Yes everyone, I've now learned the valuable lesson of why it's so important to always have your passport when travelling.
A few weekends ago I travelled to Barcelona for Halloween. We had a flight planned from Madrid to Barcelona and since we were not flying internationally I thought I would not need to bring my passport. So I decided to not bring it with me because I didn't want to risk losing it if I didn't need it to get on my flight.
Well fast-forward a few hours later and the nice people at the desk are telling me I can't get on my flight because I do not have proper identification (even though I pleaded with them to accept my copy of my passport or driver's license). *Cue panicking here*.
So now I'm stuck in the Madrid airport as my friends fly off to Barcelona and I have absolutely no idea what my next step needs to be. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not very street smart so trying to navigate myself through Madrid was not going to be an easy task. After frantically calling my mom for advice I spent the next hour trying to figure out how to get to the train station to buy a train ticket to Barcelona so I wouldn't miss out on the weekend that I had planned.
After an expensive taxi ride later, I was rushing through the train station trying to figure out how to buy a ticket while a billion other people around me were all doing the same thing. As I looked on the kiosk I realized there was only one train left with open spots to Barcelona but as I tried to buy the ticket the kiosk decided to have a bunch of technical difficulties that caused me to have to try multiple times to make my purchase. So when I finally figured it out all the tickets had been bought. *Cue more panicking here*
So now I have no plane ride, no option for a train ride, and no idea what to do next but was determined to make it to Barcelona at all costs. This is when I decided to utlize my last option, a bus. I purchased a ticket for the next bus as fast as I could and then hoped on a tram back to the airport (more unneccessary money spent, ugh). At this point I was completely exhausted and not at all happy that my 45 minute plane ride had turned into a three hour train ride which had then turned into an eight hour bus ride. But I was attempting to stay positive.
All in all the bus ride was absolutely awful. I was lonely, stressed, tired, and surrounded by sketchy people in the middle of the night. But finally at 2AM I arrived in Barcelona. I'm sure you can also imagine the fear of being dropped off at a bus station in the dark of night. Finding a taxi was not the easiest feat but once I finally pulled up to my Airbnb and saw my friends' faces I almost cried with relief. I had finally made it and I was incredibly proud of myself.
Never in a million years would I have expected that I would've been able to navigate myself from Madrid to Barcelona with no help whatsoever. But I did it, and I feel so accomplished because of it.
This experience definitely taught me so many life lessons, the most important obviously being to not forget your passport when travelling. I'm definitely going to classify myself as a real adult now, and I'm fully satisfied knowing that my parents said they can no longer make fun of me for being directionally challenged now that I made it to Barcelona alone.
Oh, and as for my actual experience in Barcelona: it was so much fun. I saw so many awesome sites aka La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell and ate amazing food. I'd love to go back ASAP.
Much love from Spain,
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<p>I’m a 20 year old student attending Gettysburg College where I study English with a focus on writing and Spanish. I come from a big, close-knit Italian family, am in love with reading and writing, and am always open to new experiences. I hope to be as creative as possible in everything I do and can't wait to find influence from my semester in Salamanca!</p>