I think everyone has moments when they think, "how and why exactly did I get myself into this situation?" and "so this is what my life has become?" For me, this has never happened more often than while travelling. Of course there are the obvious moments like when I'm speaking broken Spanish at the police station in Barcelona, trying to explain that my passport (and everything else) was stolen. I often wonder that as well when I'm wandering around a foreign city alone at night or wandering around a foreign city at night with people I just met (I'm still not sure which is safer!) And, of course, every time I land in a country when I do not know a single word in the language nor how to convert the currency, I have such thoughts. But, on a smaller scale, these sorts of thoughts happen in humorous situations.
Here is a compilation of some of those moments:
1) While in Majorca, I needed a toothbrush around 11 PM and went into a hole-in-the-wall shop, where the lady working offered me a toothbrush out of an already opened pack. No thanks, I'll buy the closed pack of three!
2) When I was at the airport in Dublin, the gate agent asked which airport I was flying to and I couldn't remember for about thirty seconds.
3) In Iceland, my feet kept getting soaked with ice and volcanic ash. It was only until the third or fourth day that I noticed each boot had a massive hole on the sole, which was letting in rocks, ash, and ice. The rooms in Iceland had a geothermal heater along the wall that I put my boots on to dry them between venturing out. I even tried putting plastic bags in my boots, but that too was unsuccessful. One of the workers at Arhus on the south coast of Iceland kindly drove me to a store where I could buy a pair of Viking rubber boots!
4) When I was caught in a rainstorm in Barcelona on my way to the US Embassy, my Primark shoes were literally falling apart as I walked.
5) I lost my membership card to the rink for a few weeks and when I came to the rink with it one day, the worker at the counter/till said, "Oh, you found your card. Where was it?" To which I replied, "It was on the floor of my room." After a long pause, he said, "I take it your room must be really messy?" Yes, you have no idea how messy my room is. Between constantly packing and unpacking for trips and devoting my time in London to exploring and studying, organization is at the bottom of my priority list!
6) I've also gone to bed so late a couple nights in a row that I was too tired to put my clean linens on my bed and just slept on the bare mattress and pillow.
7) The zipper of my backpack broke at the airport in Iceland and after constantly losing and retrieving articles from my backpack, I transferred everything into three plastic bags that kept tearing my hands and ripping at the handles. Luckily, I was able to carry it all on the plane.
8) When I timed to the precise minute when I could leave class and still make my flight to Majorca, only to have the train delayed while on the tracks getting to the airport. I have never sprinted off a train and up the escalators to the RyanAir check in desk and security before!
9) When I was in Sicily, the worker at the grocery store yelled at me in Italian for not weighing a tangerine before trying to buy it and I had no idea what she was talking about or wanted me to do!
10) Similarly, in Weil an Rhein, Germany, I had issues understanding that I couldn't pay with my debit card, mostly because I don't speak German!
11) When I returned to London from Sicily, I tried to pay for a pumpkin in Euros and then proceeded to say "grazie." I definitely wasn't in Italy anymore!
12) I habitually look at flight monitors and momentarily forget which city I'm going to or which one I was coming from.
13) Anytime someone asks where I am from when I'm outside of London, I reply with a lengthy soliloquy of, "I'm from the states, originally from Pennsylvania, but I go to uni in Colorado and I now I live in London."
14) I also have lost all perception of what time it is or what day of the week it is or sometimes even the month. Once I wake up, I have to first remember where I am and then what it is I'm supposed to do that day.
15) When I can pack for a trip in five minutes flat or pack for a weeklong trip with just a backpack, I start to wonder if I'm either really good at packing or forgetting everything essential!
16) When I was in Prague, I overslept and only woke up a few minutes before my bus was ready to depart. In my haste, I fell down the hostel stairwell and sprained my ankle (inconveniently it was my "good" ankle) and then got locked in the basement breakfast room trying to grab an apple for the road. One of the workers let me up a back stairwell, where I met my bewildered tour guide and said, "I haven't even been up five minutes and I've already fallen down the stairs and got locked in a basement."
17) When I went to Basel, Switerzland, I booked accommodation in a cheaper place right over the German border. When we got there, there was no one at the reception area to let us in, just a sign in German and a phone number that didn't work! We went over to a sketchy Turkish restaurant until someone finally came to let us in.
Hi, I’m Crystal! Just like you, I love to travel. You’ll get all the best tips and insights from my experiences as a former ice-skating coach in Iceland and former study abroad student. Of the 24 countries I have visited, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis has been the strangest land yet. Type 1 has not slowed down my travels and you'll learn how to take type 1 with you on the road! You can connect with me further on Instagram @CrystalChilcott, or send me ideas of where I should travel next via email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHappy Travels, Crystal
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