OVERCOMING SET-BACKS AND STAYING STOKED FOR TRAVEL

When I announced that I would be heading overseas for two months with a lot of solo travel involved, I had an old friend comment to simply “stay stoked.” I read that and totally got it. It is important to note that this friend has worked his ever-loving tail off to make his dreams come true…and it’s happening. So when I saw this simple piece of advice, I 100% appreciated it.

There are days when staying stoked is hard. To make my point clear, I’ll share exactly what happened on my second day of being in Malta.

My husband and I were in Gozo staying at a farmhouse (through Airbnb). We were tired and had traveled by air, land, and sea just to get to our temporary home. However, we were excited to explore, so I confirmed our boat rental for 10 AM the next morning. We set the alarm and awoke to sunlight. I checked the clock, cleared my eyes, and checked it again. It read: 10:50. “Is it really 10:50?!” The answer will not be written, as I do not want to offend anyone, but yes….it was 10:50. I called the boat rental to push it to the next day. No dice. Nasty weather was moving in and our boat day was today no matter what time we would get to the harbor (that was 45 minutes away). So we packed up and headed to our rental car.

Renting the car itself was interesting enough because they chose to give us a 1995 Toyota Tercel. Yes….we paid to rent a car that was 20 years old. Gozo is the size of Manhattan and has around 37,000 residents (for comparison, Manhattan has 1.2 million). This means that when we realized that our 1995 Toyota Tercel’s battery chose to end it’s life, there were very few people around.

In a fantastic turn of events that I will explain in a moment, our car finally started. We got to the boat by 1:30 PM, grabbed a bite to eat at the beach shack restaurant, and finally got into the boat at 2:15, and do you know what? The starter on the boat died. I’m not joking or exaggerating. Luckily, we quickly were taken to an alternate boat and were able to head out to the Blue Lagoon.

That’s when I pulled out my shiny new GoPro that I had plugged in to charge the night before to video the boat ride around the island. Guess what….yep, it was dead. For the love… I had bought the GoPro specifically for this day.

Are you seeing the trend here? Here’s the good news:

The people we flagged down to jump our car not only had cables, but one of them was a mechanic. With the help of these lovely Bed & Breakfast owners (click here to check out there place), we were able to get to the harbor in time spend four hours on the water, jump off cliffs, and snorkel around the island of Comino with perfect weather. The boat rental company was more than accommodating and let us rent the boat late and provided us with a top notch boat quickly when theirs didn’t start.

A lot went wrong that day, but a lot more went right if you think about it. We met awesome people, overcame obstacles, learned that Maltese believe that manual and automatic batteries do not jump the same way, and still were able to do everything that we wanted to do. Plus, what are the chances that a mechanic is the first person you ask to help jump your car? We could have been mad; we could have given up; we could have cursed at the rental agency, but none of that would have helped.

Blue Window and Jennifer.jpg

Things will go wrong when traveling. I have never had a perfect trip, and I doubt that I ever will. My luggage might get lost, my flight may be delayed, my driver could leave me stranded, the car battery might die, and my reservation might have been lost by the restaurant, but nothing was/is a total loss. Whenever things start to go wrong, I try to remember how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to travel and that there are lessons to learn through all that life hands us.

So I’ll leave you with this, stay stoked fellow travelers!