Friday, January 3, 2014

When travel isn't all it's cracked up to be

Our trip to Croatia has been a small amount of fun, cool moments and an overwhelming amount of frustrating, not working out, what do we do now hot mess. The trip got off to a bad start and never seemed to recover. We are finally leaving tomorrow, but not before this trip wacked us upside the head again, in the form of our day trip to Mostar being cancelled and the tour company forgetting to notify us. Awesome.

Fionn had already been to Mostar and much of Bosnia during his solo traveling bachelor days, so he wasn't really too bummed, but I was pretty sad. As a history nerd, I really wanted to see the place where so much history happened in my lifetime. But it just wasn't in the cards for us today.

Dejected, we returned to our hotel room to do what we've been doing a lot in Croatia-catching up on American TV (we don't have a TV in Germany). Fionn eventually went for a walk, and I was left to my thoughts (and by extension, the blog).

Of course, my thoughts were negative. This trip was such a waste. Why didn't we book the Mostar tour last week? WHY did I suggest we go to Croatia in the first place??

Croatia was definitely not our first choice. Since this was our last big vacation before moving stateside, we planned to go big. We wanted to do India! We sent Fionn's passport in to get extra pages for the visas we'd need...and then the government shut down, along with all passport services. We ran out of time to get a visa, so we had to cancel plans. We switched gears. How about Thailand? I started planning a trip to Dubai and Thailand that I was really excited about. I was hours away from buying the tickets when Fionn called and said Army higher ups denied him permission to go due to the riots and escalating political problems in Bangkok. So that plan also went out the window.

At that point we were a week away from leaving for our Amsterdam/Cooenhagen trip with Fionn's parents. Ticket prices were skyrocketing. We've already seen most of what we want to see in Europe. We were running out of time when we settled on Croatia.

As I was moping around this morning, wondering if I'd "wasted" our last travel opportunity while we live in Germany, I had to stop and check myself. Yes, this trip has been a bit if a letdown. But we have done SO many trips this year that were giant, mega watt successes. Dream come true, I-never-thought-I'd-actually-do-this, kind of kid at Disneyland type feeling. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter that one trip was a bit blah?

And when I thought about that I realized something else-I was majorly romanticizing our past trips. There have been lots of places where we got bored after a while or had frustrating travel mishaps. We have had fun in Croatia. I loved Montenegro and Dubrovnik and Split were pretty neat places to visit. True, this trip was not on par with Morocco, Greece, or Iceland, but that's another thing I realized-

Life is not a highlight reel. Not every trip has to be perfect or get a bunch of hits on the blog or be a check off my bucket list. Sometimes it is what it is-leaving home to see a new place. No big deal or life lesson learned, just normal, everyday sometimes boring life.

An awesome day during this trip, when I wasn't being a grumpy gills ;)

Even though we have been bored on this trip, I have loved how much time Fionn and I got to spend 
together. Cuddled up in hotel rooms, watching a movie and eating take out or just sitting and chatting, I have enjoyed this time together. For the past year, Fionn's job has been incredibly demanding. He works long hours and sometimes even straight through the weekend, his phone is always going off, and when he is home, he's dead tired from work. Nine days to do nothing but spend time together, especially before all the moving across the Atlantic chaos begins, was actually really great for us. 

Tomorrow we are going home to Bavaria. I'm happy to finally go back. Yeah, I'm disappointed I won't be coming back with a tan and tales of riding elephants outside Bangkok or hunting seashells in Ko Phi Phi or exploring the souks of Dubai or getting my picture in front of the Taj Mahal. Those all would have been seriously bad ass trips that would've been pretty cool. But I'm happy I got to see Dubrovnik, got to walk the walled city of Budva in Montenegro, got to eat cake with our sweet Croatian neighbor on New Year's Day, and got to snuggle my sweet husband and watch history shows.

Sometimes as a blogger, you forget how to live in the moment. Life becomes one big series of blog posts. But life IS boring sometimes. Travel IS boring and frustrating and annoying sometimes. Life always has ugliness and beauty, negative and positive. Today I'm looking at the beauty.

...but I still haven't given up on riding that elephant! ;)


  1. I often forget this too that every event can't be epic and you just end up trying to one up yourself over and over. I have to remember this and enjoy the downtime too.

    1. It's hard, but I'm thankful for the reality check I got on this trip. You're right, if you're just trying to one up yourself it takes all the fun out of it!

  2. Such a good post filled with blogger insights and such stellar truths. I'm glad you were able to be bored together and really take the time to slow down and realize that we need to live in the moment. Thanks for sharing :]

    1. Thanks! I feel like I can always use more reminders to live in the moment..

  3. The positive side of being cuddled up in hotel rooms sounds pretty good to me! A pity that things didn't work out as you'd hoped, but I'm sure travel opportunities will still be available :)

  4. Sounds like the experience I had in Geneva in November. I was really disappointed with that particular trip, and had a hard time finding the positives, too. I'm happy to see that you did find something enjoyable about the trip, and I really do hope you can squeeze in some more travel before you move to the states.

    1. me too! If not, I've got my sights set on Central and South America once we're stateside...