You’re over 1000 miles away from the place you call home and nothing is going right. You’re lost and the GPS decided today was a good day to give up the ghost. Everyone you’re traveling with is beyond the hanger point and of course it’s pouring rain. Sounds like a great day for a coffee shop and a good book, right? But where was that coffee shop you saw a few miles back, was it a right or a left at the intersection? Does this sound like a familiar scenario to you? For us, this happens many more times than you would think. For folks traveling on limited time and money this can be extremely exasperating. No one wants to be stuck wasting gas or precious pennies on unplanned nuisances. Don’t make the same mistakes we did, learn from us and enjoy a less stressful journey!
- You can’t change what you can’t change. Traveling and exploring new places is the greatest thing that we’ve found here in this world, but it can also lead to some frustrating circumstances beyond our control. Things that you can’t change such as the weather, flat tires, gas prices, lost baggage, food costs, campground neighbors or whatever else is irking you… it’s beyond your control! Instead of focusing on what you can’t change, focus on your attitude on what you can do about the situation. We learned this the hard way because we thought that exploring every day while living in a tent would be full of rainbows and butterflies. Needless to say, every day didn’t turn out to be a bowl of lucky charms but we learned to work with it. We try to focus on being positive even when it’s pouring rain, we’re lost and hungry, we’ve no idea where we’re going to sleep at night and we haven’t showered in over 2 weeks. Trust us when we say its not always easy to have a good attitude in these situations but it certainly helps if at least one of us can keep our cool.
- Plan for the worst, hope for the best. The best way to handle your “OH $#!+” situation is to have already planned for it. It’s always unfortunate when concerns are voiced and we say “Wellll hopefully that doesn’t happen!” Chances are, it usually does. When we landed in Peru, Alex’s backpack was still back in America. Somehow it had not made the connecting flight to Lima. It was a big bummer not knowing when Alex’s backpack would come, but we planned ahead for this situation and were equipped with all of our electronics, money and passports in a separate carry on pack! In the past we’ve jinxed ourselves by hoping we wouldn’t get a flat tire on a dirt road, hoping the glass avocado cooking oil won’t explode in the car, hoping we’d be able to find a campsite from memory 3 years back, hoping the horses we’re camping by don’t do anything to our tent (all of these ended up happening)…. the list goes on. Bottom line, the only thing we can do is have a plan for when all breaks loose and the worst happens.
- Remember, there are many folks less fortunate than you. This mindset is the most important to have, in our opinion. It’s easy to blame the universe when things start to head south, but you can’t look to everyone and everything as a personal attack against you! Sure, you could be camping in the rain and your sleeping bag is wet and your cook stove won’t start because of the wind. Or you could have put your backpack down and walked away to take a picture to return to squirrels inhaling your granola bars with holes in your precious new pack. Just remember, any bad day you encounter living your dream and traveling to your heart’s content is likely better than a good day in the office. When you’re frustrated and are cursing the situation you’re in, it is wise to step aside and really think about why you’re traveling and what you want out of the journey. Life is a box of chocolates after all! In the end, you will likely laugh at the bad times and cherish the awesome experiences you had!