59 responses

  1. Corinne
    January 16, 2014

    I love this story. This will be one for you to remember forever. Happy New Year!
    Corinne recently posted..Instagramming the Berlin WallMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 16, 2014

      That’s for sure! Happy new year to you, too, Corinne!

  2. henry
    January 16, 2014

    Happy New Year from a Romanian! I am sorry for your time lost in our country! Maybe your next visit in Romania will change in better your opinion about my country!

    • Cat Gaa
      January 16, 2014

      Thank you, Henry! The problem had nothing to do with Romania – I’ve been and really enjoyed it! I was annoyed at the company for their lack of information, bu maintain that all of the people who helped me were friendly and willing to lend a hand to help!

  3. Reg of The Spain Scoop
    January 16, 2014

    What a trip! Not sure I understand just what happened, but sounds like it was stressful. Ahhh, travel.
    Reg of The Spain Scoop recently posted..Shhhh – Quiet Beaches On Tenerife IslandMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 16, 2014

      Essentially, I was given wrong information regarding flights and flight times, and therefore missed a connection and had to pay our of pocket to get back to Spain.

  4. Trevor Huxham
    January 16, 2014

    I was wondering if you were going to blog about your New Years adventure eventually…and you did! A nice read, and it stressed me out going through it! 😛

    I don’t have many travel fiasco stories–except for missing the trenhotel to Paris by 5 minutes because there was a mysterious delay on Rodalies going from Sants to França…100€ I’ll never get back but whatevz. I almost had a HUGE screw up in June when I flew home f….or the summer; I woke up in central Madrid two hours before my int’l flight was supposed to leave!!!!!! I’ve never scrambled so fast before or since, and gracias a Dios my two metro and cercanias connections aligned PERFECTLY so it took ~30 min from Sol to T1…aww yeah

    And I have to agree with you about not liking long-term travel. I love having a home base or “nest” to return to here in Spain, where everything (mostly hehe) just makes sense. :)
    Trevor Huxham recently posted..What I Enjoyed the Most in Florence, ItalyMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      Ah yes, I remember that story! I am so thankful for the new cercanias line straight to Barajas – it was a godsend for me on this trip, and it didn’t cost me anything!

  5. Ryan from Jets Like Taxis
    January 16, 2014

    Great story, Cat! Very well done.

    While constantly moving is great for a lot of people (and makes for interesting travel blogs for the good writers out there), we can’t stand constantly being on the move. There’s also no time to actually get into a culture if you’re rushing from place to place every few days. Hence, our life of (constant) slow-travel.
    Ryan from Jets Like Taxis recently posted..Report: Our Visit to San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      Definitely agreed. I like the way you guys do it, and could get used to that. Besides, I cannot live out of a bag or suitcase for longer than two, maybe three, weeks.

  6. Aimee
    January 16, 2014

    Oh Cat, that sounds awful. My worst one was one Christmas I was trying to get home when Iberia royally screwed me, making me miss the last flight to the Pacific Northwest before all the airports shut down for blizzards. Essentially, it took three days longer than planned, a hotel stay, a 5 hour drive, another hotel stay because all shops had sold out of car chains, and another 5 hour drive in snow to get me home on Christmas Eve. I burst into tears when I walked through my mom’s door, but I made it, unlike you :(
    Aimee recently posted..Working with Teaching AssistantsMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      Now channeling Kevin McAllister’s mother…did you run into a polka band?! Nah, in all seriousness, your trek sounds terrible, too. I didn’t care so much about missing NYE (In fact, in the last four years, I’ve only gone out twice) but about stressing about how to get back to Budapest when there was no public transportation.

  7. amelie88
    January 16, 2014

    Woah confusing story! So from what I got from this is that you were supposed to take a flight from Budapest and connect to another flight in Romania to get to Spain. However you got rerouted to another airport in Romania due to poor visibility so you missed your flight in Tirgu Mures. Spent the night in a hotel and then somehow found someone to drive you all the way BACK to Budapest to take a flight from Budapest to Madrid to get back to Spain. And all this happened on January 1st.

    I needed to write that all down just so I could actually understand the sequence of events haha.

    I do have a travel horror story involving Frankfurt-Hahn airport in Germany but it involves stupidity and poor planning on my and my friends’ part and it takes too long to write down in a comment. Unsurprisingly, RyanAir is involved. Though this time it wasn’t really RyanAir’s fault.
    amelie88 recently posted..Carry On, Boston Strong!My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      My suegra joked around that she had NO CLUE where I was because my story was so confusing and involved places she didn’t know existed. But, yes, you’ve got the story correct! It wouldn’t have been such an issue, but everything was closed down on New Year’s Eve and the following day, which made it so difficult to get where I needed to go.

