Life’s a funny thing isn’t it.. just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, just when you’ve got plans, you’re excited and know which direction you’re headed in.. the paths move, the signs change, the wind blows the other way.. North is south, east is west and suddenly, you’re lost.
The truth of the matter is, sometimes it takes it all going wrong in order to send us to the right path. I don’t necessarily believe everything happens for a reason but I do believe there is a lesson to be learnt/something to be taken from everything that happens to us in life, however big or small.
In all the adventures I’ve taken, both now and over the past few years, nothing has gone exactly how I imagined or how I planned it all to be. Sometimes it has gone so wrong I couldn’t believe I’d even got myself in such a mess.
Like the time we were running around the streets of Miami like mad women with our 10 billion suitcases, trying to hail a cab with minutes to spare before our flight. Or the time I got my $200 full wallet stolen on a city bus. Can’t go ignoring the complete and utter creeps I’ve had the displeasure of sharing rooms with for weeks either. Oh and just for laughs, let’s not forget the classic bringing the wrong passport to my visa appointment at the US Embassy in London 7 days before I’m scheduled to leave the country, and only realising when I’m stood at the counter talking to the consulate.. But if it wasn’t for those times, so many moments which make me beam with joy wouldn’t have occurred off the back of them..
A bit of a light hearted example – not so long ago, I visited New York City with some friends. Without a map or a GPS, we wandered around the city all day and eventually tried to navigate our way back to our hotel with horrific failure. We had been walking for hours. Like, literally, HOURS. About 8/9 to be exact. We were in the back end of nowhere, with about $4 between us, crying with tiredness and yelling at each other after days of poker face bluntness (I think we had reached our socialising threshold..). On the corner of the next block we spotted a little bakery so we decided to go inside, refuel and ask for directions. I walked up to the counter and saw the most mouthwatering slice of Nutella banana cake sitting on the side. I threw our sad $4 at the waitress quicker than you can say “fat much??”.. I’ve eaten a LOT of cakes in my lifetime, but never have I eaten a cake as utterly beautiful as that slice!! Suddenly, the three of us were laughing and joking again over a plate of sickly, sugary heaven.
Not only did we find our way back, best pals once more; but I discovered the most incredible little gem of a bakery in the whole world! So, it was hardly a life or death situation. But had we never have gotten lost, we never would have found that place!
I really believe that one thing you really have to take on board both when travelling and just with life in general – never don’t take a chance out of fear of things going wrong. Because honestly, what is the worst that could happen? And don’t even try to tell me that making mistakes aren’t just as fun too.
I learnt a long time ago, you really can survive anything. We are all stronger than we think. Too many people, myself included, have believed in thinking “I cannot cope in x situation.” The truth is, you can. The human instinct is to survive, and we always do. No matter how hard everything gets, if you just continue to get back up, it will get better.
Give your all and don’t give up. Because no matter what you decide, where you end up and with who, everything will be exactly how it should be. Your mistakes and successes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make.
It’s not always easy, but with the right attitude, your Nutella banana cake is just around the corner too.