I thought it would be entertaining for you all to get a glimpse "behind the scenes" so to speak. Traveling is most definitely not like that super sweet and serene instagram pic you keep seeing pop up on pinterest of someone completely alone in front of the Trevi Fountain (Rome is NEVER that deserted.)
Traveling downright blows at times. Like, why the fuck did I pay all this money to get this angry in a foreign country kinda blow.
Let's go from first past to present:
Ireland, UK & Paris 2013
1. Ate salmonella tainted Chicken in London
2. Mixed up flight dates from London to Paris. Had to pay $150 to correct tickets.
3. Was not prepared for the STEEP entry fees to some of the tourist attractions. Was so disappointed with the Tower of London.
4. Sickness hit me the day we left London. Was pretty much bedridden for 4 horrible days in the city of lights. Including Christmas.
5. Paid for extra day in hotel because I was too sick to walk around (€200)
6. Too sick to ride the metro. Paid €60 for a shuttle to airport
7. Didn't check flights before getting to CDG only to find out our flights were cancelled due to a storm. We were already at the airport and didn't want to go all the way back to the hotel even though we had already paid for an extra night...
8. Waited 3 hours in a line full of pissed off people to be re-booked and stayed the night in the airport. I laid on the cold marble floor and tried not to vomit on people's shoes.
9. The next morning they screwed up our re-booking and kept shuffling us around from desk to desk trying to figure it out. Eventually, less than 20 minutes before our flight was to depart, an airline employee literally RAN us through 2 terminals, through security and directly onto our airplane as the door was closing.
1. Stayed in Playa Del Carmen. What an awful waste of time and money.
Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice 2015
1. Card didn't work in Iceland airport (should've been a red flag for what was to come...)
2. Order cab to pick us up at our airbnb in Paris to take us to our shuttle bus to ORLY airport. Got up at 3am... and could not find the cab. Eventually had to cross our fingers and try to hail one on a big road. Thankfully, we managed and got there just in time.
3. Bought tickets to the Vatican and assumed we could just show the digital version at the ticket counter. Lady was PISSED and I thought she was going to tell us no. Somehow, they scanned them off my phone and sent us angrily on our way. Phew.
4. Decided to brave the metro (which was kind of hard to navigate in Italian) and go see the catacombs outside the city. After ending up in a super super sketchy part of town not knowing where to go we decided to just cut through a huge park like area...saw a couple of gypsy camps and some old ruins. Walked through a farmers crop. Found an American family that was lost in the same park as us trying to get to the same catacombs.
5. On the train to Florence around 10am, I realized that I left our passports in a drawer at our airbnb in Rome... Had to buy a ticket back to Rome when we got to Florence.
6. When we got to Florence, Police asked to see our passports. Told them we had left them in Rome, but that we had photo copies (life saver).
7. Waited all day with baited breath to find out if Han had gotten there ok, (he's the only one of the group that doesn't speak a foreign language) and if he would be able to get back and find us (he did).
8. He showed up at our airbnb on the outskirts of Florence at around 5pm. It took him so long because his card didn't work to buy metro tickets. So he had to buy euros at a shitty exchange which was taken as a cash advance on our credit card, which = interest. Lots of interest.
There you have it dear readers. We're actually train wrecks. I'm not sure we should even be allowed to travel, but all this nonsense hasn't stopped us yet.
I think problem solving is a good skill to learn. Especially on the fly in an extremely stressful situation in a foreign country :)
The nice thing about all those mistakes, is that they don't happen a second time.
Until next time,
Lulu & Han