My Worst Journey Moments of 2022

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As all the time, you must take the nice with the dangerous — particularly so with journey! As many good moments as you could have once you journey, there are many terrible moments that sneak their approach in.

It’s all the time a superb reminder that journey will not be an computerized go to happiness. I’ve seen lots of people who disintegrate when their journeys don’t go as deliberate. A very powerful factor is realizing {that a} catastrophe, main or minor, will strike in some unspecified time in the future — and it’s essential to be ready to bounce again from it.

This put up is normally an inventory of humorous issues which might be a bit ridiculous on reflection. There have been actually lots of these moments this yr!

However in 2022 we’ve one critical factor to placed on the checklist, and it’s coming first.

A building in Kyiv with a mural reading "Freedom is our religion."
Kyiv in higher occasions.

The Battle in Ukraine

It started with days of dread main as much as the invasion. The information story from the US in late December that Russia is perhaps planning an invasion of Ukraine. In February, Biden warning each US citizen to go away Ukraine instantly, that we solely had days. It felt like every little thing was occurring in gradual movement.

Then the terrible morning, waking as much as the information that Russia had invaded. Bombs touchdown in Kyiv. Girls and youngsters leaping on trains to get in another country. Entire neighborhoods constructing molotov cocktails.

I am keen on Ukraine. The grandeur of the cities, the scrumptious meals, the style the ladies put on, the espresso vans. It damage my coronary heart, and nonetheless hurts it, to see a rustic I like going by a lot ache.

Prague already has a big Ukrainian inhabitants, and we’ve obtained many refugees right here. Charlie and I joined in native efforts to help these refugees, in addition to serving to our personal mates who left Ukraine.

It was heartwarming to reach on the donation heart and see dozens of Czechs operating round organizing provides for the brand new arrivals. It felt like the entire metropolis was pitching in.

One other time, we arrived at a hostel for a trivia night time and the frequent space was filled with Ukrainian mothers with their youngsters. The hostel, like many in Prague, donated rooms to refugees.

And truthfully, I didn’t anticipate Ukraine to have the ability to maintain their very own in opposition to Russia. I’ve by no means been happier to be mistaken. Their braveness is inspiring, and I do know Ukrainians will struggle bravely for his or her nation so long as it takes.

My fervent want is for peace and freedom in Ukraine, as quickly as attainable. And when the battle ends and Ukrainians are longing for tourism once more, Charlie and I’ll return to the nation we love. Slava Ukraini.

Now, let’s transfer on to the lighter terrible moments of the yr.

Cliffs and beaches along the coast in Calabria, Italy.
Pizzo, Italy, a beautiful city in Calabria (NOT the place the agriturismo was).

The Poopsplosion of Calabria

Calabria is likely one of the least developed components of Italy, particularly so on the Ionian facet. We determined to spend just a few nights at an agriturismo in a rural space earlier than heading to Tropea on the well-developed Tyrrhenian coast.

It was a fairly good agri keep — good individuals, good meals, a easy place total. And we loved our keep…till the final morning.

I observed that after flushing the bathroom, the bathe drain would fill with water from beneath. Okay, form of bizarre, however all proper.

Then just a few flushes later, water wasn’t the one factor that got here out of the bathe drain. IT WAS POOP. Pushing and squishing by the drain holes and filling the underside of the bathe with a soupy brown mess. I almost threw up.

I’m not revealing the agriturismo. Plumbing points occur! However man, was that gross.

A wooden pathway leading across a small creek surrounded by tall grasses.
We have been the one individuals at Quansoo Seashore.

Getting COVID in Martha’s Winery

After 2.5 years, I lastly received COVID. Lengthy story brief: Charlie had gotten COVID, however received over it in a short time and was testing unfavourable for days earlier than my sister’s marriage ceremony. I remoted from him as soon as he had it, examined twice day by day main as much as the marriage, together with a PCR the day earlier than, and all my assessments have been unfavourable. Then, three days after the marriage, my faint optimistic line appeared.

I’m past grateful I didn’t get COVID earlier than the marriage. However getting it in Martha’s Winery was a ache, particularly since I had needed to discover the island in depth.

I ended up spending a day ensconced within the lodge, then the subsequent day, we had a late afternoon ferry. Between check-out and the ferry, we drove across the island and received to go to a number of out of doors locations the place we have been the one individuals round. Even standard Moshup Seashore was abandoned apart from us. That’s the Winery in late September for you!

