Letting Go

No, no, no, no, no, no!

That did not just happen!

This is not ok! I refuse to accept this!

There must be another way!

This is fixable. Just give me a minute

When things fall apart, it is the worst feeling. You worked, planned, strategized, spent long hours putting together your travel. For everything to derail due to circumstances beyond your control is just not acceptable.

But in some situations none of the phrases above apply. It is not fixable. You will not get it back on track, no matter how many minutes you think about it.

This is extremely difficult for all of us who love to be in control, who love to be able to predict what's coming next. It requires us to learn a new skill:

Letting go

There are times when nothing you do will steer things in the direction you planned. Letting go of that takes stepping away, taking a long deep breath, and accepting that someone else is in control of this one...the travel gods.

Over time I have learned that the travel gods sometimes have a plan of their own and the only thing I can do is go with it. I have also learned that the result, while not what I wanted, can be amazingly positive in the end.

I have learned to trust that their plan is a good one afterall.

No, I'm not going to Brussels

When my flight to Brussels was delayed, causing me to miss the connection for Albania, and my suitcase did not land where I did, I felt angry and frustrated. This was NOT where I wanted to be! However, because of the suitcase delay and late hour, it was impossible to get a flight the next day. Great, I'm stuck in Brussels for an entire day, staying at a nice hotel with a free shuttle into the city.

Wait, this IS great! Because of the travel gods, I got to spend a wonderful day exploring Brussels, eating Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles. I had not planned to see Brussels. But in the end I had a relaxing day and an exciting new adventure. And the suitcase came.

That can't be my train pulling out of the station!

Timing is everything, except when it isn't. Sometimes it's the waiter. Meeting a friend for lunch in Seville before catching a train to France, everything was timed perfectly. During desert she asked our waiter to please call a cab for the train station. But he didn't. Suddenly, I'm running down the street, dragging my suitcase behind, frantically trying to hail a cab. Flying out of the cab & to the platform I tried to hand over my ticket as the person pointed down through the station tunnel at my train, just rolling out. This was disaster because of the plan on the other end. And of course this was the last train of the day.

My lovely friend took me to her house, invited me to join her & friends for dinner. Well, obviously the travel gods had this all pre-planned because, who should be at dinner but a delightful French man who happens to have grown up in Beziers, where I was headed. This wonderful man is now a good friend who spent a week showing me all over not just Beziers but the countryside and beaches. These are places I would not have seen if not for meeting him, on the disastrous day the train left without me. Thank you, travel gods.

The Ferry is going to the wrong place

Booking a ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo was easy. But getting to the dock, the travel gods took over to send me to Colonia del Sacramento instead. Asking why, the response was it only goes to Montevideo certain days and this was not one of them. I was told I could take a bus from there to Montevideo.

Frustrated that my plan for Montevideo was now shortened, I did the only thing I could, stay a night and explore. What a treasure of a town this was, that I would have missed. The icing on the cake was making a new friend who was also on the way to Montevideo and who became a great travel partner. Those travel gods are pretty smart.

I have no idea where I am and it's dark

Driving home from a music event one evening in Paphos, Cyprus I took a wrong turn. The trip should take about 15 minutes. I didn't get worried until it got very dark, it had been at least 30 minutes, and I was on a narrow gravel road.

I couldn't really do anything but keep going, hoping a main road would appear soon. Every so slowly driving along this narrow dark road, strange shapes started to appear in my headlights to the left. Shapes and colors, a stone fence. I've never seen anything like this. Angling the car so the headlights shown directly on this wall of shapes and colors, I realized it was the most unique, art-filled house I had ever seen. I got out and took many photos before refocusing on finding my way home. After another 10 minutes, a paved road came up and I was able to find my way home without incident.

The travel gods took me off the road so I could find this incredible structure. When I showed friends the photos they asked where this is and my answer was, "I don't know. Ask the travel gods!"

Bowing to the Travel Gods

The moral of this story is that sometimes another plan is in the works, one you didn't know about. If there is no way to control the situation, the only course of action is to let go of the control, find the positive in the outcome, and trust that the travel gods have you covered.