I love to travel, but let’s be real… Sometimes things just go way off plan.
You know what I mean. The adventurous order from a foreign-language menu that results in 3 cocktails for dinner (with no remaining food budget). Flight delays, language barriers & incomprehensible metro systems always come at the worst of times. But for all its rigours, the rewards of travel are pretty great.
Take my recent trip to Italy. A delayed flight meant I lost my car hire reservation. Without a car, I was stranded at the airport. And whoa, I don’t operate without an overnight charge. All to say, a series of unfortunate events left me feeling pretty unwanted in Italy :(.
The next day, we hit a café bar and found a serious party kicking into high gear. A guy waved us in with a scratch card and bellowing Bravo Ragazzo! I came to learn the remark was directed at my boyfriend and means good boy. This guy won €500 from a scratch card and was celebrating at the bar! He spent the next few hours buying people drinks and telling us about his plans to travel to New Zealand one day. After he hit on my friend, we also learned of his 2 kids and wife. Vehemently protesting against any attempt we made to buy a round of drinks, I’m confident the man left the bar without much remaining from his winnings. He even bought some kid an icy when he came romping into the bar.
Italy made peace with me. By sharing the joys of a local man’s lotto win, I experienced the true character and generosity of this country. These moments go beyond any itinerary. I was lucky.
I guess that’s what makes travel so appealing to me. Extreme circumstances bring out emotions – good and bad – that change our perspectives and add depth to our lives.