Inevitably things will sometimes go horribly awry on vacation. But how you handle it in your head can mean the difference between a trip-ruining fiasco and a life lesson that puts you on the fast track to traveler enlightenment.
a silver lining travel tale:
Let’s say, ‘hypothetically’, you were in Argentina for three months and week two you decide to do a Pub Crawl. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on every shot of your new worldly friends so you bring along your trusty point and shoot. And, by nights end, you are crawling to a club ironically named “Lost” for their infamous “hip-hop night”. Then you proceed to have a fierce dance/ rap off with a recent Harvard Law grad. It’s only when you are staggering home, shielding your eyes from the sun, that you realize where the hell is my camera!
Ok so you might have guessed, that was not a work of fiction. And if you’ve ever been in the market for a camera in Argentina you soon discover that electronics are about 3 times as expensive as in the states. I’m guessing that’s why they steal them. So my options were a) spend a ton of cash on half the camera I could get in the States or b) use my iPhone (not even the latest one) as a camera for the remainder of my trip.
When it first happened I was truly sick, the memory card was full of unbacked up, awesome photos, my memories! That camera was trusty, we made it above Everest Base Camp together, we were friends. Curse you thieves! A plague upon your houses! I hope it breaks and leaks burning battery acid all over your sticky latin fingers!! …. After a full day of playing my own tiny violin of misery, I finally snapped out of it. Time to make lemonade out of this.
Hey, things could always be worse. I have my passport and credit cards what more do I need? Now I can truly experience my trip without the pressure of having to capture every magnificent moment through a tiny viewfinder in order to post it on my dumb Facebook page. I came here to live like a local and truly feel the city. Now I won’t look like a cheesy tourist. At least my phone takes pics! I even downloaded some new camera apps to cheer myself up and make phone pictures more fun. What the hell, I’m in Argentina and most people I know are sleeping in their cubicles. Even the worst day on vacation is better than the best day in the office. I thought myself out of it and totally let it go.
Later I found myself laughing out loud at Iguazu Falls when, from behind the frantic SLR’s and tripods trying to somehow capture this massive wonder of nature, I simply hold my phone up and click the big button. Seems strangely appropriate for me. Then I take a deep breath, look with my own eyes, get drenched in the cold mist, and feel the awesome power all around me, no camera can capture what it feels like to be here. I am so lucky!
So trust me, there’s always a silver lining to travel tribulations, sometimes finding it might just take some soul searching and extra creativity. Once you realize how lucky you truly are, your luck will change. And hey misadventures make the best stories anyway.