When I think of my upcoming travel plans, I imagine 50+ different ways I’m going to have fun and be blown away. The sights and sounds of Europe combined with the chance to meet both locals and fellow backpackers, a recipe for the time of my life.
I see myself eating croissants in Paris, dancing up a storm at a nightclub in Prague and maybe even sampling some of the treats Amsterdam has to offer. We all do it, focus on all the great things ahead of us and not even give a thought to anything going wrong. Why would you, when your concentrating so hard on heading overseas where everything is so new and exciting.
My entire trip preparation has been a breeze, not a stumbling block in sight. That was until a volcano nobody can pronounce the name of decided to blow its top and fill the sky with ash. Now the once busy Heathrow Airport is deserted and the only thing you’ll see in the sky is a bird or two above Europe. Will I fly out to Paris this Saturday or not? I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that one just yet.
I’m lucky that everything planned for my trip is open to change and deviation. Another great reason to only ever plan a tentative travel itinerary. If I get to Europe this week or next so be it, I’m not going to loose sleep over something out of my control.
The same goes for when I land abroad. Bad things will happen, just like they can when your still at home. Maybe I’ll just screw up the time of my next flight like poor Lauren did when I caught up with her in Melbourne earlier this year. Sure it was an inconvenience and cost extra money but would getting all worked up about it have helped? Instead I scored extra time to chat with her and we relaxed with a few beers. Sure Lauren would have loved to be home that night but I’m sure she still had fun (I hope).
Worse still you might get robbed or caught up in a scam like Lindsay did in Southeast Asia. You always hear stories about certain places so if your going somewhere that is known for scams or pick pockets be sure to keep your wits about you and be prepared that it may happen to you.
Knowing what your in for and being willing to roll with the punches is all part of backpackers need to know guide book. Some things are easily overcome with copies of travel documents and a stash of cash and a credit card. Others like plane cancellations or your hostel burning down are going to leave you stopped in your tracks.
If I’m confronted with any of these while abroad I’ll be annoyed but know that it will just be another note for my journal, a story to be re-told and laughed about. Travel with an open mind and a smart head, then leave the rest up to destiny.