If there is anything in life that is predictable, it is that life itself is unpredictable. No matter how much you plan, scheme, ponder, and wonder there will always be something that comes up that you did not expect. In my personal life these last few months, life has had a way of keeping me on my toes (and away from my blog).
From June to July I found out I was pregnant (hooray!), we were approved for a loan to build our house (hooray!) and then at the end of July, I was laid off from my day job. (not-so-yay).
As someone who spends a great deal of time planning and fretting, suddenly losing my job while three months pregnant and subsequently hunting for another was in no way part of my five-year plan. Add in all the other stressors such as searching for replacement healthcare, wondering if we would still qualify for our house loan with my lack of income, and having to put myself out there to prospective employers on a daily basis with my ever growing bump had me wrapped in my blanket burrito in tears on more than one occasion.
It took some very supportive and caring moments from my husband to remind me that we would be okay and no, we were not going to wind up broke and homeless with a newborn baby. As much as my anxiety had overtaken my brain at times, the reality was – we were going to be okay.
But WHAT was I going to write about on my travel blog!? In the midst of this craziness, my motivation and inspiration had gone completely AWOL.
“What if we never travel AGAIN!?” I lamented to my husband melodramatically.
He laughed and shook his head.
“It may be different with a little one and smaller income, but you really think we could never travel again?”
I thought about it and (of course) he was right. I also was thinking about how this life detour mirrors some of the craziness that can happen during your travel expeditions. Whether it’s a missed connection, language barrier, or a GPS that decides to route you through a sheep field you will come upon things in life (and travel!) that might throw you for a loop.
Here are three of my tips for dealing with the bumps, detours, and road closures of both travel and life.
The best way to handle surprises it to anticipate as many as possible in advance. Chances are you won’t need your safeguards but if you DO, you’ll be so glad you’re ready to make the hiccup a little less painful.
Some things that I do before going on a big trip, for example:
Making copies of all my travel documents and leaving copies/contact information with someone at home in case of emergency.
Printing and carrying paper copies of all confirmations, tickets, and addresses – leaving life up to wifi accessibility can DEFINITELY get you into trouble fast!
Learning as much as I can about the airport, car rental, or public transportation we will be using to minimize surprises and learning curves. (Trust me you will STILL have a learning curve, but at least you’ll know what you’re looking for!)
Carrying cash (especially in foreign countries) to cover surprises like cash only food locations or a finicky credit card.
Learn some different cultural practices or even simple words and phrases to stay polite and be a positive representation of your country.
2. Be aware
When you’re travelling somewhere new, be sure to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Keep an eye on your belongings and valuables, avoid street scammers, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather that might require a coat or umbrella. It’s important to be conscious of your surroundings to keep you safe and having fun throughout your holiday and avoid an unpleasant encounter. If you’re already in a difficult situation, stay in the present as much as you can to minimize worry and anxiety and help yourself in dealing with whatever is at hand.
3. Stay Positive!
I know – this one is easy to say when everything is going well, but truthfully the attitude you have in any frustrating situation will shape not only it’s course, but possibly the memory of the entire vacation. When you get lost on a back road (or in a big city!) you can get angry and frustrated at the GPS and your travel companions and let your day be ruined or you can take a step back and say – “Hey! We’re going to take an unexpected adventure!”. I’m not saying it’s an easy step – and it is completely normal to be upset! – but it is essential to making sure you have a great vacation to not get stuck in the negativity cycle! You’re on an amazing trip! Don’t let yourself get emotionally wrapped up in one rude waiter, long line, or wrong turn; you’ll thank yourself later!
I hope this little piece of insight helps you on whatever adventure you’re currently on or planning. For me, I’m taking it a day at a time -excited for what the future holds and not letting the little things get me down. It’s a great life and I’m here to enjoy and live it the best way I can.