When you see travellers’ Instagram feeds you only see the good parts of being on the move. What you don’t see is the stress that comes along with it because travelling doesn’t always go smoothly. I’ve been lucky enough that my smooth to sh*t ratio is pretty good. But my last two journeys had their bumps in the road.
On the way home from Bali everything was going great until I was in the air on my flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam. Just 1.5 hours into the flight the pilot, who spoke little English said, “just to say, the plane is broken and we must turn back around to Jakarta”. I sh*t you not, that is what he said. What type of pilot enforces panic by telling a jumbo-jet full of people that the PLANE IS BROKEN?! After sitting in the airport for another few hours they bused us off to a hotel for a total of one-hours worth of sleep before they pick us up at 8.30am…ONE-HOUR BEFORE OUT PLANE IS DUE TO GO. And yes, we had to check in and go through security (of a busy East Asian airport) all over again. Then I find out on the plane I haven’t got my requested vegan meal – not even a vegetarian one is available for me.
That was my first ever sh*t storm whilst travelling in my 20 years of experience.
The second and most recent happened just a few days ago. My flight from London Gatwick to Milan was at 7am, so at 4am I get into my car and drive to the airport, aiming to be there by 5am at the latest. At 4.30am I get stopped on the motorway behind an accident. In maybe 10 minutes 3 ambulances and a police car made their way through the congestion. I sat STILL for over an hour, before a policeman came to my window and said they were turning us around. I informed him I had to get to Gatwick for my flight at 7am and he looked at me and said “so?”, with a ‘what am I supposed to do face?’. Now I was angry and rudely asked, “SO, how do I get there from here?” With directions in tow I made my way to the airport, parked my car and had to sprint through the airport where my flight had been boarding for the last 20 minutes. Wasting £6 at a drinks machine trying to get water, and failing, I ran into my seat hoping that everything was a-okay from here on out.
But I didn’t Instagram about these incidences. I chose to post about my beach days in Bali and my day-trip to Lake Como in Italy. Don’t assume travellers live in a stress-free world, where everything smells like daisy. You can guarantee that at least one thing had gone wrong during their trip – they just choose not share it, because who wants to be a Debby Downer?
Despite all the sh*t that comes with being a traveller, us globetrotters would never give it up. Not for anything in the world.
Besides, it turns us into story tellers.