I can put my hand on my heart and say that I strongly believe I have been cursed by gypsies and doomed to eternal bad holiday luck! Ok, maybe it wasn’t gypsies and maybe it’s not eternal… But when I summarised my year in travelling for a colleague during the past week I realised it was something I wanted to document!
My bad luck with travelling began when I met my boyfriend and we organised out first holiday. We had only been officially seeing each other a few weeks when we talked about it (I hadn’t been abroad all year and he was still trying to impress me) and would be less than three months together when we planned on going. No one ever actually said it was “too soon” but you could see it when they warned me of the first holiday fight curse.
The night before we were due to go (you may see the beginnings of a pattern developing here) I went out with some friends and hit the tiles a little too hard! I very diligently set my alarm for half past 9, plenty of time to finish packing and get going. I was woken up by my BFG a little before to say his granddad had passed away. Needless to say I didn’t go without him, apparently I was very good for that!
I don’t think I mentioned above that while planning our first holiday I had yet to meet his parents, I was still at the being snuck out of the house when everyone was still in bed stages.
So a few days later at the funeral I was introduced to everyone several times. with regards to the extended family, I doubt at the next gathering they will remember my name or I theirs. Luckily now we have crossed the stage in his house where I was the girl they met at a funeral! Also obviously I wasn’t as selfish and moany at the time…
A few months later Christmas came, unfortunately as is often the way with big fun holidays and events; I was working. So we decided to have a mini break and a mini Christmas just the two of us on the 27th of December.
So when I stopped into a party on Christmas night I had no idea what I was getting. The usual pleasantries were exchanged
“what did Santa brig you?” Etc.
My reply was the usual “not much, bits and bobs”. So a few minutes later when one of the girls replied with “I heard you’re off to Barcelona”, my bemused face and the ever so slightly awkward silence was enough to reveal my Christmas present! I feigned surprise a few days later- for myself more than anything and was still delighted with it. My Barcelona themed presents- Spanish cava, George Orwell’s Catalonia, Freddy mercury’s album Barcelona.
Now this little mini break seemed well planned and perfect. That was until the week before we were due to go.
I was brought out as we often did on a Sunday to the cinema and for a drink. I should have known something was up when I didn’t have to buy a round! This is one for the girls to maybe possibly relate to, though all my female friends have questioned how I’m still with him afterwards.
So in this nice little relaxed bar having a casual relaxed drink with my Bfg, and all of a sudden-
“We might have to come home from Barcelona a day early, I have a football match”.
Now I am not delusional when It comes to these things fellas, I know football comes first. But when your girlfriend has already put up with months if broken plans and rearranged nights away as well as holidays only ranging from Tuesday to Friday morning so as not to interrupt training or matches- ya should probably let one match slide!
“You won’t have to pay for the flights back or anything”. Well obviously I had absolutely no intention of doing that!
I graciously accepted the news, as with everything, I had no choice. Luckily we got there and the match got cancelled, or changed around or something and my holiday was left quite undisturbed.
Our next holiday in hindsight seems quite uneventful. I went out the night before and hit the local probably a little to hard for an early flight, but it was cured by the time we were boarding! Then bar nearly getting eaten alive by midges and Mosquitos (but that’s nothing new) and falling into the first holiday fight curse it was perfect. Of course I threatened to fly home, packed my bag and looked up flights before he stopped me. I had really just been looking to be stopped from the beginning, no intention of doing it but I’m that stubborn sometimes accidents happen! I hope I’m not the only one who in the heat of a fight says something but is so stubborn they go along with inspire if their own happiness?!
With everything sorted out in Portugal, we decided to quickly plan out next holiday to Spain. We found a gear deal for Salou and were going to try out the theme parks and water park there! A little bit exciting for anyone over the age of 21 who still feels 12 a lot of the time!
We booked it for the day of his thesis hand in and the whole thing seemed perfect… Like a good horror film nothing is ever as it seems.
The hurdles began before I had even booked holidays off in work as my partner in crime was booked in for a stag the day we were coming home, following situations that went on too much to put in adequate detail here we decided he would travel by train to Barcelona and I home alone on our package holiday flight.
For those un-familiar with the idea of package holiday, it is usually a cheap deal on a typical resort location filled with many other, usually very loud, Irish families. I have come to the realization I am not a package holiday person…
The holiday began as many of mine do, with a few too many drinks the night before (I did for warn that there was a pattern forming earlier); I realised this as the plane was landing and erupted in applause. Or maybe it was when I was rudely awoken and then ordered my Bfg to pack my suitcase… Either way I was feeling delicate.
Another revelation of the day was that our post thesis holiday was soon to become a thesis holiday. Armed with two laptops, an overload of notes and pens my very smart other half waited until we were on the plane to reveal just how much was left to do, this was also the moment I was told it was due the following Monday…
So began our holiday, locked away in our hotel apartment with the curtains shut (sounds like an ok holiday up until here), typing, collating, evaluating, dictating and all the other things one does when they’ve to throw a thesis together in 48 hours.
Eventually the thesis was done and we had the rest of the week to enjoy ourselves, a lovely breakfast in Linda’s seemed like a nice idea- until the food poisoning afterward.
