By Erin Nation
They say one of the most important things to do before you travel is make sure you are organised. Since my friend Ash and I spent hours upon hours emailing, skyping and texting to coordinate our four month adventure from opposite sides of the world, we thought we had everything perfectly sorted to begin our next adventure.
I was rather taken by surprise then to receive a text when curled up in bed in Leeds at 7am, saying “I’m here! Just gonna hang at the airport for a bit then head out to the hostel about 930-10ish”.
I thought Ash was arriving in London the following day.
The next few minutes were full of frantic texts and phone calls, as I had booked my bus and the hostel in London for the following day. Once it was sorted who had messed up (thankfully it wasn’t me!) I helped Ash find a hostel for the night and moved on to the next stage — packing.
A whole day sorting through clothes with none of it making into my suitcase, and it was time to meet a mate for drinks before leaving in the morning. What began as a few quiet drinks in the good old Leeds Walkabout turned into an all-night Wednesday night bar crawl ending with crashing at a friend’s place and waking at 5am with a start — I had to get home, pack and get to my bus in less than hour.
After literally grabbing handfuls of clothes from their neatly sorted piles, throwing them in the case and sitting on it to close it, I took off for the bus stop to achieve in 10 minutes what normally takes 20. And all with a very unwelcome headache.
Made the bus, and even managed a window seat. All I needed at the driver change-over stop in 20 minutes was to get a bottle of water and I’d be set. Only problem was no one was allowed to leave the bus. Are you kidding?! I am dealing with a hangover, crying baby on board, all I want is a bottle of water and I’m not allowed off the bus?
Four hours later I arrive at Victoria station in London. Finally got my bottle of water and now it’s time to head off to meet Ash. Let’s hope we have this part right.
Our reunion is like one of those movie runs where they run towards each and embrace. Although instead of being romantic with the man of my dreams, this was full of laughter and exclamations of our stupidity, and questions of why anyone thought it was a good idea to let us travel the world together.
After a night in the hostel, the trip was really set to begin. Next stop from Heathrow — Istanbul, Turkey.
The rest of the trip wasn’t without some small hiccups, including not bringing a sleeping bag for the ANZAC tour of Gallipoli and sitting out at ANZAC Cove freezing. Not to mention getting very confused and lost in Prague Station (a big thank you goes out to the lovely local who not only pointed us in the right direction but brought our metro tickets). Followed by a stolen toothbrush in Vienna, although the culprit did admit to taking it as he thought it was his and offered to return it. The offer was graciously declined.
It’s the little things though we remember most. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if your trip isn’t 100% planned, things will work out in the end for the trip of a lifetime.
Erin Nation entered our Great Travel Writer competition for May. Submit your entries for July now!
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