Gosh!, the days that 'we almost missed a bus or flight, or that we almost lost something' ... have been so many during this trip. I'll share some instances, such as the day we almost missed our bus from Bangkok to Phuket. We were scheduled to travel the whole night to reach Phuket and we had to arrive at the bus terminal by 8pm. The bus terminal was far from our home and it was still rush hour around that time. We literally had the whole day to make it to the bus terminal because we had checked out at 11 am from the house where we had stayed.
But of course, because we literally had the whole day to make it there we spent the day shopping, and as we were heading back to get our backpacks, the train we had taken stopped due to a malfunction and we were stuck there waiting for a long time. The stress we felt increased by the minute. We called a cab and it took the car two hours to reach the bus terminal because of the bumper-to-bumper kind of traffic. There was nothing we could do except 'pray' so we'd make it there on time. However, as I prayed, my hubby Artur would tell me we should reserve a hotel room to spend the night in Bangkok because we'd never make it to the terminal on time. I somehow knew we would make it there on time, but the stress level we experienced while on that taxi, oh my goodness!, unthinkable.
The map on the screen was indicating that we were a minute away, but the taxi driver drove right past it and then the screen indicated we were fifteen minutes away, we literally only had minutes to make it there on time, and although the taxi driver kept saying we'd make it, I felt hopeless.
As soon as we made it to the terminal we told the kids: come on, let's run! We ran like never before, like crazy all over the bus terminal, with backpacks and children in tow. Nobody there spoke English and that added to our stress level and feeling of desperation.
After running up and down the stairs several times and attempts at getting information from the ticket booth, we finally made it to the gate where our bus was departing from, the lady there was waiting for us and we got there five minutes before our departure time. That night, we were so tired we slept all night.
Then, on the day we almost lost our flight to New Zealand, we had to first get on a plane from Phuket to Malasia, then connect in Malasia to Australia and there connect to New Zealand, so if we were to miss the first flight we were doomed.
I had read on the internet that there was no reservation for a ticket needed to fly out to New Zealand, but when we got to the Air Asia counter we found out that, indeed my darlings, a reservation is needed to leave the country. So make sure you jot this down in your notes if you have plans to visit New Zealand. We were not allowed to board the plane without that reservation, so, with Artur by my side saying we'd miss the flight, I started making the reservation, my hands were shaking and the internet connection signal was weak and I kept losing the connection, but after my third attempt, I finished our reservation. Again, we ran, and we made it to the gate about ten minutes before departure time.
Then there were times when we lost 'things.' Then there was that time when we almost lost our second ukelele, because we had already lost another one. We were in Japan and we had left it in the overhead compartment on the train, we forgot it there, but only Artur realized the ukelele was missing, so he decided to check at the train station's desk where they had a 'lost and found' and to our pleasant surprise we saw a transit employee head our way holding the ukelele in his hand. Thank you Japan for being like this!
Then there was another instance, the day when we almost lost our suitcase, the one that had everything in it: laptop, cash, passports, everything! I had insisted on getting a carry on suitcase so we could carry all those things that were always all over the place, I could no longer handle having everything everywhere, and I wanted to get something where we could put away anything that we needed to have within an arm's reach. We were traveling so comfortably and we felt so safe while in Japan that we left our suitcase 'parked' on the train's platform, the very highest platform at the train station, and we only realized that we were missing the carry-on suitcase after quite a while. Artur ran back to the station and there it was, in the very same spot where we had left it. Then we forgot it again at a "Family Mart", a type of fast food restaurant, that was close to our home. We headed upstairs and we realized the carry-on was missing, and again, Artur ran back and there it was. That carry-on must truly love us.