The Trip That Didn’t Go As Planned

Destination: Buenos Aires.

The plan: stay in the city. That’s it. One goal. One plan. One place. 

An excited, yet half asleep girl is strolling through the hallway in the airport while in the background there is a subtle smell of coffee and the metal spoons clinking against the coffee mugs of other awaiting passengers slowly waking up. Gate A30 is calm and quite so early in the morning. She holds her freshly printed out boarding pass strongly in her sweaty palms. With all her strength, courage and braveness she could gather, this 19- year old girl is on her way to her first solo trip, holding on tight to her over packed backpack and overweight suitcase. Her backpack is stuffed full of notes, preparations, tickets, plans, and itinerary’s. Also awaiting her: a trip that didn’t went a single second as it was planned.

Do you remember your first ever solo trip? Do you remember that feeling of being lost and being found at the same time? Of being in control of your life, but at the same time having no idea what you’re doing? That feeling like all the control you have in your life is slipping right out of your hands?

It all started mid-flight. Since I worked as a flight attendant when I was a student, I always make some small talk with the flight attendants. I told them about my plans, where I was staying – I booked 4 (!) accommodations – and basically everything about my trip.

When I got out of the plane, I cancelled all four accommodations and booked a centrally located hostel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Needless to say that my inner planning freak was on the loose. I didn’t plan this.

I arrived in the hostel and started to pack out. I passed my first night quite panicked and stressed after I found out that it was impossible to open my suitcase with my code. My inner planning freak? At this point, she’s in a corner, crying.

Day 2 of my city trip to Buenos Aires. I booked two tours that will keep me occupied the entire day. Full of excitement and positivism, I am waiting at the meeting point. As groups of families and old couple are gathering and some people are approaching me asking me if I am the tour guide, I start to realize that maybe this wasn’t the best idea.

I think it was the moment when the group in front of me departed – I saw the tour guide guiding everybody holding a stick with a flag – and everybody with their headset on following the guide like a horde of sheep, that I realized that I wasn’t supposed to be there. I am like a bird, you cannot keep me in my cage. I have to be free in this world to fly wherever I want to. So I went to the leader of the group, told her I was sick – while everybody could follow our not-awkward conversation because her mic was still on – gave her back the headset, and just ran off. Literally.

We’re Thursday, day 4 of my first solo trip to Argentina, Buenos Aires. The plan? Staying in the city. The reality? I am currently in Uruguay, walking around in an unknown city, without any WiFi or internet or a map, with a friend I made one day ago. My inner planning freak? She’s already had a couple of breakdowns, I’m sure she could handle this one as well.

Saturday, day 6 of this unforgettable adventure at the other end of our dear world. Location: a gas station near the local airport of Buenos Aires. Time: 4 A.M. After an attempt of getting cash at three different ATM’s in sleepy Buenos Aires, I succeeded to get Argentinian pesos for my trip to the airport. Note to self: always get enough cash.

Day 7. I am currently attempting to survive a 6- hour hike at the waterfalls of Iguazu in Northern Argentina. As you see, my plan of staying in the capital has failed uttermost and I almost crossed the border to Brasil, which would be the third South-American country I would visit during this “city”trip. Note to self: know what you want. How’s my inner planning freak, you might wonder? She’s become an old lady, consumed by all the stress, quietly sitting in a corner in my head, drinking whisky and smoking cigarettes in her sofa, totally defeated and given up on her job.

Day 8. I am sitting in the courtyard of my hostel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have never felt so grateful and strong. Grateful for this life and these adventures, strong because I did it. I did it. I finally understood that it is not about the plan, or the schedule, but about the journey. About what is happening in this very moment. Life is not about what is going to happen, but what is happening around you, here and now.

Destination: wherever life takes me to.

The plan: to enjoy the ride.

