What To Do When You Don't Know Where You Are Going (Otherwise known as first International Solo Trip)
What happens when you don't know where you are going? Typically, this is not something that I have a problem with. When we travel I usually make sure there are enough seats on the plane for me to get to my final destination and won't even bother flying up to Philly unless I know for sure I can get there.
Well, this time I wasn't sure about anything, where I would end up or if I would even be able to get on the plane my husband was working. The thing of it is his flight was overbooked and I was hoping some people would miss their connections. I did have a back-up plan, if I didn't make it on the plane I was going to go to Amsterdam and visit Keukenhof, it is the Tulip Garden in Holland. Of course, as you know sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry. To wrap it up in a nutshell, the flight to Munich was delayed and the flight to Amsterdam that was coming back was fairly full. In rethinking my plan I decided to go to Lisbon, Portugal if I didn't get on the flight to Munich. The flight to Lisbon didn't leave until 9:15 pm and the flight to Munich was supposed to leave at 6:30 pm. Unfortunately, the flight to Munich was delayed waiting for passengers and then there was an issue with the front wheel. When the flight actually boarded, it was still overbooked and they ended up giving three passengers $1000 to get on the flight the next day. The boarding door closed and the jetway was pulled away and my husband was on the plane and I was not.
It was time to kick my plan into action. The Amsterdam flight had already left so that option was out. I had already booked myself on the flight to Lisbon earlier in the day, as a just in case all else fails plan. All that was needed was a hotel in Lisbon. I opened up my computer and went to Expedia. Yes, I typically book on Expedia or Priceline (I bid on Priceline and I have never had a bad hotel room with Priceline). I found a hotel called My Story Ouro it was $114 a night (and quite fitting as this would be My Story). It was near the city center and was easy to get to. I also did a quick search on how to get to the hotel from the airport. I was doing this, I was getting ready to travel to another country by myself.
Just going back a bit. This was a hard decision for me. I thought about it and even contemplated going home, or heading to NY to see my family. Escape to somewhere where things were familiar. This was a big step for me and something I had wanted to do but didn't want to do at the same time. It's scary to leave the country where everyone speaks the same language you do. Though I have been to many countries and I know that English is spoken everywhere we have been. So there was nothing to be afraid of. So why was my stomach in knots! What do they say "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone." Well, here I was at the edge of my comfort zone ready to step off.
I must admit I had been to Lisbon once before you can read about my brief visit to the airport in the following blog when I got stuck in Zurich. Now just to make it interesting I must let you know that my husband called after I had boarded the flight to Lisbon saying there was a passenger who wanted to get off the plane and did I want to get on (this is why I don't check luggage). Of course I said yes, but my door was closing in 10 minutes and he had to check with the gate agent. After waiting about 5 minutes and him not being able to find the gate agent we decided it was probably not a good idea and we said goodbye and my plane took off. Lisbon here I come!
I will write about the trip itself next week, with lots of photos because I took a bunch. Here's an update on my husband's flight. They didn't take off until after 10 pm. There was a sick child on the flight and they could not take a chance of flying overseas not knowing what was wrong with him. They had to let the boy and his family off of the plane and they got a late start. As the family got off of the plane the gate agent asked my husband if I was still there. Guess I could have made it on the plane anyway. I'm glad I didn't hang around waiting for the plane because Lisbon was beautiful!!