Travel Mishaps

Posted by on Apr 4, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Edinburgh off the Royal Mile

It’s a been over a month since I’ve posted to my blog. It’s high time that I shared a story or two. We’re on the road again, untourist style, and this trip has not been without travel mishaps. If you think travel mishaps don’t happen to experienced world travelers like myself, think again. I suspect because I’m on the road so much that I actually increase my chances of a mishap or two. Certainly, we’ve faced a couple of interesting twist and turns this time around, and it’s not over yet. There’s still time for more action.

Our plan was to fly from Chicago to Dublin, stay over for two nights and then move on to Edinburgh for five nights.

Dublin I know well. There would be no time wasted trying to find my way around. I would’ve gladly stayed longer but didn’t feel I had the time to spare. Edinburgh was a first for me and thus I’d planned a few extra days to explore. Mother Nature, the infamous bitch, had other plans for us, however. Turns out we encountered Ireland’s worst snowstorm in thirty years which turned our plans upside down. Everything came to a total standstill in Ireland for three days — no planes, no deliveries to stores, nothing open, streets bare of traffic. The Irish were determined to keep everybody safe and sound. So, we ended up doing the exact opposite of what we’d planned. By the time we got to Edinburgh, we only had a day and a half left before we were to catch our flight to Malaga.

Did we have a good time in Ireland in spite of the snow?

You bet! We stayed in the Arlington Hotel in Dublin which turned out to be the best place to be during a storm. It was like Las Vegas only Irish style with loads of good food, booze and entertainment. Those cloggers were amazing and we weren’t bored. We even ventured out into the white world for a stroll or two. There weren’t many people on the street but the brave souls that were there beamed at us. We knew we were challenging the status quo and recognized a kindred adventurer when we saw one.

Did we have a good time in Edinburgh?

Absolutely. It was too short which only means that we’ll have to return, but we made good use of our one full day and traversed the Royal Mile in style. Edinburgh is a visual treat. Next to Prague, perhaps one of the most beautiful cities on the planet architecturally.

St. Giles Cathedral

Upon arriving in Malaga on the fifth of March, we assumed the worst was behind us.

It was time to enjoy solid sunshine, good coffee and lots of fresh air. However, instead, we were met with gray skies and some of the coldest weather we have encountered in Spain in a long time. It pretty much carried on as such for several weeks. Must be why I came down with a killer cough. I mean it was bad. I was forced to go to the doctor, and she put me on an antibiotic. Still, the cough lingered for several weeks. Whew! Did I want to go home? Actually, I thought about it but only briefly. I’ve been coming to Europe for thirteen years. If Spain doesn’t feel like home by now, then there’s something wrong with me. I’m lucky to have a comfortable apartment and so I made the best of a bad situation. I still got out every day and walked a good bit, bundled up.

Me and My Sis

Wait a minute! That’s not all!

My sister was to join us this year for the first time. She had ten days of spring break from her job. I was so excited that I nearly peed my pants. I planned a wonderful trip, packed full of entertainment and sightseeing. She was going to get the royal treatment. But, alas, this was not to be. She successfully completed the part of her journey from Tampa to Miami. I have the text to prove it. Then she boarded the plane to Madrid with American Airline only to sit on the tarmac for over FOUR hours. Finally, after torturing everyone, they decided to find a different plane. So, everyone disembarked in order to stand in line for another hour waiting to board a different plane. By that time, my sister knew that she wouldn’t be able to make her next flight from Madrid to Malaga. She talked to an agent and they informed her that the three other flights out of Madrid that day were full and that she wouldn’t be able to get a flight out of Madrid until Saturday. That was several days away. It was Semana Santa week in Spain, so perhaps that accounted for the packed planes. At any rate, she decided to cancel her flight and return home. We were both devastated.

Was I disappointed?

Yes, and I still am, but life on the road is pretty much like life off the road, a series of problems to solve with little bits of great stuff in between. If you think for one moment that traveling frees you from problems, you’re going to be very disappointed. As I said earlier, it’s likely that traveling actually increases the odds of encountering problems. If you want to be a longterm traveler, first learn how to encounter and deal with problems at home. Get really good at creative problem solving, thinking on your feet, bouncing back from disappointment and making the best of things. Then, test your skills on the road. You’ll be surprised. You’ll still need a bit of toughening up. That’s the truth.

I’ve been sick in Malta, Dublin and Mexico. I was bitten by a feral cat in the mountains of Spain and had to get a tetanus shot. I’ve gotten lost many times and been cold, tired and hungry. I’ve encountered bed bugs, pickpockets  and lost my passport once. I’ve fallen on ancient streets. One of the houses I cared for in Mexico was broken into and things were stolen. I’ve met a curmudgeon or two and even a few people who hated Americans. In thirteen years of longterm travel, I’ve had my share of setbacks. That’s life! Ain’t it?

The Balcon de Europa in Nerja, Spain

Traveling is a grand and wonderful way to spend your time. I love it. But life is what it is even if you live everywhere but nowhere like I do. By the way, it’s officially spring in Spain now and I’m digging it.

Happy trails ….

Book by Teresa Roberts. Have you purchased one yet?




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