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Matt F.H. says:

    It’s awesome that you enjoyed the country! Little note: we call it “Peso” not Argentinian dollar 😂 cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Matt! Edited it 😇🙏🏽

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wrote it because some of my argentinian friends sometimes call it dolares 😄 but of course the official name is pesos 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Matt F.H. says:

        Haha really? Oh man no way! Are you sure Argentinian!? 😂

        Like

  2. Matt F.H. says:

    *Are you sure they are Argentinian!? 😂

    Like

    1. Yes, from Buenos Aires 😂

      Like

      1. Matt F.H. says:

        Lmao I’m from buenos aires too and I never heard anyone here call it Argentinian dollar but to each their own I guess 😂

        Like

      2. Really? 😍 haha yeah I guess 😂

        Like

      3. Matt F.H. says:

        Haha yeah! Please tell me you tried our empanadas lmao

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      4. Or course!! I miss the empanada pollo so much… I enjoyed Buenos Aires so much I consider living there one day

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Matt F.H. says:

        That’s so cool!! I just made a post about moving to somewhere new and stuff like that you might relate to it😅

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Nice, I will definitely check it out! I am now living in Lisbon, but the next stop is gonna be either Spain or Argentina 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Matt F.H. says:

    Haha awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your “inner planning freak.” I have one, too.
    I notice you have a category for what it’s like being a flight attendant. Looking forward to reading those posts. It’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into someone else’s job, especially when it’s a job most of us are familiar with, but probably don’t truly appreciate enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think we all have one, it’s just the amount of love for planning that is different! 😉 And that is so nice to hear! I will definitely be posting more blogs in the Flight Attendant category. And you are absolutely right, this is an example of a job that many people have different views and opinions about, but is truly important and crucial. Often, when you don’t know what is happening behind the scenes, you don’t really give much of credit to a job/person.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Easymalc says:

    Thanks for telling us about your experience in a place that I’ve never been to. Travelling is a wonderful thing, but travelling alone can be fraught with danger. It can also be a most exhillarating experience at the same time. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I actually just wrote a post about this, about where to travel safe and a post about solo travel. And I can tell we share the same mindset 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete says:

    I think you did very well, and have a brave spirit to travel alone in such places. 🙂
    Many thanks for following my blog, for which I am grateful.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words, Pete. I really appreciate it. Your blog is absolutely amazing, I am glad to follow it. Warm regards, Ana

      Liked by 1 person

  7. wow. im not sure what happened. its funny i used to be happy to take it as it came when travelling. but now in my forties… i travel a lot more rigidly to plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that it all depends on your choices, too. You can remains strict to your plan or you can just go with the flow and let whatever comes to you, get you. So I totally understand that if you had the “go with the flow” holidays then later on you might want to actually stick to your initial plan! 🙂

      Like

  8. I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. See details here and congrats. You have a great blog: https://thetravelarchitect.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/the-sunshine-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for this opportunity. I just read all about it on your website and I will answer these 11 (12) questions as soon as possible! Kind regards, Ana

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. I really enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to reading your responses to the questions. Congrats!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much! 🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just published my answers to your questions! Thank you so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You’re welcome! I can’t wait to read them!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. lukegroves86 says:

    nice read. I did similar stops as you in my 19 day tour of brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
    did you manage to see the falls from both sides? im still unsure what was my favourite side. I have wrote a blog about brazil. where do you plan to travel next?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that sounds amazing, such a long and beautiful trip! No, unfortunately I only saw the Argentinian side. I hear a lot of mixed opinions about which side is better. Nice, I will definitely check out your blog! I plan on travelling a lot in Portugal, where I live now. I want to visit Madeira and the Azores islands. And for longer vacations, I am going to Cuba and the Maldives!

      Like

      1. lukegroves86 says:

        Im unsure what was my favourite im just thankful I did both. I also managed to get a copper ride over them what was really good. I have only been Portugal once and that was to albufeira. I enjoyed it there though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That ride sounds amazing! Oh Albufeira is great,the Algarve region is my favorite part of Portugal! Nice to hear you enjoyed it. If you ever think about coming back, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to help out.

        Liked by 1 person

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