What You Do When Things Go Wrong While On The Road?

Shit happens, just get out of it and complain about it, but let the drama for others. Life is alive and unexpected things happen especially while you are on the road.

Before we talk about any attitude handling, you have to follow the Basic travel safety rules. No attitude can pay your 20 000 EUR hospital bill in lack of your insurance policy. Only by respecting the basic travel safety rules it make sense for you to continue reading this post.

I see 3 main triggers when something bad happens:

1. This life is a bitch! everything happens to me! only!
Raise your hands the ones who at least ones had the feeling: gosh! why everything happens to me? Good luck, you see I’m at my edge to make it, and instead of helping me out, you tangle me even more. This is not fair! You should be supporting meat least ones in a while. Why only the others can have everything and me not?!

For the sick of the world balance, it is not possible that everything goes well all the times. And not possible that things go wrong all the time. But this is another topic. We humans are so good in seeing the bad things and passing by the good things.

Especially on a long trip, expect bad things to happen: strikes, terrorism, natural disasters, just a simple flat tire, engine breakage. Remember if nothing happens, the world is unbalanced and sooner or later nature will take action.

They are things which you may see them as bad luck, but they are not: it’s just the way it is. For example bad currency exchange. Take it as normal to lose money on it and budget this as simple travel infrastructure. Another example is lost luggage. Read the article of 6 harsh truths on how the airlines see your luggage.

2. You watch out! You are ruining my trip! Are you idiot! Can’t you see you did it wrong?!
The taxi driver got you via the most congested road and you missed your bus? The embassy receptionist wrote your nationality wrong and your visa got rejected? If somebody made a stupid thing which causes you a trouble, you have a face and a name and whom to blame and shout and scream, isn’t it? Now take a run (only more than 15 k counts), climb a mountain (only more than 4k counts). Now take a shower. Take a nap. repeat it for 4 days. Good. Now we can talk. If the person did it intentionally or not, apologizes or not, it doesn’t really matter. Nobody will bring the missed things back.

Just be courteous and the things usually are fixed easier and smoother and if they aren’t and it frustrates your, then read the end of the last paragraph again: take a run, climb a mountain and you’ll get over it. Of course is easy to say it than do it. Tell me about it. But with lots of practice everything can be done. Just think it’s for your own benefit. And of course, don’t be that severe with you – you don’t have to be kind all the time. World isn’t perfect, so do you.

3. How stupid I could be?! When things go wrong because you did something wrong.
What happens when your best friend does a mistake? Remember you are your own better friend than your best friend.
We are humans and we make mistakes. Even to the most versatile travelers it happens to make stupid mistakes as booking a wrong plane ticket or getting ripped off. To this you add getting lost, making bad deals, being ripped off in your face, missing connections because you don’t respect the travel golden rules, etc.

It happened to be several times:

  • I booked a return ticket in the wrong day, so I missed my flight and I had to pay another one to get out
  • Air Asia didn’t let me board in Ho Chi Min City to Hong Kong transiting Bangkok because I my Thai visa was already used. So I missed 3 flights and had to pay for my flight outside Vietnam. My fault, I could have get another Thai the visa for free, but I didn’t read the terms and conditions of Air Asia.
    But know I know the terms and conditions even better than the airline personnel.
  • For the first time in my life I lost my bank card. 2 of them. Both in my Latin American trip, and the worst is that I really don’t know how and when. Don’t worry if you find them, my bank took care of me and cancelled them. But now I can tell you better than some bank employees what do you have to do, how long it takes, how is it issued, everything.
  • I booked 2 tickets to get to Cairo from Bucharest but luckily I made it through, my suitcase didn’t. You can read the learning on How to pick up your luggage from Cairo even it is checked in till Istanbul?.

All these mistakes I’ve made in the past is what gave me such an extensive knowledge about traveling: airlines, fares, regulations, transportation, etc. Now when Luftansa personnel gets on strike I find alternative routes to my flights that the airline personnel can’t. Check out my post on How do I plan the infrastructure of my trips. All this knowledge had a price.

I encourage mistakes, as long as you learn something out of it.

And what’s the best you do when things go wrong either than fine learning from it, cool down, be nice, all that bla bla?

Have a risk budget for such kind of things. Consider it part of the trip, or an investment, not lost money. Basically no matter who’s fault it, just take it, complain if that makes you feel better, claim compensation, raise a complain, file a court case, everything needed so it doesn’t happen again to somebody else. BUT make your way out and enjoy your trip. In my opinion life isn’t about who’s fault is, is about what you did with everything you’ve got good or bad. So, when shit happens, train your mind to think: it’s a trap. I’m gonna win! I’m gonna make my way out and enjoy my trip!

Just to end this post in a positive manner, risk means an unexpected event, good or bad. And in the future I’ll write a separate post on risk budget while traveling and How to use your risk opportunities wisely when traveling. Follow me to get an update when the posts will be available.

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