After the Winery, we checked right into a lodge in Woburn for just a few days, then I went again to my dad’s and hid myself in my room till I recovered.

Kate takes a selfie with an annoyed expression. Behind her is Charlie sitting on a highway railing, next to a mechanic working on their car.
Two flat tires was SUPER enjoyable!

The Flat Tire Saga of Sardinia

Right here’s a tip — in the event you’re going to get a flat tire in Italy, don’t let it occur in Sardinia. And don’t let it occur in a rural space. And undoubtedly, undoubtedly don’t let it occur on a Sunday.

What if I informed you that ALL THREE occurred to us?! Enjoyable occasions.

We have been about to go away Alghero and go to to Bosa earlier than driving into the inside for the night time. Simply as we left our lodging, we received a flat tire.

Oh nicely. At the very least we have been near our agriturismo. The agri proprietor known as a store for us, and so they got here out and provided to patch the tire for us till we may discover a higher store.

How lengthy did it take them to patch the tire and are available again? FIVE HOURS. Charlie and I labored all through that point. Our agriturismo doesn’t normally serve lunch however kindly made us a pleasant carbonara, and at one level the proprietor picked up the telephone to yell on the mechanics — why the hell did THEY go for a leisurely lunch?

They lastly delivered the automotive with the patched tire. Charlie and I set off once more, realizing we didn’t have time for Bosa, heading straight for that night time’s lodging.

quarter-hour later, on the freeway, the tire blew once more.

Oh my God, we have been FURIOUS. We contacted our agriturismo and THEY have been livid. Round half an hour later, the identical mechanics confirmed up and provided to take us to Sassari for the night time, the place we may get a brand new tire within the morning.

The nice irony is that we selected a lodge on a whim — Album Boutique Rooms in Sassari — which was among the best locations we stayed all yr. So attractive and fashionable. We went out for pizza and gelato, spent the night time in that cozy condo, and picked up our new tire the subsequent day, which lasted all the best way again to Prague.

A gray sedan parked in a parking lot in Iceland with a glacier-topped mountain behind it.
My automotive for the SECOND highway journey in Iceland was computerized!

Iceland Street Journey Falling Aside

I used to be so excited for my solo highway journey round Iceland. I had been invited on a brief marketing campaign that includes the Sky Lagoon and Flyover Iceland in Could, and determined to take benefit and guide a solo highway journey afterward.

I used to be so excited for my Ring Street journey. Then I received to the automotive rental place and realized, with horror, that I had by chance booked a guide transmission. I don’t know the right way to drive stick. I’ve by no means pushed stick in my life.

I attempted to search out one other automotive, to no avail. There’s an enormous rental automotive scarcity post-COVID, and actually each computerized automotive within the nation was booked out.

I attempted choices the place I may lease a automotive tomorrow. Nothing. May I do that journey with out a automotive? Completely not.

May I educate myself to drive stick? Possibly. However I used to be solo on this highway journey, and driving in rural areas — it didn’t appear definitely worth the danger.

And in a transfer that’s characteristically not me, I made a decision to throw within the towel and go house. Simply not value all the trouble.

However you recognize what? It labored out. As quickly as I received house, my good friend Amanda texted me, “If you wish to go later in the summertime, I’ll go along with you!” And never solely did we go — the Fagradalsfjall volcano started erupting simply earlier than our go to, and we received to witness the eruption shut up! And we made certain to lease an computerized automotive.

This yr I promise I’ll be taught to drive stick!!

A rooftop view of Mexico City with lots of brightly colored roofs underneath a blue sky.
Our lodge’s rooftop view in Roma Norte, Mexico Metropolis.

A Dental Emergency in Mexico

Nothing like waking up in the midst of the night time and feeling searing ache alongside your gum. I freaked out, pondering it was the worst and I would want some form of dental surgical procedure. I used to be in Mexico Metropolis and had by no means had a dental emergency whereas touring overseas earlier than.

And discovering an emergency dentist was surprisingly powerful. Even in La Condesa/Roma Norte, among the best neighborhoods in Mexico Metropolis, it was a matter of calling dentist after dentist, explaining the issue in damaged Spanish, and discovering out that oh, really no one was working that day.

Once I lastly received an appointment, the dentist was almost an hour late, caught in visitors! However he was fantastic, and although we struggled to speak, utilizing the Google Translate voice-to-text possibility made our dialog infinitely simpler.

