You can plan, and pre-plan, and post-plan, and check that very detail fits over and over again, but you still cannot control everything. This was something I learned on my way to Venice. We had booked a flight leaving Paris in the evening to which we would land in Milan around midnight, catch a pre-booked bus, and get to Venice at 6 am the next morning. It wasn’t pretty, but it was cheap. What we hadn’t foreseen (and couldn’t have) was that our Ryanair flight to Milan would end up being delayed and late, getting us into the city too late to catch our bus. Relying only on wifi from the airport, we had to quickly reach out to support back home and arrange a place to stay the night in Milan and a new bus to Venice the next day. Thanks to help from my travel buddy’s family, we didn’t have to spend the night in the airport with the worst airline ever!
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. But I’m hesitant to book a Ryanair flight again, although they are cheap. Their setup at the airport in Paris was a disaster. They send you to about five different people before you can check in, charge 45 euros to check a bag of any size, and their size standards for carry-on luggage are tiny because the plane was very small. Also, if I can help it, I will never fly over the Alps again. That flight was the scariest, bumpiest, loudest flight I have ever been on. The weather, turbulence, and praying/ crying Italians made it seem like our trip was coming to an abrupt close. But, thankfully, we landed safely. I don’t love this airline because of their lack of professionalism in the airports, failure to even inform us that our flight would be almost two hours delayed, the insane luggage fee—and the crying flight attendants who shakily whispered not a word of English over the intercom as we all thought we faced inevitable doom didn’t help either.
This was just a bump in the road of what I now realize traveling is. It’s never perfect. Especially when you are on your own, in a new country, and using transportation companies you have no experience with. Self-guided traveling is full of ups and downs. Ecstatic highs when you’ve mastered the metro or gotten to your bus station on time, and frantic stress when you’re lost again. It’s unavoidable. But I’m thankful for stressful experiences like these because they teach you how to handle unexpected curveballs and how to problem solve quickly—sometimes in another language. All in all, we eventually arrived to Venice and though we were shaken from the bad flight, I now feel confident in knowing there’s always a way to fix things when seemingly perfect plans go astray.
PS- BUT, the bus ride from Milan to Venice was the most beautiful ride of my trip. The Italian countryside is gorgeous, and I highly recommend bussing or riding a train through it rather than flying so you can see the hills, quaint homes, and radiant shades of blue and green.