I love sharing the fun and interesting parts of our journey with you. But that’s not the whole story. Sometimes, fairly regularly actually, we run up against a wall or face all sorts of craziness and problems. So today, I want to share with you one of those “roll with the punches” kind of days that we sometimes encounter when traveling. We had just arrived in Honduras and the first day in any new country is typically a bit of a challenge. New lingo, new currency, and trying to get our zen together and figure out where to go to get the things we need is always a challenge, and one that we usually relish. It’s addictive, that feeling you get when you hit the ground running and have to figure it all out again.
Well, usually it is addictive. That day it was just frazzling and stressful. We couldn’t find a bank where our debit card worked & calls to our bank in the US didn’t help because the problem is on this end. No problem, we’ll just send ourselves a wire transfer. But then that involved a flag for suspicious activity on our account and required another call to our bank and to Visa.
Then it turned out that our SIM card, which we spent 4 hours last week sorting out in Nicaragua, does not in fact work in Honduras (even though we were assured it would). So that required another trip to a Claro store to get a new chip. One problem though. We have an iPhone 5. Not a popular model in Honduras, where Blackberrys and Samsung are king. The first two stores couldn’t even help us.
The nail in the coffin was our transport for the next morning. The bus company which was supposed to take us to our next stop in the jungle no longer offers that route and we couldn’t find a company that does offer it this time of the year (the rainy season). We were considering paying a private taxi 15 times what it was going to cost us to take a bus because we were out of options.
When it rains, it pours! By this time, we were starting to get a bit testy with each other. It was one of those times where we finally had to take a step back, acknowledge that we were both stressed about all the things going wrong, and then keep going.
It all turned out fine in the end. The bank transfer went through and we got to learn all sorts of new Spanish banking vocabulary when we went to pick up the cash. Our taxi driver was incredibly kind and helpful and took us to three different Claro locations until we found one with the right kind of SIM card for our phone. And after calling most of the companies in town that go past our destination (with no luck), the owner of our hotel finally suggested we take a rapidito bus, and offered to get us to the right place in the morning.
Problems, sorted! But there were a few hours there where we had to take a step back and remind ourselves that this was just turbulence – temporary (albeit stressful) setbacks, and that, while we were feeling stressed now, it would soon all get figured out and we’d be fine.
So many things in life come down to how you manage turbulence – those bumps you inevitably hit along the way.
Do we let turbulence paralyze us or do we ride it out? In many instances, turbulence can be paralyzing, making you want to crawl under the covers and hide from the world. But many other times we don’t have a choice. Like that day in Tegucigalpa, we had to ride it out. And in the end, riding out the turbulence is always worth it. Less than 24 hours later, we were sitting in a lovely jungle location, drinking beer, and enjoying the peace and all the hummingbirds.
Turbulence is just part of the journey. It challenges us to really commit to the moves we want or need to make. And it makes the end result that much sweeter. Even if we want to tear our hair out and hide under the covers when it hits.
What sort of turbulence have you faced along your journey? How have you handled it?