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When Travel Goes Wrong

Enjoying cava sangria in Barcelona with new Finnish friend Linda

Today is guest post day for the Blogathon, but my trading partner accidentally broke her blog earlier in the month and is still working on getting it back up and running. Instead, you get to hear from me, again, for the 16th day in a row now. (Worry not, though, my guest blogger will be back when everything’s sorted out.)

Little hiccups like this happen all the time in daily life — and especially in the world of travel. Flights are canceled, weather doesn’t cooperate, and reservations are lost. I got a cold right before I left for San Francisco last year, leaving me a coughing mess on the plane and short of breath on all those steep hills. In Paris, I threw away my ticket for the M├ętro after getting on, not realizing I needed it to exit as well (and then spent an awful lot of time figuring out how I was going to escape the station). In Chicago, I got dreadfully lost — actually, that’s happened to me in more cities than I can count. In Ohio, I ripped my favorite jeans; in Iceland, I neglected to pack a jacket to wear; and in Hawaii, I couldn’t figure out how to park my rental car.

It’s all part of the experience. A trip to Spain that was doomed from start to finish began with a much-delayed flight and ended with an oversold one, leaving me stuck at the airport. In the middle, I was surrounded and groped by three drunken Spaniards who I was sure were going to mug me (fortunately, I guess, they were intoxicated enough to be more interested in my lips than my cash) and parted ways with the people I’d traveled there with, changing it to a solo excursion. But on the bright side, I saw amazing sights and made friends in the hostels I stayed in — I still occasionally hear from a couple of them even now.

The best-laid plans … well, you know what they say about those. If nothing else, the challenges of traveling make for memorable stories down the road and a chance to exercise your problem-solving and coping skills. It is, after all, about the journey — and that includes good and bad.

Have you had any travel experiences that took a turn for the worse?

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