Travel stories for the rest of my life (Making my back home from Borneo)
In 2019 I spent about 2 weeks in Borneo Malaysia in the State that’s called Sabah. I was visiting a friend of mine who I had the fortune of meeting during the summer of 2018 while working at the summer camp in New Hampshire. My time there was great and super interesting because I had never been able to travel to Asia before. It opened up a whole new world for me while I was out here. My trip back to The Netherland was interesting for a different reason that I am about to get into, if you’ve read some of my previous blog this story might sound a little familiar but I am about dive a little bit further down into the fun details.
The journey back
It’s about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I have just gotten back from my last walk through the city of Kota Kinabalu. On my way back to the hostel I picked up a couple tiger beers and I settled myself in the sun before checking out and going to the airport. A couple hours later when I got to the airport I realised I was there too early because the airport is very small and it doesn’t take long to go through everything. I waited just outside the gate area so I would be able to see people boarding the plane. Eventually I saw people boarding the plane but I was convinced that I had to wait for the next plane to show up, somehow they put the wrong boarding time on my ticket and I was supposed to be on that flight. Luckily for me at the last minute someone came up to me and asked if I was flying to Singapore, which I was so I ran up to the counter and luckily got on the plane just in time. From there everything went smoothly until we got to Frankfurt.
The last leg of the trip
Frankfurt airport is Germany’ biggest and busiest airport and located in the middle of the country. Usually a flight from Frankfurt to Amsterdam goes by in the blink of an eye, not when your and 60 other flights get cancelled. That’s what happened to us. I made it to Frankfurt after about 18 hours of traveling and I was ready to make it back to Amsterdam within the hour. Everyone had boarded the plane and it was time to take off, there were 2 people sitting next to me on this flight, both of them from Texas. These 2 Americans asked me about all the tips and recommendations I could give them for when they get to Amsterdam. I am probably the worst tour guide when it comes to my own country so I wasn’t much help other than advising them to get out of the city to see some things as well. We got to talking and they shared some of their background stories with me. After a bit of talking our pilot made the announcement that we would not be flying to Amsterdam that day and neither would about 60 other flights. All of these flights got cancelled because there was a drone sighting somewhere in the area.
While all of us were getting of the plane some people were freaking out about what to do. It wasn’t the first time I had been in a situation like this so I tried to stay calm and figure out the situation that I was in ( at the time I thought that this would make a good story for when I get home regardless of what happens from here on out). The airline was assuring us that all the train tickets would get refunded by the airline but all other means of traveling were going to be at our own costs. I figured out my plan: get in line, get my train ticket refunded and go. Just when it was about to be my turn the Texans came up to me and asked me if I wanted to rent a car with them. At first I was a little bit hesitant because I did not feel like paying for traveling that I did intend on doing in the first place. After some talking they simply asked me to drive them to the airport in Amsterdam and they would take care of the rest. This was a no brainer, I did not care about the convenience of a train, all I cared about was that this was definitely going to be the story worth telling later on. Me randomly meeting these 2 Americans and agreeing to drive them for about 6 hours without knowing a significant thing about them (what can go wrong) .
We had to wait a couple hours to pick up our car, because obviously we were not the only ones in need of a car that day. After hanging out in Mcdonalds for about 2 hours we got our car and we were off. I had never driven in Germany before but I knew that I was allowed to drive fast. The next 6 hours were spent talking about their backgrounds, things that make Texas such an interesting and cool state and also a lot of ”touchy/ controversial subjects”. I am definitely not someone to hold very strong arguments when it comes to politics because I am just not interested in it. I kind of assumed that they were Trump supporters (which they are) and that was fine to me. I don’t support him and that was fine with them too. I mostly let them do the talking because again it’s not something I am into but it was super interesting to hear a different side of things. It was a good natured and calm conversation about a topic that a lot of people freak out or get angry about and feel the need to change other people’s opinions. All of the people that I am closed to are on the other side of the political scale so it was different hearing this side. I chose not to be judgemental because there was no point in doing so, they were kind to me and that’s all I cared about. We continued to talk about how they are both from Texas but that the guy lives and works for an oil company in Saudi Arabia. About 2 hours into our little road trip they invited me to come stay with them in Texas so they could cook for me, take me to some good taqueria’s/ barbeque restaurants and show me how to shoot guns. It just goes to show that by not judging people on things you don’t agree with for ones you can still find things to connect over and talk about. We made it to the airport about 5 hours after leaving Frankfurt, while saying goodbye we exchanged numbers so I can contact them when I am in Texas.
It just goes to show again that ”could be stressful situations” turn into some of the best stories while traveling or doing anything else in life. I have come to enjoy, respect and welcome these moments because I know I can make a story out of it and tell it one day.