  8. Michelle
    January 16, 2014

    I have really wanted to travel to Romania. Wondering if you would recommend at this point? I learned the hard way as well when I traveled to Africa that I need certain creature comforts!
    Michelle recently posted..Hello VietnamMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      I definitely would recommend Romania! The country really surprised me when I went in 2011. The people are friendly and it’s very cheap! IF you stick to some of the big cities, you’ll find them like any other European city. I’d recommend Sibiu, Brasov, Sighisoara and any town in Mures.

  9. Anna
    January 16, 2014

    Ohh no!! Disaster! I felt physical pain reading this haha. You poor sod.

    I recently had a disaster on a MUCH smaller scale: I accidentally hopped on the 175 to Albaida instead of the M175 one dark morning at Plaza de Armas.

    When I got on, I said ‘Albaida’ because I am a courteous human, and the guy nodded and I sat down. Ten minutes in, I knew I’d got on the wrong bus but thought that it still ended up in Albaida but no…He stopped in Valencina in the pouring rain and yelled ‘LAST STOP!’.

    Waiting the extra 20 minutes for the M175 to come along wasn’t exactly the end of the world but I still fail to comprehend why he didn’t tell me that his bus didn’t go to Albaida! Ultimate frustration!

    Anna
    Anna recently posted..HELL HATH NO FURY LIKEMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      Ugh, I am convinced that the bus drivers in Seville are robots! I always liked the ones who would pull over at a roundabout and snoke a cig or two while I was stressing about being late to class!

  10. Lauren @Roamingtheworld
    January 16, 2014

    Wow, What a fiasco but you seemed to handle it quite well, all things considered. And you learned a few things about yourself- you’re not spontaneous and like/need your comforts of home. That’s good to know.
    Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..Road trippin: Hitting the road without a planMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      I definitely knew what my steps had to be!

  11. Cassandra
    January 16, 2014

    Yikes! We hit some snags both traveling to and from Paris this year and it was enough for me to swear off low-cost airlines. (At least for, oh, a few months). Seriously, though, it took us longer to get back to Madrid from Paris than it would have taken a transatlantic trip from the US to Spain. ARgHHHHH.

    Glad you were able to make it back ok!!
    Cassandra recently posted..The best book I read in 2013My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 17, 2014

      That is insane!!!! I expected to take 12 hours and it took me 40. Not planning on taking any flights until March, and that’s within Spain!

  12. Nicole
    January 17, 2014

    Oh my goodness! What a travel maze.
    I just returned from California a day late…flights cancelled, we re-booked, then original flights were back on, so we transferred, then they were cancelled again. Luggage went to Atlanta and then WI without us. I was frustrated because I wanted to get home and was anxious to get back to work. And wasn’t happy about not having a change of clothes. But, we made it home safely and at the end of the day, that’s what’s important.
    Nicole recently posted..New Year New Gear 2014My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Definitely agreed, Nicole. Things could have been far worse (and expensive!).

  13. Alex @ ifs ands & butts
    January 17, 2014

    Holy hell, you seem like you were way too composed. I would have had a big pity party and cried by my lonesome while I got tired of reading so much. Go maturity! You’ve got it!
    Alex @ ifs ands & butts recently posted..craps! craps! craps!My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Oh, I did cry…don’t worry.

  14. Cat
    January 17, 2014

    This sounds like my worst nightmare. I might have been ok with a travel companion with me, but to go through this all alone? Forget it. Glad that you made it back mostly in one piece!

    I really love the end of this post, because I have had to admit to myself that I am the same way. I like the idea of being a world traveler, but I also love the comforts of home….wherever home may be. I do remember coming back to Spain from a disastrous trip in Paris, and feeling so happy to be back “home”, which Spain finally felt like to me by that point :)
    Cat recently posted..On Being an Introverted Homebody TravelerMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Wait, did you change your name lady?! Haha, I bet you’re psyched to come back here!

      • Shannon
        January 26, 2014

        Bahahahaha I didn’t even notice that! Not sure how that happened! And yeah, can’t wait :)

  15. Caitlyn
    January 17, 2014

    Oh you poor thing! I must say I’ve been too scared to book two separate flights on budget carriers as I’m convinced something similar would happen to me… glad you got there in the end and even managed to see a bit along the way :) Makes for a good story! (You must have thought that at the time, too!)
    Caitlyn recently posted..Sweating it out courtsideMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Well, now you know it CAN and WILL happen! On my next trip, if we end up booking, we’ll have 12 hours each in Munich and Frankfurt on the way to Bombay!

  16. Michael
    January 18, 2014

    HI Cat,

    I’m curious what the Amazing Race taught about getting on and off a plane faster. I could use a few of these tips.
    Michael recently posted..Is house sitting worth it? Our one-year experimentMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Thankfully, most budget planes open both doors, and I always have a carry-on and am usually just one person. If I’m not in a hurry, I give up those seats for others. Good travel karma!

