Why Travel Mishaps are Actually a Good Thing
Guest post by Laura Hughes of HowSheViewsIt
As someone who travels daily, I’m continually in a state of being lost and confused. When you live on the road, it becomes a regular occurrence to not know anything about the town you’re in (or sometimes even what town you’re in) when you arrive. Wandering lost down Aisle 5 looking for the right granola because I don’t know the grocery store or getting stuck on the highway in a hail storm because I didn’t have the local insight to know it was coming are just a couple ways travel can feel frustrating, confusing, or just plain exhausting at times.
I know I’m not alone in this. In fact, ask any traveler for a story of a time something didn’t go as planned on a trip, and you’ll get one-- maybe even a handful-- of moments that come to the surface of conversation.
That time we missed our flight because we couldn’t find the correct gate.
That time I bumped into someone and didn’t know how to say “excuse me”.
That time the food I ordered in an unfamiliar restaurant made me feel sick.
That time the GPS directions were wrong.
You name it, and it’s probably happened to someone.
What we don’t often think about in those moments is that tucked within every challenge, mishap, or fear is the opportunity to show up as the person we want to be and learn something valuable from it. Those times that throw us sideways for a second are doing so because they come from an unfamiliar perspective. It’s a reminder that the world is much bigger than the bubble we live in, and even simple things like the post office, vending machines, and expressing gratitude are different when we step outside the community and culture we know.
So when it inevitably comes to pass that your adventure meets up with the challenges that come with traveling somewhere new, remind yourself that the unexpected moments are the ones holding true growth on your journey.
You get to choose whether you act out of frustration or practice patience when you miss your flight.
You get to choose whether to be humble or shy away when you cannot speak the local language.
You get to choose your attitude when you get sick and away from home.
You get to choose whether you tap into panic or your own resourcefulness when you get lost.
If everything went as expected on your adventure, it wouldn’t be the transformative experience it could be. That you want it to be. So stay thankful for the mishaps and appreciate the ways they allow you to grow. Afterall, eating different granola is actually pretty great-- and so is knowing how to say “excuse me” in as many languages as possible.
A big shoutout to Laura for this awesome post. Check her out at How She Views It.