I believe that it’s a rule of travel that there will always be at least one day when a multitude of things go wrong. That day for us was yesterday.
This post will not mention all the fun things we did and the places we discovered. It will be a lot of whining and complaining. So feel free to stop reading right now if you’d like.
Monday I wasn’t feeling well. Monday night turned into one of those nights where my nose was running like Niagara Falls all night long and sleep was nearly impossible. We needed leave Rijeka by 7:30 Tuesday morning to return our car in Split on time. We thought we were doing well when we got in the car at 7:27.
Then things started to go wrong. First we missed an exit. This added an extra thirty minutes of trying to navigate our way through a city we don’t know with a GPS that decided to stop working. I am horrible at reading maps and I don’t know how to drive standard so I was not much help. Thankfully we were eventually able to figure out how to get back to where we had stayed and start from the beginning.
The drive after that went well. As we were leaving the airport after returning the car, Michal realized he didn’t have his cell phone. He had left it in the rental car. He was able to track down someone to unlock the car for him and the phone was retrieved.
Yesterday the temperature in Split was hovering around 100 degrees. I had found a small studio apartment in the Old Town through Airbnb for us to stay in. The owner was out of town but his brother met us at a nearby church and took us to the apartment. The apartment was very cute and functional. And most importantly it was clean and cold thanks to the AC. However we were told not to use the washing machine because the person cleaning had gotten shocked earlier in the day. No big deal, there was a laundromat around the corner.
By the time we arrived I was feeling awful. My face was swollen and hurting, my nose wouldn’t stop running and I desperately just needed to sleep. As I laid down to rest, Michal went to put some things in the fridge. He ended up getting electrocuted. He then went to get a glass of water and was electrocuted again when he touched the sink. Thankfully it was just minor and resulted in an intense shock and nothing more serious. Prior to putting things away he had planned on taking a quick shower. Thank God he didn’t because who knows what could have happened.
I contacted the people who owned the apartment. It was apparent that it was not safe for us to stay there. As an Airbnb host I have learned that things you can’t plan for do go wrong (we needed a new sink in our house this summer after a guest discovered it was leaking and our wonderful neighbor and uncle jumped in to help). We needed to find a new place to stay as soon as possible. Split is a popular vacation destination for people all over the world. It’s peak tourism season. I wanted nothing more than to have endless amounts of money and be able to check into an all inclusive hotel on the beach. To fall asleep in a cool room and wake up to views of the sea and room service.
Since we tend to be frugal travelers we instead desperately searched for a place to stay. We found a company that owns several apartments close to old town and had an apartment available for us to stay in last night and another one we could check into today and stay until Saturday. Within the hour we were out of our old apartment and on our way to meet the people who saved us from being homeless.
We arrived at the apartment and immediately liked the person we met. She was appalled at our experience and that the hosts did not help us find a place to stay and/or offer to pay for it (we did get a refund though). The place we stayed last night was not paradise by any means. It wasn’t very clean, the shower was located in the hallway and most of all there was AC but it didn’t work. Sick, exhausted, overheating and overwhelmed I wanted nothing more than to return to the comfort of my own home. My clean, comfortable, well cared for piece of paradise.
As a counselor I am well aware of how strongly our thoughts influence our feelings. Despite my weakened state I was able to tap into some cognitive behavioral therapy. I realized how lucky we were to find a place to stay so quickly. We had a roof over our head, we could take a shower without being electrocuted, we are close to everything and we are still in a beautiful country in a vibrant city. Last night we ventured out and saw some amazing things. I’ll post about those in another post. So even though many things went wrong, it was all manageable and in the grand scheme of things, it is not so bad. And it leaves us with an unforgettable experience that I’m sure we will talk about for years go come.
Today is a new day. I managed to find a pharmacy yesterday and slept in a drug induced fitful sleep in a hot stuffy room. This I morning stayed in bed until almost 9:00 and now we are relaxing at an outdoor cafe. We found tasty coffee finally and a friendly waiter who is keeping us entertained! Michal is working for a few hours and I’m actually relaxing and working on getting better. I ordered a yummy breakfast and the way it was presented was just a sign that today will be a better day.
In conclusion, sometimes when things go wrong, it presents an opportunity for reflection on the fact that there is still a lot of good. It’s all about perspective. In the words of my father “It’s all good!” and in honor of Sara B “every day is a good day”.