonderful experience) isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Let’s face it: the world isn’t perfect. Things happen along the way that seemingly try and derail your trip.
We’ve all been there. You’re at the airport and your flight is delayed, cutting into precious vacation time. You get to your destination, but your bag doesn’t.
You overpay for transportation because you didn’t understand the language or you went the wrong way and had to double back, paying extra.
You lose things, you break things, things get stolen. There are a ton of annoyances and frustrations that happen all the time that threaten to ruin your mood, or taint your image of a certain city or place.
Being on the road for over two months now, I can honestly say that almost all of the setbacks I listed above have happened (knock on wood that’s it for a while), but it’s about how you shift your perspective when things go wrong that make all of the difference.
Flying to Amsterdam from Rome, our flight was delayed six hours, and we were worried we wouldn’t fly out at all.
Silver lining: we received a delicious free meal and were able to board as soon as we’d finished because our flight had finally arrived.
Upon arrival into Barcelona from Istanbul, I discovered my bag had been tampered with and my retractable lock stolen. Once I got to the hostel, I discovered someone had taken my bunk and I had to search for another one in a much less convenient spot.
Silver lining: My bag made it to Barcelona, I could always buy another lock, and nothing more precious or important was taken. With the bunk mixup, I ended up getting a free drink from the front desk downstairs for the trouble.
When flying out of Mykonos to Rome, the airline we chose supposedly messed up our booking and due to system error (on their end no less) we had to pay 50€ for a name change, then another 50€ to check our bags.
Silver lining: When we finally boarded the plane we got an entire row of seats to ourselves, making for a much more enjoyable flight, and allowing us the luxury of a much-needed nap.
With each of these setbacks the days could have been ruined, but making a conscious effort to look on the bright side of the situation makes for interesting stories to share along the way.
I wasn’t seriously injured or hurt in any way. I didn’t lose my bag or any of my important belongings. I still arrived at all my destinations in one piece. In the grand scheme of things, that’s all that matters.
The next time you find yourself in a difficult or frustrating situation, remember that it could always be worse, and then let if go. It is by far the best way to fully enjoy your experiences and to be open to new ones.
All images: Rose Huet