My journey to Madrid: Possibly not over yet

The story

Now in Madrid, I see my journey here as having started on Sunday night in Seattle.

My flight departed from Vancouver at 6:30 pm on Monday, I thought. I approached Sunday with easy. I went for a run, I shaved, I went shopping… I didn’t start packing until the evening, at which time I glanced at the departure time of my flight—6:30 IN THE MORNING! My bad.:-P As Michael Scott once said, “I, for one, love the hilarious hijinks I get myself into.”

I threw my stuff in a suitcase, packing list be damned, and my parents rushed me to Vancouver late that night. (Thanks, mom and dad!)

As a prize for booking the cheapest flight, my itinerary took me from Vancouver to Toronto to Frankfurt to Madrid. And it wouldn’t be a cheap flight without something, or things, going wrong.

In this case, my connection to Frankfurt was delayed by one whole day. I found out at the gate. After hours of waiting in line to reschedule my flight, the airline put us up in a fancy hotel in downtown Toronto. The silver lining of this cloud (I chose a sky-themed phrase because we’re talking about flying) is that I’m entitled to 600 euros as part of travelers’ rights in the European union. I submitted a claim and look forward to being compensated.

Another thing that went wrong was the airline lost my suitcase. It stayed in Frankfurt while I hopped a plane to Madrid. Two days later, I received it at my Airbnb. While Lufthansa owed it to me to bring it to my doorstep while I stood defiantly with my hand behind my back, I felt bad for the messenger who hauled it up a steep, dark staircase to my fourth floor room. He was heaving and sweating when I found him outside my door.

My suitcase arrived with  zipper busted. Tomorrow I need to try to fix it or buy a new one and submit a reimbursement claim. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to change out of my single pair of underwear. They’re my favorite pair, featuring a pattern of Bart Simpson mooning the viewer, but I’m inclined to just throw them in the garbage.

When you hear someone say they love travel, don’t forget to include my experience as part of your sunny image. 🙂

The moral

What did we learn here?

  1. Triple-check your appointments.
  2. Splurge on items that support your wellbeing when things go wrong (e.g., secure accommodations, direct flights, and insurance).
  3. Carry another pair of underwear and a shower essentials in your backpack.
  4. Demand reimbursement for inconveniences, delays, or lost luggage.

A question for my reader/s

I’ve neglected details of physical pain and discomfort, and I’m currently writing jet-lagged, without having slept in 24 hours. I don’t know I’m keeping my head on straight.

This week, I really felt like life has pummeled me. I hadn’t realized how much I value bare necessities like successfully communicating with others, knowing where the bathroom is, and having clothes.

Here’s my question: How do you deal with perceived setbacks? Do you change your perception, say, from life kicking your ass to this all being one big learning experience? What helps?


Let it be known the airline that cancelled my connecting flight and lost my baggage was Condor. Beware.



8 thoughts on “My journey to Madrid: Possibly not over yet

  1. If this exact thing happens to anyone I am related to, I usually feel way worse for them than I would feel if it happened to me. If I know it is going on, I don’t change my underwear (Marge Simpson getting Homie a brew), shower, or talk to anyone who speaks English. Then I find a way to advise them that the messenger probably felt worse for you than you felt for him because he knew your zipper was busted.
    Then I recall my travelling days and say that as in life, all of the shitty things that happen, make for a great story down the road-or in a blog that gets read by people who are comfortably by the fire with a glass of wine, full belly, and 10 cats on their lap.
    Come home already!! We miss you!!


    1. Miss you too, Ant Liz! I’m sorry I couldn’t catch you before I left. I didn’t know about the 10 cats, though. You must’ve been busy! Was with class of wine you’re unwinding with Moscato?



      1. Boonesfarm!! Have you ever had that varietal? Hoping the beauty of Madrid is reviving you! Make sure to get to cinque terra. Still missing you but I missed you even when you live across the lake.


    1. Gammy, maybe traveling by train in Europe will be different? Anyway, seems the consensus is I now have a story. I’m glad I have my luggage too!




  2. A rather inauspicious start to a grand journey which can only go up from here! Let the adventure begin! Good luck, Jim!


      1. Hi Jim, After I leap (ha) out of bed every morning, I go to the computer, imagining that you’ve had hours to spend writing on your blog. I bet you’re still figuring out where to live, and get groceries, etc. I wonder if you will be cooking? or eating at school? or eating out? Do washing machines work the same way there as they do here? I think you have a few days to figure things out before starting teaching…You will have stories to tell~! Love, Gammy


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