Travelling – the lucky, the unlucky and the unbelievable.
After leaving my position at The Wonderland in October to travel for a few years, I can’t quite let go of being a WonderGirl just yet. With that in mind, still writing for the Wonderland blog is a way I can not only keep in touch with my work friends and colleagues, but share some of my travel experiences too.
It’s nearly a month into my travels around South and Central America. I’ve spent 3 weeks in Brazil and a week in Uruguay so far… we’ve been in the clouds with Christ The Redeemer, walked along the top of an 82m waterfall, sunbathed on white sands and trekked through jungles spotting snakes and monkeys. But it’s not all been plain sailing…
I knew I was unlucky before, but surely my lucky streak was starting with my travels?? Wrong.
First day: we couldn’t board our flight to Rio as we couldn’t prove we were leaving Brazil within the 90 day visa limit. But what about spontaneity? What about not having a plan? Cue PANIC at 6am Heathrow Terminal 2. We ended up having to book a costly, long winded flight we didn’t want to get… But hey, never mind, we’re off to travel the world! Worry free!
First week: our hostel room flooded, not once… But twice. Cue, PANIC at Copacabana as my iPad and other electrical belongings got wet from being in a locker at floor level. All was saved as they survived the ordeal with just a splash. The same week, Jarryd’s (my boyfriend and travel partner) bank card wouldn’t work. How do you call your bank from Brazil without spending a million pounds? Parents and online banking were our saviours on that front.
Second week: this time it’s my turn for money problems as a large amount of money mysteriously disappears from my account. Also, we thought we had lost our passports. Cue, PANIIIIIC at Iguassu. Turns out it was a bank malfunction and Jarryd had left our passports accidentally at the hostel reception. PHEW (I will handle passports from now on).
Third week: walking along the beach happily when I slipped on a rock at the same time a large wave decided to come splashing along, taking me with it. Cue PANIC on florianopolis beach as I had been carrying a bag that contained my phone and beloved camera (plus wallets and food and clothing but who cares about them). A bit of crying and we put said phone and camera into rice for around 4/5 days. My phone survived (hallelujah) however my camera is no more, with salt water in the lens, now possibly rice inside the camera (don’t ask) and its also probably short circuited due to the water which means it won’t switch on.
Fourth week: now I shall not go on to explain my other unlucky situations.. What I will say is, despite all of these things happening, my attitude towards such events has changed massively since being away. Without trying to sound new age or philosophical (honest) travelling teaches you that money is just money, and possessions really are just things – you can always get them back.
What we have been lucky with so far, are the sights we’ve seen, people we’ve met, experiences we’ve had whether good or bad – sometimes the bad end up becoming hilarious stories you tell to people weeks on, laughing so much at the kind of events that you couldn’t have scripted beforehand.
We’ve been lucky with the kindness of strangers – something that is forgotten sometimes in a busy life. When travelling it’s something you rely on – whether it’s asking for directions from someone on the street, or meeting a new friend who shows you around their home town at a later point in your trip.
Mishaps happen, and when you’re on the road there isn’t too much you can do about it. A positive outlook is key – no camera? That’s fine, all the more reason to take in my surroundings instead of searching for the perfect picture. No phone? That’s fine, all the more reason to talk to those around me instead of scrolling through Facebook. No money? That’s more tricky, but that’s when the kindness of your friends, family and strangers come in handy, not to mention all of the free things you can do in cities around the world.
And so I conclude… It’s coming up to Christmas and that’s all the more reason to be kind to a stranger, to look up from your phone, not to worry when things seem to go wrong, as it all works out in the end!
If you like, you can read more about my travels on my blog here: www.unguidedwonder.wordpress.com
Written by Emmy (Wandering Wondergirl)