It’s been one thing after another…yikes!
I’m no travel rookie. Since the moment I was about to step on the plane heading to Scotland, however, Travel God wasn’t going to cut me a break anytime soon. Here’s how nothing, and I mean NOTHING went my way from Paris to Edinburgh. But I vowed to have an incredible time regardless.
1. easyJet speedy boarding…
…Is, apparently, a necessity. Without it, I couldn’t have a carryon as well as a handbag to board the plane. The website should bold, underline this more clearly, since I read and re-read the conditions of NOT purchasing speedy boarding. Regardless, I was stopped right at the gate and had to pay $60 to check in my tiny little carryon luggage. THIS wasn’t a good start, I was fuming.
2. Missing the airport taxi line.
During solo travel, my ritual of arriving at airports is typically to immediately look for the taxi line. At Edinburgh airport, for some reason, following the taxi signs required A LOT of walking and passing by other terminals. Somehow I completely missed it and found myself in the middle of a parking lot near rental cars. Ahhh!!! Solution: Asked the rental car counters for what to do. Consolation: They provided an amazing insider tip, “Walk over to Double Tree Hotel and order Uber from there. It’s A LOT cheaper!” Hmm…I already really like the Scottish!
3. The Guest House’s door was locked.
Which meant I wasn’t able to enter my hotel/guest house/bed & breakfast for two hours because the owner fell asleep. It was cold, rainy, and I was stuck outside where the Uber driver felt really bad so he stayed with me for 20 minutes but had to leave for another call. Solution: I spotted two Chinese ladies entering the guest house next door, so I spoke Mandarin immediately asking to use their Wi-Fi inside. They let me in so I could charge my phone and call American Express from whom I booked the hotel. Two hours later, next door opened and I stopped screaming at Amex since I no longer had to book a hotel at the last minute. Consolation: Being multilingual tremendously helps during dire situations. Thanks to these Chinese ladies, I didn’t have to bear the rain with a luggage in a summer dress. We parted ways with several hugs.
4. NOTHING was open on Sunday nights!
Which was exactly when I arrived, so looking for something to eat was nearly impossible. I was FAMISHED!! Solution: My guest house’s owner felt immensely guilty that he fell asleep earlier, so he drove me to a pub where he wasn’t sure if the kitchen was still open. Consolation: As always, I befriend the bartenders who opened the kitchen just for me. Since then, I had been cruising with the crew who also showed me some raging nightlife hotspots.
5. Don’t trust the weather app.
I knew Scotland would be raining, but no one told me Edinburgh would be so windy that there was no point holding an umbrella when it would flip upside down in seconds. Solution: Sacrifice time to sightsee for browsing through Marks & Spencer to buy a raincoat. Consolation: Hey, at least I got to buy my very first raincoat in Scotland. Totally and fashionably appropriate!
6. The wind could cut glass.
My eyes literally teared up as soon as I stepped outside. Without waterproof makeup, my entire face looked like a Monet’s masterpiece except it wasn’t pretty…at all. Solution: I ended up wearing sunglasses even when it wasn’t sunny. Consolation: Shades are always the best way to cover up dark circles that suddenly appeared from staying out too late the night before.
7. The train actually left an hour earlier than predicted.
I’ll fully take the fault for this one. Somehow, I thought my train to Glasgow left at noon when in fact, it was leaving at 11 a.m. As I was taking a shower, something just didn’t feel right so I checked the train time again on my phone only to find out I had to arrive at the train station in 20 minutes. Solution: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Consolation: The Scottish are so nice that my taxi driver rushed like hell, folks working at the train station helped me reached to my train right when it was about to take off. THANK GOODNESS!!
8. When the Airbnb I booked ended up not being in city center.
A total bummer because when I booked the apartment in Glasgow, I only focused on the reviews and star ratings. Though I booked the top rated option, it required another train ride (not metro) to reach the outskirts of the city. Solution: Enjoy the Airbnb and not stress about hitting every landmark. Consolation: My incredibly friendly Airbnb host definitely merits his star ratings, and the apartment is so beautifully spacious and cozy that I was secretly considering never leaving!
It’s been awhile since I’ve encountered a marathon of travel mishaps. When things don’t go your way, instead of letting them drag you down, focus on the upside to every annoying situation. I’m still loving Scotland, even though I haven’t seen much of it just yet!
Photo: Wendy Hung
What do you do in dire travel situations? Share with us in the comments.