The Marvelous Misadventures of Maggie in Madrid

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Madrid, Misadventure by Maggie Boreham2 Comments

Honestly… I’ve messed up a lot in this city: from missing a flight, to breaking my phone (twice), to getting lost alone in the city, to accidentally ordering a pile of squid instead of a side of mushrooms, to booking my train home for the wrong day, trying to speak to Germans in (horrible) Spanish, getting my phone stolen, travelling to a beach in the rain, breaking the straps on my only carry on bag, forgetting underwear for a weekend trip, and most recently, thinking a random person’s apartment door was access to a rooftop with a view of the entire city…. Ya…. I’ve had plenty of misadventures.

A lot has gone wrong this semester, but in a way I think that it’s beautiful. To be honest, the first few weeks I was here, I hated Madrid. I thought the city was absolutely horrible. My first couple of months here were an absolute train wreck. I felt like I could not do a single thing right. It was almost pathetic. But I would probably call this entire semester one big beautiful misadventure.

My best misadventure has to be this weekend however, when my friends and I went to Mallorca (or Majorca… however you want to spell it)… and had the bright idea to turn our last minute, rainy island adventure into a road trip. Ok just to preface, no I typically do not go about breaking the law and hanging around in high risk situations, but when you are a college kid trying to save some money you have to make some compromises… like fitting 6 people into a 5-person rental car that you’re 3 years to young to rent anyway….  Let me tell you it is a fabulous

The experience without question was 110% worth it and will be a trip that I remember for the rest of my life. It was a weekend of going with the misadventures and turning them into something great:

Our first misadventure came when we all decided to check out the nightlife of the island and go to a club, but after a day of exploring and traveling all fell asleep at 10 pm (not unusual for me)… it was completely worth it.

Our second misadventure came when we were forced to boil water in a pot for washing because we had no hot water in our AirBnb…  probably not as worth it.

Our third misadventure came when we decided to check out a beach. Everything was amazing until out of nowhere a cloud came and started hailing on us during our beautiful coastal hike. I shit you not. Hail… as in balls of ice pelting us from the sky… on an island. We ultimately took refuge in a cave, which happened to also be the designated “pee cave” of the quick little hike. It was interesting to say the least… undoubtedly worth it.

The final and greatest “misadventure” of the weekend came when we decided to drive down a dirt road in the general direction of the coast to get one last glimpse at a beach. When we finally reached the fence of the farm that we had to hike across to reach the coast it was painfully clear that we would be making the trek back (of undetermined distance) in the dark. It ended up getting dark about 5 minutes into our hike and we just kept telling ourselves “5 more minutes and we’ll hit the water!” Lying to ourselves paid off: Even though I was muddy, freezing, and soaked through, the view of the ocean in the moonlight at the last red rays of sunlight were leaving the sky is without question one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  So beautiful, I thought it would be a good idea to go swimming in the freezing water. Crazy misadventure? Yes. Completely worth it? Yes.

The best part of the weekend: I broke my phone (again) and my watch battery died leaving me with absolutely no sense of time all weekend, just living off how I feel, and to be honest I’m tempted to wait a few more days before I fix this problem because it’s been an amazing experience.


  1. Hi Maggie,

    I think it’s awesome how your whole post tells how these mistakes and mishaps turned out to some of the best memories during your trip. If it never happened, then you wouldn’t have had the opportunity or the drive to do the other activities you turned it out to be. And the mishaps that seemed to be awful like breaking your phone and missing a flight are pretty bad. But at the same time, without any of these bad experiences we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good ones.

  2. It’s refreshing to hear your optimism about having to endure so many mishaps! Although at that moment you might’ve considered your semester more or less a trainwreck, I’m glad to hear right now you can remember those mishaps from a positive standpoint. I agree that were everything to have happened according to plan I wouldn’t have many of the impromptu experiences I treasure even today. Sometimes like you mention at the end of your post I prefer living off the cuff.

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