Seems it was a gum an infection. Nothing critical. The one problem was that it took without end for me to comprehend that hydrogen peroxide in Mexico is definitely known as agua oxigenada, not peróxido de hidrógeno! That took lots of drugstore visits earlier than I figured it out.

Kate and Charlie take a selfie in front of a British Airways plane, their masks around their chins.
A happier BA flight in September.

British Airways Flight Drama

2022 has been a yr for terrible baggage experiences, thanks partially to post-COVID staffing shortages, particularly at London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol. So lots of my journey mates misplaced their baggage for a number of days at both of these airports.

For us, it was Heathrow in February, getting back from Mexico and the US. Sadly our flight in coincided with extreme rain storms in London. Lengthy story brief — we checked our baggage in within the morning, went to see Charlie’s household, got here again for our flight within the night, came upon the flight was canceled, and nonetheless couldn’t decide up our baggage.

Our baggage have been misplaced within the shuffle for 5 days, with no updates from BA till the ultimate day.

The worst half? We weren’t capable of get journey insurance coverage to cowl our new flight, as a result of we booked one on our personal as an alternative of taking what British Airways selected to present us. (We did this as a result of our good friend was anticipating to present delivery quickly and we have been on deck to care for their older daughter, so we figured we should always get again as shortly as attainable.)

At the very least we received our meals, lodge, and most of our Uber to Gatwick lined between journey insurance coverage and BA.

My tip? Get AirTags and put one in your baggage. No, this won’t ship you your bag sooner — however it gave us a lot reduction to know precisely the place our baggage have been. (“Nonetheless in Terminal 4.” “Nonetheless in Terminal 4.” “OMG it’s lastly on the gate!!!”)

Kate standing in a hooded yellow raincoat, holding her hand out toward a foggy landscape where you can see almost nothing behind her.
I drove 45 minutes on a mud highway for THIS?!

Fogged Out in Dettifoss

Dettifoss is essentially the most highly effective waterfall in Europe, not simply in Iceland, and Amanda and I have been so excited to see it. There are two routes to get there from the Ring Street close to Lake Myvatn — you’ll be able to both take the western route (a properly paved highway which could be very, very busy) or the jap route (an unpaved highway to a quieter spot with a significantly better view). We selected to go east.

It had been raining because the day earlier than, so we headed out on that gravel highway. I used to be driving this portion and needed to go slowly in order to not get gravel all over the place or injury the automotive. The drive took about 45 minutes and received progressively foggier as we went.

Effectively…we received to the car parking zone. And commenced our stroll down a number of stone staircases and a path alongside the cliff’s edge.

It was so foggy, we may see the faintest starting of Dettifoss — and that’s it. An entire bust of a go to! And never solely that, this was really an space with three waterfalls — Dettifoss, Selfoss, and Hafragilsfoss — so we ended up lacking all three.

And bonus — it was time for a 45-minute drive again to the Ring Street!

Two large glass ice cream dishes filled with vanilla gelato and espresso.
OMG I didn’t know they might be THAT BIG!

The Most Costly Espresso of My Life

Lastly, there was Portofino. Pretty Portofino. Rich, yacht-filled Portofino. The Portofino that Beyonce goes to on vacation. We determined to drop by the well-known city briefly, so we grabbed the bus from Santa Margherita Ligure (arguably the least glamorous method to arrive).

I window-shopped the designer boutiques, swooning over the silk scarves and leather-based purses. (Charlie: “Why would somebody desire a bag that claims Celine on it?…This place wants an Apple Retailer.”)

“Why don’t we a minimum of seize a espresso?” I prompt. “These cafes are cute.” In fact, they’d be costly — however an overpriced espresso is much more inexpensive than an overpriced lunch.

We grabbed a seat and our eyes instantly went to the affogato — a scoop of vanilla gelato topped with a shot of espresso. It’s on the menu at most Italian bars. Whereas an espresso normally prices round 1 euro in the event you stand on the bar, and a cappuccino, 1.20 euros, you may pay 3 or 4 euros for an affogato.

I figured we’d pay double that in Portofino. Then our server introduced us massive, American-style ice cream dishes — THREE scoops of vanilla gelato topped with espresso. And as tasty because it was, I braced myself for the invoice.

I went to the bar to get the invoice. Guess how a lot it was? THIRTY EUROS for 2 affogati!!!!! I’m by no means making that mistake once more!!!

What have been your worst journey moments of 2022?

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