Updated: Aug 21, 2019
October 8th, 2018
Five Clarifications On Europe
Have you ever planned for a trip so much that you were just counting down the days until you reached your destination? Ready to get away from it all so you can come back home refocused and energized? Well, this was me planning my first time ever going to Europe with my best friend. That is until the day before our trip everything changed and not for the better, so I am here to clarify just what exactly happened.
1. Merde Arrive
Merde Arrive, meaning "shits happens" in French or says Google Translate. Europe didn't happen. The beginning of my October was bound to be epic and then it wasn't. I plan trips but I don't like to over- plan too much because I also like to enjoy myself on trips and let whatever happens, happen. However, with this trip everything was laid out to an almost perfect T. Words were exchanged when things went wrong, the wine was had, tears were shed, and my patience was put to the test with my first "planned" international Europe trip. Europe: 1 Bryana: 0 I had been defeated at my own game. Let it be known that Europe has not seen the last of me.
2. The Airline Omen
My best friend who lives in Newark, NJ bought a flight with Norwegian airlines to travel to Europe. All things were good, we planned to meet in the Paris airport and take on Europe! Three weeks before our international travels she calls and tells me her Norwegian airline flight has been canceled. That they were refunding her money and trying to find an alternative flight. Few days later, turns out that the flight the airline found did not align with the time I got into Paris and didn't work for my friend either. Nevertheless, not all hope was lost because my best friend soon informed me that she had found a better flight (or so we thought) via a third-party with a Danish airline named Primera Air.
A Day before our trip 10/2/18 at 11:19 AM I get the dreadful text from my best friend that the Primera Air airline, an airline that has been in business for 14 years went bankrupt and is no longer operating in business. (Just like that? Yes! just like that). Now, before I continue I've never heard of this airline, but they fly primarily in the U.S. northeast and parts of western Europe. I am all for finding the best price for a flight, however; you get what you pay for sometimes, and in this instance, it wasn't in my friends favor. Do you believe in signs? Was this a bad omen? Two times the charm? Something was keeping my best friend out of Europe, so much that the universe took drastic measures to have the airline she was going to be on just bankrupt. Oh vey! The next few hours were stressful with finding again, another alternate flight to get to Europe or to make the decision to cancel altogether. The third party that my best friend bought her ticket from were also searching for flights, the only issue with that was she wasn't on the priority list. Others, who had tickets with Primera Air were stranded in countries all over the world as well as captains and flight attendants of the airline who were unable to get home or even ahold of the Primera Air company so they were the priority and rightfully so. The worst part of it all the company was selling tickets up-to-the day they went bankrupt, but made a tweet of ceasing operations on October 1st, but no other communication went out via email to customers who had bought tickets. The only way my friend found out about her flight is she visited the website to check the luggage dimensions and saw the notice. In the end, my best friend was unable to find a returning flight back in the time she needed and we canceled our trip. There was a dark cloud over our Europe trip and we took the warning.
3. The Do-I-Go-By-Myself-Talk?
In the midst of it all, I was a decision away from just doing Europe solo and not looking back. Afterall, my flight was fine and I've heard plenty of stories of women going on solo trips on their own and having no issues. But, negative thoughts also rushed through my head, such as; the movie Taken. I've never been to Europe, I know maybe 5 words and two sentences in French. I'm putting a lot of trust in others and do I want my first solo trip to be in Europe? Then, the thought I am a mom came over me. My twenty-year-old self would have leaped at the chance to do a solo international trip, but being a mom it was no longer about me. I was acting like Paris would never be in my playing cards in this game of life. However, that was a lie my mind was telling me. Europe isn't ever going to happen, it's just not happening now.
4. The Anguish
I was upset. Months of planning down the drain, outfits bought, reservations in place, photoshoot happenings. All for nothing! I wallowed for two-three days straight contemplating what is life? Trying to believe that I made the right decision to not go to Paris/Switzerland on my own. I can admit now that I was a bit over-dramatic, selfish even. Canceling everything was indeed the pits of it all, with some things not eligible for a refund my best friend and I had to take the loss. In total, we canceled three hotels, a dinner reservation, a lunch reservation, a photo shoot, a car rental, a round-trip flight from Paris to Switzerland and a handful of museums. This doesn't even include what we didn't do ahead of time. Then, turning around to have to unpack probably was the cherry on top of it all. First, I don't know anyone who likes packing and then having to unpack after I just packed. Ha! I purposely took a week to put away all things (let's just slide this suitcase over here). I dealt with the disappointment, and after all is said and done, I hope to re-do my Paris plans in the future.
5. Wonderful Stroke Of Luck
Crazy circumstances right? Would you have taken the trip by yourself if you were in my shoes? Here is the thing, as much of disappointment as it was. I am still thankful that this happened. Learned experiences and who knows what COULD have happened if we kept pushing this trip when it wasn't supposed to occur? I would say I am lucky to have only lost 100$ (give or take) from the trip in light of everything else and still, have a ticket that can be used anytime within the next year to anywhere I'd like to go. Also, with not going I was introduced to a business opportunity that will be beneficial to my future! #win. There will always be that would've, could've, should've moment, but "sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."