When Things Go Wrong

It’s often said that social media is a highlight reel of someone’s life. While I agree, I wish to leave that ideal world on social media and describe the good, bad, and ugly of my travels on this blog.

There are many times when I am traveling that things don’t go as planned. I live, at best, with a few days in advance planned. I don’t book flights in advance. I don’t schedule accommodations in advance. There are many times I don’t even research the city or town in advance. I just go. Perhaps I am visiting a friend, maybe I saw an interesting picture of the town, or there’s a large chance that I just heard good things about a place that I later decided to visit.

A photo I captured my first day in Medellín, Colombia, where I had initially visited to see an old friend.

But this doesn’t always work out well for me. Most times, it is amazing, I have a wonderful adventure and learn a lot in new parts of the world, but that is not always the case.

Things go wrong. A lot.

And it’s not that it’s not expected. Of course, I expect it. Perhaps I don’t plan for things to go wrong as much as I should. But, the majority of these problems are solvable within the country, and cheaper there as well. I’ve gone so much as to stop buying travel insurance in the majority of the countries that I visit.

With that said, most problems are solvable. Infected bug bites get treated with a warm compress and natural remedies, as well as prescribed creams to treat the wounds. Stomach aches get treated with rest, water, and soup. Even something as major as a motorcycle burn gets treated with antibiotics and burn cream. I also used aloe, which worked like a charm in speeding up the healing of the wound.

Treating the burn wound with antibiotics in Palomino, Santa Marta. Colombia

But there are some times, like what recently occurred, where things go wrong to a point of inevitability. I can no longer seek help within the country, or the help I’m receiving just doesn’t amount to the help that I need. Sometimes I’m so sick I just need to stay in my bed, and a flight home is cheaper than a single bedroom Airbnb. Things like that happen, and even though they’re undesirable, they’re also unavoidable.

This time, I came home because I needed to stay in bed for a week and take my medicine various times a day. I needed blood tests ran and I didn’t want to go to the appointments by myself. You see, this solo traveling thing is fun and easy until it’s not. But life’s not always easy. And I’ve created this life, this crazy life I live all over the world by myself. And I don’t plan on giving it up just because things get hard sometimes.

I’m thankful for my home. Every time things get too hard, or too expensive, or not worth it, I have a safe haven at home. I have my loving family and friends who take care of me and care about my wellbeing. I couldn’t be more grateful for them. And I definitely don’t say it enough.

So thank you, family and friends, for caring, for picking me up from airports, for going to doctor’s visits with me, for going on diner dates in the middle of the night when I arrive home late from the airport, for always inviting me back to my town and my city with open arms upon my return. I am back, but not for long, so I will enjoy all of my time “home” while I can.

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