Sometimes, things don’t always go the way we plan. During my time abroad there have been several moments where me and/or my friends have planned to do something, but something happened that changed the plans, and that’s okay. An example is dealing with some transportation issues.
On one occasion, when we went to Milan for spring break, we did some research about the tickets before going to the train station, so we knew what train we needed to take. However, once we got there, we were very confused with trying to buy the tickets. The machine that we needed to use sold the tickets based on zones, and we did not know what zone(s) we were going to. At that time, there were no people in the station that could help us because we were not in the busy city center. We stayed a little outside of Milan to save some money (quick little tip, sometimes staying further away from the city center can be cheaper, but make sure there is a mode of transportation that can connect you to the city center/sites you want to visit that is cheap/reliable, if it is not, it’s better to stay closer). Since there was no one we could ask, we quickly decided to work together to try to figure things out. While I was trying to figure out the zones in google, another friend was trying to use the mobile app we found, and another friend was trying to get more information from the ticket kiosk. After doing our individual research, we came together for our little “meeting” and decided what to do. We actually ended up taking a train different from the original plan, but it was what worked the best. At the moment, it definitely felt hectic, but looking back I am proud we managed to figure it out together.
On another occasion, when I went to Madrid with a friend, we were waiting at a bus stop in order to go to the train station and head back to Salamanca. According to our maps app, the bus was delayed but still coming. As we kept waiting for the bus to come, we were getting worried that we might miss our train back home because it was getting closer to departure time. We were in a dilemma. We didn’t know if we should wait to see if the bus came or if we should use another mode of transportation like the metro or a taxi. We wanted to take the bus because we were more familiar with it, and were already at the stop, but at the same time we had been waiting for a long time. This made us think that the bus was either very delayed or was not coming. We had to make a decision fast (something I’ve gotten better at) if we didn’t want to miss our train. I suggested waiting the 5 minutes the app said, and if it didn’t come, then we should take the metro. 5 minutes passed, and the bus did not come. Even though we had never taken the Madrid metro before, we decided that today was the day we were going to take it. Luckily, buying the tickets was really easy and the metro was on time. We got to our train station and were able to catch our train. If I remember correctly, I think there was an event going on in Madrid that day that was causing bus delays.
The unexpected event might feel hectic at the moment, but after getting over it, it makes a memory. Like my friends and I like to say, it gives us stories to tell.