This is how I feel beginning to write this post, as it’s going to be so hard to put into coherent words. I’m just excited reliving it right now!
It was the 23rd of December. My plan was simple. Land, get my car, drive home, unpack, do my laundry, take a shower, go to bed, and go to my parent’s house for Christmas Eve festivities in the morning.
Needless to say, the plan fell through.
So I arrived at Heathrow airport really early. The lady checking my bags even let me check them both for free because, “It’s Christmas.” I went and got some breakfast, went to the Harrod’s in the airports, then walked to my gate once it was announced. When I arrived at my gate, I was told the flight was delayed due to high winds. This flight was to take me to Amsterdam for an hour and a half layover then straight to Detroit.
But the flight was delayed. It was delayed so much that I missed my connecting flight to Detroit.
I had to go to the transfer desk for them to put me on another flight. I came to find out there wasn’t another one until the next day at 10:45am. Meaning I had to spend a night in Amsterdam. Alone.
Now most people would freak out at this point and go on Facebook and rant and rant. And normally I would have freaked out – without the social media ranting. My plans were all messed up, I didn’t have my luggage with me, I was in a strange country all by myself, but I was quite giddy about it. I was a little nervous, but was embracing the experience this was bringing me. I bought myself a converter to charge my phone and set off to the hotel the airline booked for me.
The hotel was shit. It was a 2 star at best. But I was determined not to be negative.
I Facetimed D, who had traveled to Amsterdam multiple times and he told me a a good place where to walk around. So I requested an Uber to drive me and walked the streets of Liedesplein.
I saw the beautiful canals, all the pretty lights they put up for a light festival, almost stepped in puke, saw the famous bench from “The Fault in Our Stars,” saw the rainbow bridge, and even walked as far as the ice rink near the “iamsterdam” sign and the Van Gogh museum.
It was freezing cold. The wind was at least 20mph so I didn’t last outside long. I went to an authentic Italian restaurant and ordered myself a pizza. Then went to a sweet shop and tried a couple of different sweets. And last but not least, I even bought a waffle with dark chocolate hardened on top of it. It was delicious.
The Dutch people are all very nice, and everyone speaks English. Out of all the strange countries to be stranded in, this wasn’t so bad. And it was a free night!
All in all, it was a pretty neat experience despite the fact that it was completely a surprise. But it really ignited something in me that I knew was always there, but had been hiding in a little corner of my heart: wanderlust.
Now when I see a new place, I don’t think to myself “Oh gosh, that looks gorgeous. I would love to go there someday.” and knowing full well it’ll probably never happen. Now I think “Oh gosh, that looks gorgeous. D, we HAVE to go here. I’m putting it on my list.”
Now it’s conceivable.
But I also need money for these things. So it may be awhile.
Any crazy travel plans of yours ever get messed up that it ended up being a positive and enjoyable experience? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!