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Trying To Control Travel Plans: Sometimes Terrible Sh*t Happens

Should We Try To Control Travel Plans?

The other day I was “stuck” at the Tunis, Tunisia ferry port for almost seven (7) hours, and I started thinking about how often we try to “control” things. I certainly did that in my career, my marriage and within my role as a stepfather, but about 2013, when my life changed, I changed as well and let go of a lot of control. I learned to live in Faith and allow the Universe to do its thing. Granted, sometimes I balked, but let’s talk about travel.

A Few Times When Sh*t Happened

When you travel, you have a plan, an agenda. You want things to go a certain way because usually you have a limited time so don’t have time for rain or missed trains or things that can (and do) sometimes go wrong. But, shit happens.

travel plans

Since travel is my life, inevitably things go wrong, too. Mostly we flow with and let it go, but sometimes BIG things go wrong. Case in point.

We arrived in Syracuse, Sicily on October 25 and were greeted by mild showers which turned into an amazing lighting, thunder and rainstorm later that night. We saw the lights outside flicker and go out so knew that our power was out too, and there wasn’t anything we could do about it. A huge thunderclap and lightning strike towards morning caused a spark in the kitchen and had no idea what it was until we discovered our wifi was out.

It stayed out for about four days since our router got fried as well as the cable lines into the city block where we were staying. The very thick concrete walls blocked mobile and data services so the only way for us to get wifi or data was to go to a local coffee shop or hotel. No big deal; shit happens.

A few days after that we returned to our unit one night to find a firetruck in front of our apartment along with a dozen firefighters, locals and neighbors. For a few days we had no idea what was happening since we couldn’t communicate, and then found out that an interior staircase collapsed in the unit a few doors down. The city put a DO NOT ENTER sign on the building and no one could go in or out.

A few days later the city started repairs and erected six floors of scaffolding outside our back doors, followed a week later by the same thing on the other side; then they started tearing up the street. For weeks there were workers walking by our doors, continual noise and unplanned distractions.

But there was nothing we could do and were told the day we vacated that they estimated it would take two years to finish the work on that building! They should have condemned it, but they rarely do that with a 500-year-old building. And so, shit happened.

Oh, the old lady that lived in the unit was the local cat feeder, too, so when she left the cats came ‘round and cried continually looking for their handouts. Even as a cat lover I reached my wit’s end, but again… it happened.

And now I sit, waiting for a ferry that is six hours late. They were “supposed” to offer us water and food, but they did not and instead of leaving at 6:30 p.m., we finally left port about 1:30 a.m. the following morning. And there wasn’t a damn thing we could do about it.

The moral of the story is that “shit happens” in travel plans, in life and certainly in business. Sometimes we just have to let go and Let It Be.

And so it is.

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About The Author
Norm Bour
Norm Bour
Norm Bour has been a full time travel journalist and nomad since leaving the US in 2019 with his wife, then girlfriend, at ages 64 and 65. He has been with Manopause almost from the beginning, and has written many articles since 2020. He just hit country #35 since then, and in total has been to 47 different ones. As a baby boomer, his mission is to encourage, motivate and inspire the “Fifty Plus” crowd to experience life while they are able. Norm and Kathleen live a higher quality life outside the US with much less money, and his blog, www.TravelYounger.com , shares their experiences from the beginning, along with all the lessons learned along the way. He recently wrote Nomadic Life for All Ages, which is availableon Amazon
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