• Joaynna Cook

Why We Will Not be Visiting Croatia This Weekend.

Last weekend we spent the weekend in Italy, visiting Verona and Venice. Both places were incredible, and I loved every minute I got to spend there. I will write more on our time there, but for now, I want to talk about what happened on our way back. This coming weekend we were planning to hope on a flight early in Frankfurt, Germany, and be on our way to Split Croatia. We were meeting Cale's mom there for the weekend before she was coming to Germany.

I was pumped; Croatia wasn't on my original list, but I was excited to step out and get so someplace different and exciting than what my idea of "traveling Europe" was. I know that might sound crazy, but Croatia was just not on my radar. We had flights booked because it was just too far to train with any reasonable amount of time to see all of the areas. The hostel was booked, and we even had a private room instead of a dorm. We were prepped for a great weekend.

Yet, last weekend in Italy things went down. Like hard.

I don't know what it was this weekend…the full moon, karma is a bitch, lousy luck. Maybe we were getting a little cocky at how well everything was going, and the universe decided to serve us a good ole' reality check. Or perhaps we just lost our heads for a weekend. Regardless of what forces brought this horrible luck, the stars aligned, and this weekend will forever be remembered as…

The Cursed Weekend.

** Queue Spooky Music**

It all started with accidentally locking Cale's roommate out of the dorm right before we left on our train to Munich. Then once arriving in Munich, we missed our night train to Verona. This left us stuck in Munich for the night. We booked a hostel and spent 6 hours there before we could catch the next train in the morning to Verona. We arrived in Verona around 1 pm and spent the day there before catching an evening train to Venice and checking into our hostel. We got checked in, met some of our roommates that night, and headed to the hostel bar for some drinks. We didn't stay long and headed to bed.

In the next two days, we were in Venice, seeing all the sites, canals, and enjoying our fair share of wine and pasta. We continued to have bumps in the road; Cale had his debit card stolen by and ATM, my debit card not working, missing a boat back to Venice, and a bird shitting on my dress. The weekend in Italy had its fair share of ups and downs.

After two incredibly long days, we headed back to the hostel before our train to eat a cheap dinner and chill out before heading on the night train back to Germany. We arrived for our train on time. We got into our sleeper cabin and settled in for the long train.

I actually slept through the night, which was great, and got woke by the train server handing me coffee about an hour before we departed from the train. Once we got closer to the station, we began to pack up our bags and prepare to leave and hop on a new train back to Reutlingen for Cale to make it to class.

After getting on the next train, we were looking for our Eurail passes that exist in a grey document wallet. Second stop into the train, we both realize that the wallet was left in the cabin of the night train on the bottom shelf. I quickly as the train worker for there suggestion on what to do. They suggest that we head back to Munich to find it. We both exit the train at the next stop. Cale repurchases a ticket to Reutlingen, and I buy a ticket to Munich. We shuffle on our way, trying our best to get to our destinations as soon as possible.

I arrive in Munich and bolt for the lost and found. I am met with a man who speaks incredibly broken English, and I am not equipt with any proper german. He informs me that there is no way that the wallet would arrive at this lost and found it because we were on an Austrian train to Germany. He tells me that I need to submit a request online through the train company that we were on. I do so on my phone while crying on the floor of the train station.

It's now Thursday, following that weekend. We have gotten confirmation that our stuff was not found on the train. We will most likely have to replace both our Eurail and Passports. Until we can do that, we cannot travel outside of Germany. Leaving us not being able to go to Croatia and putting most of our other travel plans on hold for the moment.

In all honesty, this situation is shit. I have spent the last four days beating myself up about how stupid I could be to just leave the two most important documents for my travel on a train. I really, really hate that it happened. I am working through and trying to process how to make the best out of this. I keep reminding myself that this is where the work I have done is tested. This is where growth happens. I hope that regardless of missing a few of our destinations, we get to travel still and spend time to explore a new place. I keep reminding myself that seeing more of Germany is always a possibility, and we don't have to limit ourselves to just Reutlingen.

We can't go to Croatia and who knows what the rest of our travel plans look like. Our life is up in the air right now on what we get to do. This is all just a test of strength, and even though I have been sad about the circumstances, I find power in wanting to face these challenges of the unknown. It's what I came for and what I wanted out of leaving home and living nomadically.

Every new situation I am in, I find a piece of myself that is stronger than what I realized. At the same time, I see a part of myself that needs help along the way. I feel that the battle is just connecting the two together so that they can live in beautiful harmony.

This is hard.

I don't know how to handle it right now.

But all I want is to keep coming back to me and keep the adventure alive.

That's what I came for.

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