  17. Cory
    January 18, 2014

    Wow. Crazy, luckily I haven’t had anything to major happen yet such as said above. Biggest I had was getting stuck on a broken train in the middle of Switzerland on the way to Rome for 14 hours. that was crazy, no food, almost no drinks, bunch of smelly people. and half the amount of time in Rome as was booked. lol I had some friends who got stuck in Florida for six days as well because of poor weather in the north east. They were not seasoned travelers. They were quite panicked and pretty much didn’t know what to do.
    Thanks for posting.
    Cory
    Cory recently posted..Palace of VersaillesMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Wow!! Makes me remember when the same happened to us in Switzerland on my first trip to Europe. But six days?! I would be desperate to get out of there!

  18. Kaley
    January 19, 2014

    Ugh, that sucks! It made for an interesting story, though.

    Also, are there people who like wearing dirty clothes? Where are they, so I can stay away? :)
    Kaley recently posted..Exploring Vinos de Madrid with Madrid Food TourMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Hahaha, I had been traveling for 12 days. I ran out of all clean everything!!

  19. Adam
    January 19, 2014

    Oh I’m with you 100% on this! I find traveling pretty stressful when things fall apart but it seems like everything worked out in the very end!
    Adam recently posted..Edinburgh’s Prettiest Little Hotel: Stay Central (near Grassmarket)My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 19, 2014

      Most definitely. Being by myself wasn’t fun either, but I made it home and learned my lesson!

  20. wanderingeducators
    January 20, 2014

    whoa – SO glad you made it. I’m not cut out for it, either. I need slow travel, no stress. WHEW!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Spices of India: Making Chai Tea Latte at HomeMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 20, 2014

      I think I just need to start going to the beach more!

  21. Terry at Overnight New York
    January 20, 2014

    Sounds like you handled a stressful uncertain situation like a pro. Not fun, maybe, but you got a great story out of it and a notch in your seasoned travel belt. Here’s to a smoother new year’s eve in 2014!
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..January bargain huntingMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 21, 2014

      Not fun in the least, but even two days after the ordeal and finally home, I knew it would make for a pretty good tale!

  22. Larissa
    January 21, 2014

    A frustrating experience, Cat, but beautifully told. It’s the best blog-read I’ve had this year!

    Happy New Year!
    Larissa recently posted..Bigger, taller, more: 5 unusual sights in North KoreaMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 21, 2014

      I’m blushing from Spain. Thank you, thank you Larissa!

  23. Micki
    January 22, 2014

    Beautifully told, Cat! I do have to agree that the lure of constant, reliable Wi-Fi is pretty strong :)
    Micki recently posted..Five International Family Destinations For Under $100 A DayMy Profile

  24. Lillie – @WorldLillie
    January 23, 2014

    Oy vey!
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..Cute and Funny Baby Activities During Maternity LeaveMy Profile

  25. ChinaMatt
    January 23, 2014

    Don’t think I could handle such travel problems. I have enough trouble coping with moving to a new place every month on my current tour. Fortunately, my travel mishaps have been quite minor so far.
    ChinaMatt recently posted..Watching Cambodia Float ByMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 23, 2014

      Well, I must be asking for it – I just booked a trip to India! Thanks for visiting and reading, Matt.

  26. Gran Canaria Local
    January 24, 2014

    Funnily enough, the travel disaster stories we can share relate to Eastern European trips too. To Hungary and Slovakia. But we’d love to return, just a little bit more smoothly.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted..British ClubMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 25, 2014

      Things have definitely changed in my last trip to Eastern Europe, thanks to the expansion of the EU. I’ve also found that more people speak more languages. I am quite fond of my multiple visits out there, even with the travel mishaps!

  27. Dave Briggs
    January 24, 2014

    Not cut out out for around the world travel? – You solved all the problems you could. Seems you coped fine in adverse circumstances to me 😉
    Dave Briggs recently posted..How Much Does It Cost to Cycle Around the World?My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 25, 2014

      Haha, thanks, Dave! Not that I can’t handle it, I’m just recognizing that it’s not for me with my need for creature comforts.

  28. Travelogged
    January 26, 2014

    That’s too bad about New Year’s Eve! Hope you did a special dinner or at least drank champagne to belatedly celebrate the new year together.
    Travelogged recently posted..Geneva and the South of France: My 10-Day IntineraryMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      January 26, 2014

      He brought me a ham sandwich – I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

  29. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    January 27, 2014

    Wow, what a crazy travel experience. I’m glad that you finally got to Spain and were able to take find calm in the Hilton. We’re not cut out to be RTW travelers either :)
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: Jeff Greenwald, World’s 1st Travel Blogger & Founder of Ethical TravelerMy Profile

  30. Ashley
    December 31, 2014

    What a series of events! This could be a movie.
    Ashley recently posted..9 Spanish-language Films YOU should watchMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      December 31, 2014

      Ugh – it was a nightmare! I was retelling it to my family today and laughing. Thankfully it all worked out, and I got a great story about it!

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