A misadventure on my European tour 10



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As a consultant I have often used the Myers Briggs tool just to help companies understand some differences in how personalities may handle situations. When I told some friends about my forthcoming trip to Europe, some were shocked by the lack of planning. Whilst I am absolutely against pigeon holing people, I have to say I fit into my profile a little too well. Spontaneous, flexible, big picture and deep feeling with a little touch of organising ability. So far, apart from a few misadventures, this has worked for me.

Last night was not really a misadventure, but certainly a quite funny incident. My driving companion and I had driven from Hamburg, through Denmark experiencing some close encounters with bicycles in Copenhagen and over and under the Baltic Sea to hit Sweden and spend a night in the quite peaceful city of Malmo.

Yesterday was a long driving day as we sped along the magnificent Swedish highways with views of verdant crops: wheat, barley, canola and corn, the farmlands dotted with neat red buildings fringed in white. We stopped only to admire the atmospheric, university town of Lund, then onto Stockholm where we had only the night before booked into what seemed to be an appropriate small hotel on the outskirts of the city. Driving had been a dream until we hit the outskirts of Stockholm at peak hour. Our scheduled arrival was extended by an hour due to congestion so we were really ready for a  hot shower as we walked into the reception area.

The amount of consternation our arrival seemed to arouse rather surprised us. Three rather flustered women collaborated about our booking. We thought maybe the language barrier was causing the difficulties. Eventually we were given keys and we thought no more about it. I did think it rather odd that an empty mobile cot was outside my door but it was only at breakfast that reality set in. We were the only ones at breakfast unaccompanied by a mobile cot. In each cot wrapped in either a blue or pink rug, were tiny little new born babies. We had inadvertently booked into a post natal after care facility. I felt a little tearful amongst all of those tiny helpless babies, but when one let out a loud wail I was shaken back to reality. I loved being a young mum, but for now I am happy with my empty mobile cot.

Following breakfast we made a hasty retreat and hit the road again. Now we are in Uppsala and I have had a big hug from my son who is residing here at the moment. I wonder what the next big adventure will be. After our night in Brussels on Red Cross camp beds and our night in the post natal care unit, we may be a little more careful about our bookings but for the next three nights we are safely ensconced in my son’s comfortable unit.

Tell us, have you encountered something like this on your travels? Do you plan a trip meticulously or go with the flow?

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Lyn Traill

Lyn Traill is a very late bloomer and is grateful to feel she is being more productive now than at any other time in her life. Whilst still involved in corporate consulting, her real passions are writing and speaking. She has had a number of educational books published but ‘Sizzling at Seventy – victim to victorious’ was her first book for adults. Lyn’s mantra is that it is never too late to find your ‘fabulous’. www.traillblaze.com

  1. I like to know exactly what I am doing before I venture overseas. I plan everything and google before I leave home, so I know where I am staying when I land in a foreign country. I know what activities I want to do (google again), and have often booked tours, or know where to get the hop on – hop off tourist bus. I find I get to see and do the best activities in any given area, in the time allowed, if I plan ahead. Overseas travel can be both confusing and exhausting, even without the language barrier to contend with. Saying that, you also have to be fairly flexible. Anything can happen overseas, and the best laid plans can fail. Shrug it off, go with the flow, and thank God for travel insurance. Don’t leave home without it…

  2. Love the fact the ladies found you a room, AND a cot! just in case your little one showed up overnight!! 🙂

  3. Haha. Good one.
    When I was in Iran aged 20 (on my own on way to london) I was invited by a local to a wedding.
    After telling the hotel manager what i planned and had him speak to my local friend about my safety,I went to the wedding 2 hours out of the city into the desert.
    It was amazing.
    I felt out of place until I was given an outfit to put on over my short dress…
    We sat on the floor to eat. I was the only female in that room and the only one who spoke English.
    The bride took an interest in me as did the village children, most of whom had never seen white skinned blonde female before.
    We left after the fireworks and the sheets had been hung out to prove she was a virgin!

    1 REPLY
    • You are right Felicity and we rewarded them for taking us in. This trip has enhanced my feeling of gratefulness.

  4. So very funny! I was beginning to think that only these kinds of things happen to me when I go overseas. And I am not the one who plans the trips mind you!

  5. Mike here-we took a 6 week trip to England & Europe, only planning involved was that we had to visit Junes mob in Lincolnshire & my mob in Blackpool then onto Germany to see my mothers mob. Should’ve planned the hire car at Gatwick though.

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