My blog about travel adventures and a lot more.
Once upon a time, there was me and my wish to get home for Christmas smoothly. But it just doesn’t happen for me! I am sure those that have to travel to join their families share similar experience. It can be frustrating. And tiring. However, spending holidays with your families seems like well deserved award after all.
I started to travel home for Christmas when I was 18. As I was not studying in my hometown, I was one of 200.000 people leaving Slovak capital for holidays. It doesn’t seem a lot? Just to precise, Bratislava has 500.000 inhabitants. You see the challenge now? Bratislava’s population divides (almost) by two in only few days. You better don’t forget to buy your train ticket waaay in advance … You have your ticket ? Good. It’s not over. Get ready to face crowded train station and a crowded train. In my case for almost 5 hours. I was not always lucky to be seated. I often spent the journey standing, sometimes close to the toilet …
When I was studying in Portugal for one semester, I was flying home. My flights got delayed. Great. My luggage got lost. Great!? My luggage was found. Great 🙂 And there was still the journey in already mentioned train to be suffered through.
Last year, I was already living in France. And what French people like more than Christmas? Strikes. Yes, I was lucky to witness one. Security staff at Lyon airport decided that it was a great moment to express their discontentment. Therefore, my flight got cancelled 3 times. The new one was reprogrammed for the following day every time. Due to 1 delayed flight (even 3 days later, plane couldn’t be on time), I missed my connecting flight. I had to wait for 2 hours in a queue to be rebooked for a new flight. And then wait another 2 hours for my flight. I arrived to my destination with a slight delay of 3 days. The journey in a train followed, of course.
This year, I am still living in France. No strike this time. Leaving from Marseille and transferring in Frankfurt. Bad weather in Frankfurt caused a bit of a mess at the airport and more importantly, it caused also that we came to Vienna with a short delay but our luggage didn’t arrive at all. All our clothes and all the presents. We almost missed our coach to Bratislava where we booked a room and I was already imagining how a night at the airport was going to be. We spent 2 nice days in Bratislava (wearing the same clothes) and just before our departure, our luggage reappeared. Christmas was saved! For the train, I booked an upper class ticket this time (fortunately, I don’t need to travel on a “student budget” anymore).
On the way back, our plane had a problem with braking system and further analysis was necessary. The flight got delayed. Well, it was a question of safety so I didn’t regret this hick-up even for a second.
All these moments can be stressful and it is not always easy to live through them. But later, I just smile remembering the troubles. I feel grateful I made it home safely and could spend holidays with my family. I suppose it is a small price to pay for living abroad and always having a home to return to.
And what about you and your “travelling home for Xmas adventures”? Nothing. Lucky you. May it continue and may you spend amazing Christmas with your loved ones as long as possible.