My trip back was one of the most exiting I've had in my life. And I've done a fair amount of travelling. Usually I end up making most trips with someone, and I honestly enjoy it better that way. At least you have someone to talk to, or watch your stuff while you ask for directions, or to vent your frustrations onto.
This time I was travelling alone, but I wasn't too worried. I've done it before, I figured I could do it again. Well after my bus was 30 minutes late I started to change my outlook on the situation. I asked my fellow passengers what was wrong, but no one seemed to know what was going on. So we waited, and waited and waited, braving the rain and unpleasant weather.
(I had a moment to take a picture so you could partake of the situation with me.)
Waiting for the bus to arrive.
How I felt at that point (a mixture of tired, frustrated and annoyed).
After an hour of waiting in the cold we found out our bus was delayed and would be there 4 hours late. It was already 9 PM so this was NOT a pleasant prospect. But to look on the bright side of things at least we were able to wait inside.
(At this point I wanted to take more pictures, but I was far too tired and had too much luggage that I needed to keep an eye on. But imagine a brightly lit terminal with people milling around.)
I realized just how fascinating people are. Observing them can be very interesting and informative. Terminals especially attract a wide variety of people. There was the cute girl next to me engrossed in her book, the ditsy over-dressed girls talking loudly about their makeup in the corner, the couple eating sandwiches behind me. Taking all this in made me realize how rich our lives really are. If we just take a moment too look around us we can find beauty and intrigue in everything. Watching people being greeted by loved ones - families, boyfriends, children - never ceased to bring a smile to my face. I felt so lucky I had a place to go home to, somewhere to call home. There was a place where I was loved and missed. And that thought made any inconvenience seem much more bearable.
The bus arrived and the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Well, if you don't call drunk people being rowdy on the seat behind you, or the older woman snoring in the seat in front of you eventful. Or the fact that the bus attendant lost a semi-important document that was inserted in my passport. Because of the traffic I also missed my other bus connection, but thankfully was able to postpone my reservation in time to catch the next one.
I do have a few tips though for those of you who are planning on travelling long distances in the near future. I wish I had adhered to these rules myself, because I believe they would have made things a whole lot more pleasant for me.
- Always be prepared for mishaps. Go by the motto that "Things that you plan don't happen and things happen that you don't plan".
- Don't freak out when things go wrong. When I first realized that my bus was delayed a million thoughts went through my head. "How would I catch my next connection? Would I be stranded somewhere? What if I didn't have enough money to get where I needed?" After a few frantic moments I realized worrying wouldn't get me anywhere. Whatever happened, happened and I was going to just take things as they come. And in the end it all worked out ok.
- Don't carry too much luggage. In my case this was unavoidable as I was bringing back late Christmas presents from my family. But travelling lighter would have saved me a lot of tiredness and stress, not to mention bruises on my legs from the bags banging against them. A good rule of thumb is only take as much as you can COMFORTABLY carry.
- Look on the bright side. This totally saved my sanity on this trip. I decided to entertain myself while waiting instead of bemoaning the fact that I would be late. I enjoyed looking out the window since I wasn't able to sleep all night long (due to the commotion in the bus). And when all else fails laugh when you feel like crying (something I had to do on more then one occasion).
Do you have any travel tales/tips to share?