I have said many times that in any adventure – whether it be big or small, travel-related or not – there is going to be that one point where you throw your hands up in frustration, grumble something indecipherable, and ask the questions: What am I doing here, is this even worth it, and should I just go home?
These are very good questions to ask because once you do, you usually find out the answers quite promptly.
Our trip to Scotland didn’t go as planned. Telling border patrol that you plan to volunteer on a horse farm in the Scottish highlands is, we learned, innappropriate behaviour that justifies detainment. Refused entry onto the Queen’s land and sent back to where we had just come from – Iceland, which at the time, felt like being banished to the moon by her Majesty herself. Our feelings were a little bit hurt and hearts discouraged.
The mood on the plane ride back was much different than the prior. No, I’m not willing or able to help in the event of an emergency water landing, please give me a different seat – we had to tell the flight attendants who just attended to us a few hours previous.
But I have a philosophy and it is this: When One plans, God laughs. When a vagabond traveler plans, God laughs so hard that he gets a hernia.
Clearly, God just understands Icelandic humour better than us.
We met Kleopatra while using the internet in a nearby hotel to find out where planes would take us from our present location. She overheard our frantic pitches and listened to our problems over a cup of tea. And then everything fell into place. We were invited in for a home-cooked meal, to shower and get some rest, and the best company to ask for. This was the point where I really fell in love with Iceland, is after seeing the people and hearing the stories or their lives and the ongoing history of their country. This is why I want to go back.
The next day, we went to Switzerland. This friendly neutral country had nothing negative to say about our arrival, they just gifted us cheese and chocolates. A man was even able to find us a Danish newspaper for us to practice the Japanese art of oragami while waiting for our flight to Switzerland.
He appeared out of nowhere and told us everything that we would need to know in order to get to our brand-new destination that we knew nothing about, such as helpful Swiss phrases and which direction to autostop from the airport. These are some examples of the reasons why I believe in the magic.
Everything is at it should be. The art of travel includes deviating from one’s plans, and that is just what we were forced to do.
And it turns out – it is worth it!
I think that we will be better off if we stop making plans and taking planes.