I think it’s safe to say every traveler has had their “oh shit” moment when they realize that a part of their journey might not have been so well thought out. I am currently having mine, so I am writing this post on my iPhone whilest in a taxi that is taking me to the train station. A taxi that will cost me 100 euro roughly because I screwed up on looking at the time of my train ticket and didn’t realize the excessive amount of time that it would take to shuttle 60+ (still-drunk-at-5am) college kids to the airport. I greatly underestimated the time I would need, and in order to avoid having a panic attack, I abandoned the group bus and took a cab solo to guarantee that I would have sufficient time. Definitely not ideal, but it is reality. I didn’t want to miss my train and lose the $100 I already spent on the ticket, so this was my only option. I figure it’s more or less a six of one, half a dozen of the other situation (or so I’m saying because it makes me feel better) because my other option would have been to go to Madrid a night early, pay for transport, a hostel and food, which would have probably been fairly expensive on a Saturday night anyhow. I learned the lesson today that “leaving at 5:30am” has a different meaning when you’re with a huge group of dysfunctional people. Oh well.
This situation also highlights one aspect that I really do not like about Toledo, I really would prefer a big city like Madrid if I were to live in Spain long term. Being 40 minutes away really isn’t bad if you had a car or didn’t have early things to do, but my train is at 8am and the reality is there would be no other way for me to get there. It’s a bummer but I have definitely learned my lesson from it, it cost me money but to save the stress of needing to switch train tickets and everything else, I would say it’s worth it.
I guess the point of this post, besides venting about my frustrations to the interwebs, is just that it’s important to have extra money stashed away for problems like this. Stuff happens, you don’t want to be budget down to the last dollar, so that if there were an emergency you would be SOL. The bus you were on going from Paris to Barcelona breaks down and then you’re late and miss your flight. Your wallet gets swooped by a gypsy outside the colosseum. You get the shake down from a shady cab driver or train employee. This kind of crap happens to travelers all the time, and despite the fact that while it is happening, everyone just wishes they could teleport to their own bed back home, vowing to never leave again, it is these experiences that season us, bruising our egos now to toughen our skin for the future.
I’m grateful for credit cards and that I have a job waiting for me when I get back to the States. Sometimes it’s easy to let a minor financial setback or road bump throw a wrench in a trip, but being negative and obsessing on a setback (something I do far too often) is not going to make the situation better. Money is a renewable resource, you can spend it and earn it time and time again. Opportunities to go to San Sebastián, however, are probably much more sparse for me, and many. Looking forward to a good trip with hopefully no more drama in store, but even if it happens I’m determined to stay positive.
If you have had a poor planning experience, leave a comment on this post! I believe it’s important to share the stories of our mistakes with others, so we don’t all have to learn from our own mistakes, but also the mistakes of someone else. Makes it a bit easier for all of us.
The sun does burn, the sea is cold, but we’re all in the same rowing boat.