The best advice I can give you
Go with the flow. Roll with the punches. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m out of cliches but that sentiment is the most important thing you can learn about travelling.
The back and forth over getting my China visa could have made me crazy–and not having my passport did make me a little nervous–but the waiting didn’t because I know how to not let small setbacks bother me. There’s always somewhere else I could visit, a country who doesn’t require a visa and would be more than happy to take my money in exchange for food and hotel stays. That knowledge makes all the difference.
Remember, when it gets hard–subway workers are on strike and you can’t get across town, the only museum you wanted to visit is closed for renovations, the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower is out of order, St Mark’s Square is under water–there’s always something else to see and do. Even in the smallest towns there will be something else to do and if that something else is something you don’t like or can’t do, simply embrace the moment as an adventure that will become a great story to tell your friends and family about your trip. Any adventure that doesn’t end in a hospital visit or a stay in a foreign prison is a good adventure. Even a night stuck in a train station because you couldn’t find a hotel room can be a great story to tell your friends when you get home. In fact, it’ll probably be the story you tell most often.
So much of the world never has the opportunity to go more than a few miles from the place where they were born. The chance to travel is an amazing thing. If you didn’t want to experience new and different things you would never have left home. Sometimes travel is stressful and it’s important to acknowledge that but if you don’t let things go you will ruin your trip. Only you can do that because only you have control over your attitude. Presumably you are travelling to learn new things and see stuff you can’t see at home. Don’t let frustration or disappointment cloud your vision.
I can confidently say I have never been on a bad trip. I have never had a bad experience. I did get stuck in Paris during a Metro strike–fortunately it was a brief strike–but I got to walk through neighborhoods I would not have seen otherwise. I have also been sick in Istanbul. That time, I did miss a day of sightseeing, but I still had a wonderful time on my other two days in town and that missed day is just incentive to go back.
Certainly, when things go screwy, take some time to be frustrated, vent your frustration to your companion, be angry for a little while. And then…let it go. Let it go and start thinking about plan B. Who knows, plan B may end up being the best part of your trip.
Well there’s an optimistic side of you I’ve never seen before. 😉