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What to do when travel goes wrong

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Sometimes, in life and in travel, you just have to admit defeat. When everything is stacking up against you, there's nothing to do but roll with it.

Because you can't make a plane land quicker. You can't make a bus arrive at a time any other than it wants to. You can't make a train wait for you.

It's a very hard lesson to learn, and even harder to put into practice, but it needs to be done.

I had a nightmare day today. After getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight, I ended up landing 20 minutes late. If I was flying into a larger airport this probably wouldn't have mattered. But at Knock, if you miss your bus, you'll be waiting 2 hours for the next one.

Frustrating as this was, it was worsened by the fact that the bus I missed was getting me to a train, which also leaves every two hours. So I missed both.

After I ran to the bus stop, praying that the bus may have been late arriving (as it always fucking is when I don't want it to) I decided to chance my arm hitching. I used to hitch from the airport quite a lot, and never had much trouble. People felt sorry for me - usually older, lone women couldn't bear to see me standing with my thumb out.

Three of those women stopped for me today, but unfortunately they were all going to a weird place I'd never heard of. I was stood in the driving, FREEZING rain. Raindrops were literally freezing to my eyes. A man pulled over and told me to get in. He only took me to the next town (which, truthfully, wasn't very helpful at all) where I pitched into a pub and planned my next move.

The ins and outs of all the disasters of the day aren't interesting. Let's just say that lots of things, as well as the travel plans, went wrong. I ended up having to make the decision to bail on Dublin, where my train was heading, and just go home.

Luckily, I had that option. If I had missed a flight, for example, or been in a foreign land, the decision would have been much harder. But I had to just let it go. Yes, my day was severely messed up. I didn't do something very important, which I should have done. But I had no choice. My second bus, which would have got me to another train, was late. So I missed that too.

There was nothing I could do then, and there's nothing I can do now. The only thing I can do is take a deep breath and let it go.

If this doesn't do the trick, I can also recommend screaming at your wheelie suitcase when it trips you over. Also, kicking a postbox and swearing very loudly.

If you're a special kind of person, you can say "Sorry, Hedwig" after you kick the postbox, and then you can giggle softly to yourself.

Either way, it'll all work itself out.


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