Over my few years of traveling the world so far I have gained my fair share of interesting travel stories. Some tell the story of traveling from one place to another with what some people would call ” bad luck” and some let you in on amazing moments that turn into unforgettable memories.
This first story starts of in Germany
My trip back from Freiburg, Germany
It’s October 2016 and I have recently gotten back from my first summer working at a camp in New Hampshire. I met some truly wonderful and amazing people there, one of these people was Selina and she is from Freiburg. Freiburg is a city closely located to the black forrest and the border of Switzerland and France.
If you take the train from the The Netherlands it will take you about 4 changeovers and 8+ hours to get there, or it would be if you don’t encounter the ”bad luck” I had the day of my return trip.
After a weekend of being welcomed into my friends home, celebrating her birthday, drinking way to many beers and having some amazing authentic German food, it was time to make the trip back over to my small town in the Netherlands.
I would get the train at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and after some change overs I would get back around 8:30 that evening. The first part of the trip would bring me to Cologne (Köln) where I would have 40 minutes to change over to my next train that would bring me into The Netherlands. Did this not go according to plan. For whatever reason my train to Cologne stopped and stood still on the track about half way through the journey. You would think that 40 minutes to change trains is plenty of time, but guess what, it wasn’t. My train stood still for exactly 40 minutes before moving on. I missed my train to the Netherlands, no big deal I will just jump on the next one. It was a Sunday afternoon and the next train would be the last one of the day that could take me back to the Netherlands. I waited until the train rolled into the station and I was ready to board the train.
but this wouldn’t be worth telling if I actually got on that train right?
This train rolled into the station and for whatever reason the part of the train that I was standing at said not to board the train, all the lights were off and the doors stayed closed. 1 minute later another part of the train closed its doors and took off without me on it, fuck! I stayed calm and tried to figure out a way to at least get back across the border. My smart ass figured out that the most logical thing to do was to take a train to Bruges (Brugge), a city in Belgium and than make my way over to the Netherlands. This would have worked if my train ticket was valid while traveling in Belgium, it was not however. I got kicked out of the train at the next train stop which was fortunately for me decently close to the Dutch border. What was not as fortunate for me was the fact that my phone was losing battery life fast and soon I would not be able to contact anyone or navigate myself through the long journey ahead of me. If you have travelled to an unknown location without being able to access your phone you know how stressful that can be (1st world problems). I decided to stay calm because I was by myself, I only had myself to rely on, there was no point in freaking out because that would only make things worse.
I took the bus from the train station in Belgium to just inside the border of the Netherlands, from here I would try and take 2 trains to get to the a city called Utrecht which is about an hour away from my house. For the first time that day I got on and off the train without anything significant happening. The significant part would happen after I got off the train however. There was some construction going on at the station, so instead they scheduled a bus that would take us 45 minutes further north so we could catch a train from the next station. The bus had some delays as well and when I got off that bus it was already past midnight and the last train of the day had left the station. Unfortunately enough, the week before the Dutch railway company had rescheduled all the trains around that area so that the trains run less frequent at night. It was midnight and when I got to the station there were people there who work for the Dutch railway company. They were dealing with issues just like mine, because apparently I was not the only one having trouble getting home. After talking to them, they called me a taxi that would drive me over to the city called The Hague (Den Haag). My phone was long dead by now so I had to borrow someone else’s phone to call my parents and ask them to pick me up. The taxi showed up about an hour later and drove us 2 hours further north to the Hague. When I got to the Hague it was past 3AM and I was at the wrong train station. of course!
The final steps I had to take (literally) was finding my way to the right station without the use of my phone and getting picked up by my parents around 3:30 that morning, about 7 hours after I was supposed to get in. Luckily I kinda know my way around the city and I ran towards the other station at 3 AM in the morning.
However annoying it was at the time, this is a story that I have told quite a few times since it happened. I will continue to tell it because it shows how situations like that can make for a good laugh and great story now. This story also gave me the opportunity to test myself and see how well I could handle a stressful situation. It also taught me to embrace these moments whenever they would inevitably a rise in the fututre. I am not lying when I say that I was very calm while my parents were freaking out because they had no clue where I was and what I was upto. We continue to talk about this story until this day. Luckily for me this would and will not be the last time I will able to create a story of interesting things happening to me while traveling. Stay tuned, there’re more stories like this to come and to be created.
Great post 😁
thanks for the support!