Are you actually a true traveler if you’ve never had something go wrong while adventuring? If that’s the case, Dan and I are good for a lifetime! After a day of crazy amounts of struggles, our ability to deal with whatever life throws at us hit expert status! Here’s my recap of our unbelievable series of unfortunate events in Sri Lanka.
As any traveler will tell you, mishaps and misfortunes always occur while on the road.
Whether it’s losing a credit card, being swindled for money, or even simply getting a little too burnt on the first day at the beach…
I mean, come on — sh*t happens, right? Life is unpredictable. And that’s the fun in it.
You never know what the Universe is going to throw at you… and after going through a rough time in Sri Lanka, Dan and I can attest to that!
No matter how much preparation, we couldn’t have readied ourselves for the series of unfortunate events that happened to us while in Sri Lanka.
It all started the night before we were to leave to go the airport to fly back to Bangkok…
As we’re laying in bed, binging on Netflix and too much ginger beer, we heard a soft tap-tap on the door. Dan opened the door to our host’s welcoming, yet slightly cringing smile… he had some bad news for us.
In light of some current events in Sri Lanka, he regretfully informed us there was to be a strike the following day… and — of course — all transportation to and from the city of Trincomolee (where we were currently staying) would come to a halt.
Okay, we thought to ourselves, no problem.
We’ll just have to get in touch with our overnight bus provider to see if they’ll still be operating. And if not? Private taxi it is.
What kind of travelers let a little strike stop them from getting to where they need to go, right?
Lucky for us, I swiftly emailed our overnight bus company and they reassured us they’d still be running. Score!
With our stress and tension alleviated, we snuggled up under the covers and drifted off to sleep thinking the following day was going to be a breeze…
Oh, we couldn’t have been more wrong!
We woke up to a blissfully sunny day, perfect for spending our last few hours in Sri Lanka at the white sands beach of Uppeveli.
Getting my tan on before our big night bus ride and flight to Bangkok was all I could think about as I jumped onto my computer and started scouring my emails…
Hold up. What’s that?
An email from our flight provider? Interesting…
My heart drops as I read the first few lines… “We regret to inform you you’re flight has been cancelled and rescheduled…”
Oh no. For god’s sake, no no no. What the actual f*ck? Are you kidding me?
Lemme tell you, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than your flight be cancelled and rescheduled for the day after the original flight date when you’ve splurged on a fancy place in Bangkok for your last few days of a 3-month trip.
In a matter of minutes, I was on my phone calling Thai Lion Airways to get things sorted…
If you’ve ever tried to contact an Asian airways company to figure out a solution, you already know how much of a struggle this is.
Let me just say, customer service is absolute shite and things never go the way you want.
In my case? For our original flight that cost upwards of $150 per person, I was going to receive a whopping $80 as a refund. Eighty-freakin’-dollars.
Safe to say, I was livid. And Thai Lion Airways wasn’t budging in giving me back the full amount. In my state of bitterness, I angrily hung up the phone and tears threatened to spill over.
Who else knows the feeling of wanting to cry from overwhelming frustration? It’s the worst, isn’t it?
But Dan reassured me, everything would work out. It always does, doesn’t it?
(I don’t know what I would do without this gem of a human!)
Once I got my stress and anxiety under control, I hopped on Skyscanner to search for alternative flights for the day we wanted to leave…
Thankfully, there was one flight that would work for us… the only thing? It left at 1 AM from Colombo. Oh man.
I could deal with red eye flights like any seasoned traveler but this meant we’d have to figure out another transportation option to the airport, as our originally booked overnight bus would arrive in Colombo at 5 AM.
Not only would we have to cancel our night bus and likely forego what we’d already paid, we’d also have to find someone else to give us a ride — all in the next few hours!
And just like that, my stress and anxiety shot through the roof once again.
And just as before, Dan came to the rescue and told me to calm the F down. It’s just money, right? And this is the exact reason we always buy travel insurance.
With that in mind, I decided to go ahead and purchase the new flight with Thai Airways (different company!) for the day we wanted.
And, as luck would have it, Dan managed to find someone who’d give us a private taxi ride to the airport. My only gripe? The taxi was over 4X more expensive than our overnight bus ride.
Holy moly, I could already feel in my gut this was going to be an expensive day!
But, I constantly reminded myself that we’d be getting to the airport on time, as well as arriving in Bangkok on the day originally planned! Plus, we had a kick-ass hotel waiting for us in the Thailand, so how could I be upset?
Heck, we even had a few hours to kill before we were getting picked up to head to Colombo. So, we headed to the beach to get on our tan and then grabbed our last Sri Lankan meal — dahl for me, of course, and traditional kottu for Dan.
At this point, I was feeling pretty good!
I mean, what else could go wrong, right? (Hint: something else goes wrong you’ll never expect…)
Promptly at 4 PM, we were picked up at our hotel by a cool guy in an even cooler and comfy van and started our 5 hour journey from the beach city of Trincomolee to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
As the hours trickled on, I watched the little villages pass by and the sun set behind the lush jungles. It wasn’t until the deep darkness of night set in before our final unfortunate event occurred…
We’d just passed through a bustling city and were on the outskirts where only a few streetlights lit the road.
Up until now, I’d had more than a few near heart attacks. Why? Because holy f*ck, I’d never had a more risky driver who liked to push his luck (and our safety).
By this point, close calls had become uncomfortably familiar and my nails were about to fall off from gripping the handle too hard. I just thanked the gods this particularly van had functioning seatbelts!
Due to his reckless and too-close-for-comfort driving, it wasn’t a surprise that fate decided to give us one last hurdle before leaving Sri Lanka…
A flat f*cking tire.
While on the outskirts of that city I mentioned above, it was on a bend when I first felt it. The thump-thump-thump and slap-slap-slap of a dead tire.
Of course — OF COURSE — this would happen.
And the best part? We were literally 15 minutes away from the airport.
Even worse, the spare tire the guy had in the van didn’t fit!
That’s right. The one thing this vehicle truly needed when it got a flat frickin’ tire wasn’t meant for it. It was like the Universe itself was laughing at us.
Like, “Ha-ha-ha! You thought you were done with my tests for today? Think again, fools!“
With our spare tire revealing itself as dead weight, our driver started to panic. I mean, I get it. What the heck would you do? As a taxi driver, he was sure in a pickle.
Not long after, the guy motored off into the darkness in the back of a rickety tuk-tuk, leaving us in the literal dust, only to stay quiet and keep the van safe. He didn’t even leave us the keys in case we needed air conditioning or something (thanks, dude).
At this point, we weren’t even sure if he’d come back. Or when, for that matter. But thankfully, he popped back about 25 minutes later and had the new tire on in a jiffy!
We were back on the road and on our way towards the Colombo Airport. Holy heck, we were actually going to make it!
Just a short 15 minutes later, we were pulling into the airport drop-off area, grabbing our bags from the back of the van, and walking into the airport! (We had to go through about 4 layers of security due to the recent Sri Lanka bombings but that was expected!)
My nerves settled and my stress disappeared. We had arrived! And in no time at all, we’d be on a plane heading to Thailand.
There’s my recap of our series of unfortunate events in Sri Lanka! I don’t think I’ve ever had a day filled with so many unlucky incidents. It was seriously a test to my patience and ability to handle hurdles but in the end, it’s now an unfortunate, yet hilarious story to tell!
Have you ever had something unfortunate happen to you while traveling? Share, share, share! I want to hear it. Head down to the comments to spill!
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