I went to Bali to attend a workshop on Sacred Geometry, which by the way was amazing. This was my gift to me for turning 50. I had no idea it would be the gift that would keep giving.
Before I left I ensured that I had ‘top’ travel insurance, why? Well there was a little incident of a volcano causing some disruption to travel in Bali not that long ago and I wanted to ensure that I was adequately covered if a similar event occurred. My first lesson, don’t only read the overview, you MUST read the small print. Not a fun exercise to read a full product disclosure statement, but if you don’t want any surprises you need to. I didn’t do this.
People back home generally don’t get it, they have a very different perception, they say enjoy the break, have fun etc. But when your ATM card does not work, your CC will only work at certain venues, cash has run out and you are covered top to toe in heat rash…yes this was me. You get to the point if you hear ‘oh you are so lucky’ one more time…you may just scream. I however was in a much better position than some. I met many people who: had children back home waiting for their parents’ return, had serious medical conditions and their medications had run out or were about to. It was also the daily wait, will today be the day that I get a flight. And the truth here is that you needed to stay close to where you were staying, if you didn’t want to miss an opportunity to get back home. Two ladies I met were given very short notice, via email that their flight was departing earlier, no time for showers, chuck everything in the bag and race to the airport. Just as they were about to board, their flight was cancelled. So collect luggage, negotiate transport and hope that you can check back into the hotel you just left.
So how do you cope in this type of situation? Well firstly you need to allow the emotions to be felt and let them out, there is no point holding them in, this is what will eventually lead to stress and ultimately chronic disease. So allow yourself to feel – but the deal here is to not wallow in these emotions, do not allow yourself to become the victim.
After I had three return flights cancelled, and I realised that I was going to miss my 50th celebrations back home (this is when I had my moment poor me). I decided that I was no longer leaving my fate in the hands of a carrier who due to air space tenders and concern of maintenance costs were taking a stance not to fly. So I did what I should have done at the start, I took action, I booked a return flight with an alternate carrier and got myself home.
Now the lessons that I took from this experience:
- Always read the small print.
- Don’t presume when someone is stranded in a beautiful location that they are having a free extended holiday. It can be challenging and it does cost financially and emotionally.
- It is important to allow your emotions to come out, but it is equally important not to blame others. Sadly I observed this a lot, people getting very mean and nasty to the local people and taking their frustrations out on them. No one is responsible for the volcano. So please be aware of your words and actions.
- Take action immediately, if there is something important in your diary do not leave it in the hands of someone else.
- Don’t let your thoughts take over. Thoughts become beliefs, beliefs become expectations, expectations become your reality. Always ask yourself if your thoughts become negative or self-destructive – is this true? Because let’s face it that elephant you are thinking of right now is not true, it is not really there, it is your wonderful imagination.
- Take full responsibility. I didn’t check my insurance properly. I chose to fly with an airline who whilst promoting safety in reality put money first. This was known after the last event and yet I still flew with them.
- BONUS: Make sure you have lots of books and music loaded on your iPad (or alternative).
Be aware of your perceptions. Life can be raw and it is a choice to push through challenges that present.
I will always make the choice to push through as you never know what’s on the other side.