Our final day was spent at Port Aventura, it seemed like a smart idea at the time to only bring cash. Nothing else. A tip for those travelling- always bring an emergency kit to a theme park, sun cream, credit cards, snacks, bottles of water all the usuals! These are the things that can lead to 1 hour 50 minute queues. Now we of course did not do that, we’re smarter than that! We paid €90 for a 50 minute queue for a 50 second roller coaster. Littered with a few beers and less than mediocre snacks in between we left for home. Most expensive roller coaster ride ever! Ha!
My journey home was in tune with the rest of the holiday, as I packed one suitcase into the accidentally one wheeled other (as my genius other half had booked hand luggage only on his flight home from Barcelona but brought a case that was too big) at 5 in the morning I was not in the best of moods. Add two laptops on to that (he really ain’t that bright) and the fact that I had to drag them down through the lobby did not help. Now I arrived at the coach last, full of the very loud Irish family of 40 which had surrounded us for the last week, I attempted to get my bag on the bus but I’m a little b*tch and have no upper body strength… The one-armed rep dealing with us also couldn’t do it so the bus driver came out to give us a hand. I shuffled on the bus and squished in beside my new one-armed bestie (I don’t think he liked me much to be honest)… Arrived at the airport to a couple with two teenagers head In hands in tow, roaring at each other over who had more bags to carry and which was heaviest from all the vodka bottles.
I kept my head down and dragged my ridiculous suitcase all around the tiny airport with me. I waited for everyone else to check in and then joined the queue (come to think of it, I queued a lot that week)…
Air hostess- Are you checking in?
Me- Yes to Dublin.
Air hostess- Is there two of you?
Me- Errr, yeah, em, just me flying back.
Air hostess- Oh did the other passenger fly over with you?
Me- Yip, he’s not here though so… I don’t have my e-ticket is that ok ( I had just read there’s a 30euro charge)
Air hostess- Oh no problem at all sweetie (helped lift my bag). Have a nice flight Ms Hefferon.
I was the charity case who looked like they got dumped in their package holiday. Quite mortifying but I plodded off with two laptops and assorted carry on luggage.
If I could adequately describe the level of annoyance on the following flight I would, there was more applause, wolf whistles, unbelievably loud games of peek a boo with children who shrieked when they cackled. This went on for Two hours 45 minutes and finally we landed. The pilot notified us there would be another half hour wait until we could disembark, so I sat patiently alone with white knuckles as the crowd around me continued their holiday fun.
The plane emptied quickly and I was finally in the fresh (cold) air briefly until I hit another hurdle. The queue for passport control was a nightmare, in fact queue is a loose description of what I saw before me, with no structure or barrier there was a few hundred Irish people from my flight topped with a flight from Switzerland and possibly another flight, huddled into the same general vicinity with the intention of going through passport control. I sat patiently and read for an hour or so while the queue died down and finally got through to the other side to pick up my broken suitcase.
Due to get the coach home I realised I had no cash so i trekked across the airport to the ATM and doubled back to the coach where I was told it would be another hour wait. After the previous six hours I could take no more so I took my last €50 and waddled suitcase in tow to the taxi rank to eventually get home!
It took a fair few days before I was able to focus on the brief but happy moments from this trip, luckily however (though this tale of woe may not display it) the happier moments were so bright that the whole ordeal was worth it. Once again, it took some time before the irritation wore off and I could see this!
Finally my most recent expedition was the most disastrous in a way, Paris was the plan. It has been said it was doomed from the start; I had bought it months ago for my boyfriend’s birthday in September. But I’m a bright spark- I knew that football came first and holiday were mid-week not weekend, even smarter me we had a wedding the week of his birthday so I figured to book it the week after. Unfortunately the ever so intelligent me had not been informed of his intentions to join the Cadets or that it would start on the 1st of October, so I booked the lovely trip for the 2nd of October. Naturally he passed the rigorous months of testing and was due to leave me October 1st.
Luckily a dear friend offered to step in and travel with me. I attempted a name change and found a fee of €130 where the flights themselves were €46 so I went ahead and booked them. In my distracted state I accidentally booked the new ticket in my name but the airline were gracious enough to change it for a fee. Finally all sorted we were ready for Paris, this time I didn’t even go out and have my usual pre-holiday celebration.
Up at 4am and ready to go, though a little groggy from tiredness, my friend and I made the best of the situation. Trudged through the queues at security when I noted, “Isn’t it mad that you can get this far without getting your passport checked? Imagine getting all the way to boarding your flight and realising you’ve forgotten your passport. On that note I better get mine out!”. Panic ensued as I checked my bag, suitcase, ran from the airport to the car and checked there and returned to the airport. By this stage we had missed our trip. Deflated, I crouched by my suitcase and opened it one last time; there staring at me was my beautiful shiny passport!
All was not lost as we shipped out on a 6 hour (it was supposed to be 3 but we got lost a few times) road trip and a few days of fun and there again was my silver lining! I have sworn to take a break from travelling, though any of you with the travel bug will know the second you try fight it is when it hits you the harder, now I find myself daydreaming and planning a 3 week road trip around America- so please feel free to stay tuned for more antics or leave me with some tips on how to avoid mini catastrophes!