BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME
Disappointment. It’s bound to happen for everyone at some point during a quick trip, vacation, or extended holiday. You are moseying you way around a country, and something you have planned doesn’t quite pan out the way you expected. It’s an all too familiar occurrence for me, sometimes caused by my own skewed version of how it should be or circumstances outside of my control, like the weather, labor strikes, or just plain bad luck. No matter the reason it all leads to the same thing, brief but strong disappointment. I don’t let it get me down for too long. There are too many fantastic things to do and see, but I never forget what could have been.
It’s important to be flexible when you travel, but sometimes you have your heart set on something and it just doesn’t work out. Most of my disappointments on the road, could have been remedied by traveling slowly. Something I need to remember when I’m squeezing in stops on my schedule.
When I visited Greece back in 2011 it was in the depths of its ongoing economic crisis, and there were countrywide strikes. We were able to dodge most of these by rearranging our days, but it eventually caught up to us on the island of Crete. I wanted so badly to visit the ancient ruins at Knossos (it was one of the driving factors behind my trip to Greece, besides you know...everything else), but on the day we visited Crete the sites were closed due to a labor strike.
Everything but a coffee shop was closed, so we idled away a few hours sipping coffee and pouting. It was also raining which helped to complete a pretty pathetic scene. (Yes, I realize that I’m complaining about missing out on a travel experience while the country was battling through something far more important. While I empathize with the plight of the Grecian people, I may have had a Veruca Salt moment. I want to visit Knossos now!!) On the plus side the view leaving the port was stunning, and we ended the day on the iconic island of Santorini.
You know those ridiculously amazing photos of rows and rows of bright purple lavender fields in Provence, France? Google it now. That is exactly what I was picturing when I discovered I would be traveling through Provence at the perfect time to see the lavender in all its glory. Oh the photographs I would take! Unfortunately due to extreme heat last year, they harvested the lavender early and I missed it by a week...one week! Instead I got a sad reminder of what I missed by lonely dried little lavender patches.
My well planned two week trip to Scotland last year was completely torn apart by the weather. In one instance I scheduled a hike in Cairngorms National Park, only to arrive at the welcome center in freezing weather and fog so thick I couldn't see a foot in front of me. Que violin. About every other day we were able to venture out of doors for some activity, but for the most part we managed the best we could under the conditions. This involved drinking scotch, going to pubs, or visiting museums. We did get to drive around the country and discover some beautiful scenery, but for the most part I feel like another trip is warranted.
NY PUBLIC LIBRARY
I have a thing for libraries. I love the smell of books, the great stories they contain, and the romance exuded by the buildings that hold them. If I’m in a new city, I make it a point to visit the main library. On my recent trip to NYC it was my only request. I don’t care where we eat or what we do, but I must see the Reading Room of the NY Public Library. Unbeknownst to me, the famed Reading Room was closed for renovations. I arrived to a sad looking image of the room posted upon the doors. Boston will always be my favorite.
The Unesco Heritage Site of Skellig Michael lies off the coast of southwest Ireland. On my first trip to this beloved country, a visit to the island was to be a highlight of my time there. It’s rugged beauty combined with an interesting history peaked my curiosity. Transport to the island is a little tricky though, and boats only embark in perfect weather conditions. Apparently choppy seas make arrivals onto Skellig Michael difficult. You guessed it…I wasn’t able to make the voyage.
Unlike the other missed adventures above, I plan on remedying this one in the near future. I’m hoping to visit Ireland again this year and Skellig Michael is top priority. Instead of one day, I’m going to schedule some time to wait out the weather and hopefully ensure my trip to this mystic island.
Now that I’ve properly built these sites up in my head, I’m sure when/if I actually get the chance to visit them my disappointment will be renewed. This time it will be because they don’t live up to my hyped expectations, or maybe they will. I can only hope.