Mistakes were made… but not too many 😏

In The Art of Travel Fall 2016, Prague, Mishaps by Jake

I’m very thankful that in my weekend travels or time spent in Prague, I am yet to come across a particular incident that I’ve looked at and gone, “wow I really, really messed up here”. I did have a bad week where I had food poisoning and Trump also got elected but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that… I surprisingly have not lost anything yet or left anything behind in any cities I’ve visited. Now what makes this is odd, is that in my Freshman year in New York, I not only lost a pea coat and another jacket, but also ended up breaking my toe and splitting my chin open (which required stitches).

In my first post I recall stating that I “travel to run away from my mistakes at home and to make new ones abroad.” While I have not made any major mistakes, I think that the small mistakes like taking a wrong turn down a street are what make travelling so unique and fun. In my recent solo travels to Iceland and Sweden, I didn’t follow Google Maps as strictly as I had in the past. I sort of just knew which rough direction I had to go and went with my heart or whichever street looked interesting. While they were technically mistakes in the directions I picked, it allowed me to see the unexpected.

any way which leads you to the end is the right way

Any way which leads you to the end is the right way

On a side note that is somewhat relevant, the necklace you see here has a Icelandic symbol called the Vegvisir. It is a symbol that people believed helped them find direction in rough weather. I’m thinking about getting it as a small tattoo somewhere because I very much agree with the meaning behind the symbol. Also, getting a tattoo is a mistake I’ve been looking to make hehe…

However, not all mistakes are fun. Mistakes like booking a flight in the wrong week of your travels are just stupid and don’t really add to the travelling experience. Yes, I accidentally booked one of my fall break flights in the wrong week. Thankfully I realized this before I needed to fly however, it was still an arduous process explaining my stupidity to the support line and getting the flight changed. However, as I mentioned in my first blog post, making mistakes no matter how big or small are learning experiences. I double triple check my reservations now to ensure that I don’t make the same mistake.

I’ve had a couple of close calls however. Just recently on my flight back to Prague from Sweden, I woke up in the hostel lobby at 6:30am with my luggage and I’d missed my alarm. My flight was at 8am however, it took an hour to get to the airport via bus. I ended up Ubering to be safe. Another time, I was at an orchestral concert that was supposed to finish at 10pm however, it went overtime as people kept asking for encores. It finished at 10:45pm and I had a bus to catch at 11pm. I had to ask my friends to bring my bags and again, I had to Uber to the bus station to make it in time.

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(me trying to make my flight)

I definitely think I have gotten better at travelling though. My first year alone in New York without parents helped with that. I had to account for all my belongings by myself (wow tough life I know). I developed the ability to have mental check lists to avoid losing possessions or ending up in another country. Travelling alone during fall break actually felt easier than travelling with friends. I had to be more aware and switched on, but at the same time I could do things at my own pace in my own time. Meeting people in hostels is also incredibly fun. I’d highly recommend it to anyone not only because it is cheaper, but also because the community that exists in hostels in very unique. Most people are open to making new friends and you really meet people from all walks of life. All in all, travelling has been an incredibly enriching experience so far despite the smaller mistakes.

PS: the featured image is me climbing an ice wall in Iceland. Thankfully, I made no mistakes there.

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