My latest trip to Milan & Zurich was one full of lessons. Well, either that or that my poor philosophical-self tried to draw life lessons from it.

So this was the itinerary; fly from Paris to Milan, then stay in Milan for a while, then take a 4-hour bus to Zurich, stay in Zurich for a while, then fly back to Paris = perfect plan.

Everything had been planned out; tickets booked, airbnbs reserved, bank accounts choked to death; everything was set.

And so off we went.

Milan was beautiful; a magical city that is. But somehow, some crazy shit always seems to happen to me every single time I’ve visited an Italian town. My relationship with Italy is that of unrequited love; with one lover (me) giving their blood and sweat to their beloved (Italy) who doesn’t really give a shit about them…. but well folks, story of another day.

Back to what I was talking about.

Milan was magical but on the last day (or as I like to refer to it; the day from hell) everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong; kindly note my love for the melodramatic and the conscious use of the previous statement to achieve just the right amount of dramatic effect.

This was the day we were to leave for Zurich. We checked out, ensured we had everything we needed and off we went. Mark you, we left for the station about 3 hours before our bus’ departure time. Then, me being the ‘great google maps navigator’ that I am directed us to hop onto a bus that would drop us to the metro station where we’d catch a metro to the bus station. Little did I know that yes, we had hopped into the right bus, but no, it was heading in the opposite direction. And ladies & gentlemen, that is how I got the dignified bus tour around the unseen parts of Milan.

After what was an eternity, the bus circled back. All the way during this ride, I kept adherently glancing at my GPS, looking at where we are, getting all nervous muttering we’ll be just fine to reassure myself and doing all sorts of other imaginable nervous behaviour traits known to mankind. We got to the metro station, grabbed our tickets and waited for the train. The number of people at this station was waaah; I thought archives was crowded but this station ata you couldn’t breath. Then finally the train arrived; and the scramble began.

Me being the “lady” that I am, could not manage to shove people with my elbows and step on toes to get a hop onto the train. But, my friend managed to get in; and just as I had finally gotten the space to place a foot on train, the doors began to close. I just stood there petrified…and started mouthing “Next stop” and widening my eyes as wide as they could get as if this would help get the message across better.

Missed a train, no biggie, just hop onto the next one and get off at the next stop, rejoin your friend, and the journey continues; exactly what happened.

Then, we get to the bus station and…our bus is not there!! We were not late though, where is this bus?? On inquiry, my friend was told that there had been a FIVE HOUR bus delay; and the bus was to leave at 19H00. At first, I thought it was all a joke because the way my friend delivered the news, he just came to me, smiled and said “kuna delay ya 5hrs.” nothing else after that. If this were me delivering the news, the raging would have gone on for about several minutes before I could finally shut up.

And you know, all of this just got me thinking about people we choose to travel with. When you are on a journey, the new discoveries all exciting and shit, but what reaaally sticks is the things the people you travelled with did; the memories you created together, how they reacted in a certain situation, hilarious moments that occurred, the challenges…and all that.

And this also applies to our lives; when you are going through this journey that is life, who have you chosen to be your travel partners? Are they people who will not understand your mouthings of “next stop” when the train leaves you? Are they people who will be calm and composed when delivering news you’d rather not hear? Who do you choose to travel with you through life?

Cause another thing when you travelling, if you had miscalculated your finances, you need someone to bail you out. Are the people in your trip willing and ready to bail you out? Do they support you?

You see, the success of a trip is also hugely dependent on the people journeying with you. If they have negative energy, if they are unsupportive, if they don’t inspire you, if they don’t challenge you, if they don’ t build you up, then, you will not have as much fun as you’d have hoped in this journey.

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Spoken words fly away, but written words, written words remain engraved.

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