Life isn’t perfect. As much as you might plan ahead when travelling or in your everyday life, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
This can be a hard thing to grasp because we might have this visualization in our heads on how things should turn out to be and when that doesn’t come into fruition, it can be hard to accept. It is important to keep in mind, it’s not about the plan, rather it’s about how you turn setbacks or Plan A not working out into opportunities.
I think a great book to reference here is Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Cheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. This can be a great read for you during travel or in everyday life, but I mention it here because this book gives you an understanding of how to face adversity. Adversity comes in all shapes and sizes, from missing a flight to coming late to a meeting. The most important thing is dealing effectively with adversity, so a small mistake or misstep doesn’t snowball into something much bigger. Confronting adversity, not allowing one unforeseen situation dictate your entire day, and correcting mistakes swiftly allows us to overcome challenges and still make the most of our days.
Let’s face it, we aren’t perfect, we make mistakes. We are, after all, humans, not robots. Things are rarely perfect and the inevitable ‘mishap’ or ‘mistake’ will happen, but when we are travelling and in life, some mistakes can actually be great experiences in disguise!
A great example of this is my experience in Venice, Italy. It’s a maze! Honestly each street and the seemingly infinite bridges over canals look almost identical. Some distinguishing landmarks are the main square, Piazza San Marco (including sites like the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Campanile (Bell Tower) and Basilica (Cathedral)) and the Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal. Fortunately, these two main attractions are clearly labelled on the streets with signs on the building that direct you which way they are so it’s fairly easy to go from point A to B.
However, if you want to find a specific destination or non-major attraction, leave yourself some buffer time since you may well get lost. For example, finding a restaurant away from one of the city’s main landmarks is much more difficult than you might think! My boyfriend and I wanted try out this restaurant that had great reviews on TripAdvisor called Enoteca da Roberto – Aziende Agricole. The directions were simple enough, cross the Rialto Bridge go down a couple streets, turn here, and you have arrived at your destination. We walked around for about an hour and couldn’t find it! Something that maps don’t always account for is the intricate, narrow road, street plan of some old European cities, including Venice.
After not being able to find it for a while, we decided to go into the first restaurant we thought looked good. We found a little tapas restaurant that looked fairly lively and off the beaten tracks. The smell of freshly cooked seafood wafted through the narrow street, and people spilled out into the street with their glasses of wine and small plates of food. We entered the restaurant, gazed upon the colourful assortment of dishes at the bar and the large wine selection and decided this was a quintessential Venetian eatery that we had to try!
We sat at the bar, ordered some drinks, tapas, and just sat and enjoyed ourselves, completely forgetting our annoyance at not finding the restaurant we originally intended on eating at. Ironically, as we left, our appetite and thirst thoroughly satisfied, we noticed the name of the restaurant which turned out to be the one we had been looking for all along! Our challenge of not finding the restaurant on our first try and walking around until we got really hungry allowed us to simply walk into a place we thought looked good. While this whole experience was not fully planned, it actually gave us a better experience because it allowed us to explore the winding streets of Venice even more, while working up an appetite and travelling like Rick Steeves in the city of dreams.
Roll with the punches when things go ‘wrong.’ Let your instincts be your guide.
You can’t plan every little detail in life and that’s the same for travel! What’s the fun in that right? Now we have a good memory from our experience being able to explore different winding streets and canals, which enriched our time in Venice that much more.
Do you have an experience where things didn’t go as you expected or a travel experience you would like to share? Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if you found this post helpful – I post a new blog post every Sunday!
Ciao for now,