If you have read a few of my posts, then you probably have come across some short stories about hiccups we have had on some of our journeys.
Today, I’d like to share some funny events but also some valuable lessons I’ve learned.
That is the cool thing about traveling. The memories you make along the way are truly priceless.
Let’s get started. 🙂
I have been traveling quite a bit on my own with my kids. It is not easy, but it’s manageable. The older the kids are, the easier it gets naturally. I am talking about when they reach five years plus.
Read more about What Is The Best Age To Travel With Kids.
Anyway, one of the biggest worries is to lose sight of them, especially in a crowded place. Little did I know about GPS Bracelets for kids back then. Now, I found out more and wouldn’t go without it.
In Summer 2015, we traveled to Paris, my three kids (10, 9, 5) and myself. I had booked an apartment through 9flats.com right in the city center. Since a taxi is crazy expensive, we took the public transport from the airport and went by Metro (the underground train). We only had to change the train once before our final destination.
Well, just to make sure we are taking the right train I asked one of the locals’ Is this the train to …?’ Yes, he replied. “Ok kids, hop on the train. We are all good.’
So my two sons enter the train and Mariana, and I are just about to follow when the man said ‘Sorry, it is the wrong direction.’. ‘ Quickly get out,’ I tell my boys, but in the very moment, the doors are closing. Arthur, my oldest son, was able to get out in time. But not Karl!
Oh no, there he was, Karl on his own on a train by himself, in a foreign country. Arrgh, no panic, everything will be alright.
The helpful folks around us guided us straight away to one of the staff who got in touch to the next station. We had to describe what Karl was wearing, his age and his name. Luckily after 10 minutes or so (it felt like hours!), we had him back, safe and sound.
Kudos to the amazing staff at the train station and the supportive Parisians.
But what shall I say, we lost Karl again! This time in Berlin while we went to the Grunewald forest to collect some wild mushrooms.
Looking for mushrooms is such a cool thing to do, but it is also easy to get off track when one gets distracted by chatting away to her friends. .
There were 8 of us. So we were talking, walking through the forest, looking for mushrooms and I remember seeing Karl playing with sticks and pretend shooting things, as boys do.
After a while, I checked on my kids. Marina is behind me, Arthur is walking in the front but where is Karl? Nowhere to be seen. Not again!!! The memories from Paris came back.
So my friends and I were starting calling out for him and turned around to go back the same way. Of course, with all these trees it is hard to spot someone.
After a few minutes, we made it back to the main path and saw a few people but still no Karl. I was still calling his name. In the distance, I could see a man waving his hands and calling out to me ‘Are you looking for your son?’ – Yes, do you know where he is?’ It turned out that he and his wife saw Karl looking for us and offered help. His wife and my son were searching for us at the other end of the path.
Phew, another heart beating experience with a Happy Ending!
Here is a lovely story for a change. We visited Prague for a few days and were so lucky to have my beautiful friend Magda, a born and bred Praguian, as our tour guide. After a long day of sightseeing, we stopped at a small corner store to get bus tickets for the next day.
An elderly lady approached us and was talking to Magda since we couldn’t understand her. She was so impressed by my children that she wanted to buy them an ice cream. I felt so humble and grateful for her generosity. Magda told me afterward that this is very unusual. Praguians are usually very reserved.
What a heartwarming experience!
When I am traveling, I am trying to use the public transport as much as possible. It is not only the cheapest way to travel but also gives an
insight into the local life. I have the same approach when traveling with my kids.
So when we stayed in Singapore, we used a taxi quite often since it was affordable and convenient. But one day I decided that we are going to hop on the bus. By the way, it is very cheap, but you need to have the right change ready.
Off we went, and all was good until … the relatively empty bus quickly filled with a large crowd of people. We ended up in a cramped, stuffy bus and my ‘poor’ kids were complaining. ‘Can’t we take a taxi, mom?’ ‘It is soooo hot’ – We were laughing about it later, but I think it was a good way for them to see Singapore from a different angle.
One of the many highlights in Singapore was our visit to the Universal Studios Singapore.
Arthur wanted to go on the crazy roller coaster but the waiting time was 90 minutes. He was so keen that he waited and waited and waited without any complaints whatsoever.
I was so impressed by it. That is a long time for a 10-year old. While he was waiting, I carried on with Karl and Mariana. So we got to the Transformers 3D ride. Without knowing what this was all about, we went inside since the waiting time was only 5 minutes.
My 5-year old daughter was scared, but she had to come with me since I couldn’t leave her on her own. And you know what, this ride was the best one ever. We went on it three times. My children were a bit embarrassed, though – I was screaming so loud!!!
Even Mariana enjoyed the ride which was awesome.
One last story. Thanks for reading so far!
Our visit to the Universal Studios was also our last day in Singapore. Our plane was leaving at 10 pm.
From the Universal Studios, we had to catch a taxi to go to the hotel to grab our luggage and from there going straight to the airport. We had so much fun that we left the Universal Studios late, basically at the last possible minute. But then …
We had to wait in a queue for nearly 30 minutes to catch a taxi. Time was running out to make it early enough to the airport. Finally, we got our taxi to the hotel and asked the driver ‘Could you please wait at the hotel? We need to get our luggage and go to the airport’ His reply: ‘No, no get another taxi. Need to go toilet.’
Whaaat!!!! Thankfully the hotel organized another taxi in a flash. And, we made it in time to the airport.
Lesson learned: Don’t leave things to the last minute. Unexpected events can happen, and nothing is worse than missing a flight.
I could carry on a bit longer, but I think it is enough for now. Otherwise, this post turns into a novel. 🙂
Looking back, I am amazed how things always seem to work out. I also love how it is so much easier to get in touch with the locals when I travel with my children.
What have you experienced on your journeys? Please share your funny or scary stories with me and the other readers. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
Happy and Safe Travels from Anke
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