I went camping this weekend with a group of friends and we spent somewhere around seven hours either on public transportation or waiting for public transportation. At least two of those hours involved us sprawled out on the bench of a bus stop with a bag of almonds and a water bottle full of $15 wine, waiting for a bus that we weren’t entirely sure would come.
It was, in a word, magical.
I’m finding this to be a pretty common scene among exchange students. It turns out that when you let a bunch of inexperienced 20-somethings travel on their own, a lot can go wrong. These trips rarely go as planned.
But it’s not entirely my fault. For as fun as it is, seeing the world is really, really hard. Behind every gorgeous picture you see, there are hours of poring over train schedules, dozens of calls to the hostels or travel agencies, countless wrong turns and at least one missed bus. Traveling is a skill, and I am a rookie. Maybe less than a rookie.
I make mistakes often, and I spend a lot of time correcting them. It’s exhausting and tedious and I usually find myself feeling like maybe I’m just not cut out for travel.