Crazy, But I Did It

Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy; by Krista on March 7, 2014
Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

When I think of it now, crazy it was. But I did do it and I’m not sorry I did. I met a writer online and we got to know each other somewhat. I told her I was going to visit England and that I would like to meet her.

”Don’t stay in a hotel. You will pay way too much,” she said. And I thought, yeah but what do I do? I really want to go even if it means using my credit card and maxing out. “You can stay at my place.”

I couldn’t believe she offered me a place. Then I had to tell her, I was taking my foster daughter with me as a companion.

”Would you have room for another body?” I explained my situation. I felt embarrassed to ask, but when you want to do something bad enough, you seem to take chances you might not otherwise take.

”No problem.” she said. “I’ll get all the paperwork done that you require and send it right off to Child and Family Services. We Skyped each other a couple of times and within a couple of months we were on our way to London, England.

We had to fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota first and from there it would be one long ride over the Pond. After a few hours of waiting, we finally entered the plane that would fly us to London. The flight was amazing. No trouble, no bumps, food was great, and the loo was near. But I found out from the stewardess that it was not one for me but for the first class. Again, slightly embarrassed, I swallowed my pride and later used the one at the other end of the long aisle. My foster daughter and I were tired. We got comfy in our seats and slept all night. We got there refreshed and eager to meet my new English friend.

When we got in line to enter the country, I almost had a heart-attack. I was asked for an address where I would be staying. Well, I didn’t have one. I just knew it was Hampshire, but that was all the info I had. Without an address, you are not allowed into another country. I was then told that I would have to go back.

”What? I came all the way here, and I can’t even get out of the airport?”

”That’s correct.” She wasn’t blind to my ignorance. “Do you have a phone number we can call?”

Thank God. If I hadn’t had the cell number for Elaine, who I knew was waiting to pick us up, I would have been sitting in the waiting area, to head back home.

The things you learn the hard way sometimes.



9 thoughts

  1. You are really brave!!!!! I did something similar in Washington DC. I was staying at townhouse of a friend of a friend. He’d picked me up at the airport and took me to his place. I was going to take the foreign service exam the next day and he was leaving town for the weekend so I was going to watch his place and his dog. I never learned his address so when I needed a cab back from Georgetown (where I went for dinner with someone I met at the exam) I had no idea what the address was! Fortunately, I’d taken the subway that morning so I knew roughly where it was. I had the cab driver let me off at the condo complex where I wandered around for a while calling the dog who, bless him, barked his big, deep, German shepherd bark and I found the place. It was my first and only trip to Washington DC. 🙂

    • It turned out to be such a wonderful trip and I made lifelong friends. But if I would have gotten sent back without even seeing the outside of the airport, I would have screamed, I’m sure.
      I met a lady who went to Italy for 3 months and stayed in old monasteries run by the nuns. I want to do that, but apparently the gypsies are terrible at stealing your belongings. I’d do it with a friend, but not on my own.

      • I’ve traveled a lot in northern Italy on my own and never had any problems at all. You just have to dress in plain colors and be friendly. I was approached by a gypsy once in Milan and he really did read my palm, but he took nothing from me, in fact, he gave me a coin to carry in my wallet to protect me from the evil influences of a dead female ancestor (my mom, no doubt…) He even gave me wise advice that I remember from time to time.

        Or do you mean the gypsies steal your belongings from the monastery?

      • No, I was told the gypsies steal out of your pocket on the streets.

        Do you travel alone to such places? Would I have to be concerned do you think? It is on my Bucket List. Is it very costly to eat out and travel by train? I was looking it all up a few years ago, and my children discouraged me, but I would love to travel Europe and photograph and write along the way.

      • Trains are incredibly cheap in Italy as is all public transportation. Just be reasonably cautious with your money and identification. I carried money in the front pocket of my trousers, but I also had a bag. No one ever bothered me at all.

        Seriously, even in so-called dangerous places (like the main train station in Milan) I never experienced anything bad. I do speak a little Italian, but I seriously think the most important thing is to dress like people do THERE as much as you can (easy to find that out these days with the Internet) so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb. And, you’re Canadian so people won’t immediately hate you and blame you for starting wars.

        The question (for me) is what’s more dangerous; taking the risk or not going. I thought not going was a bigger danger. I had wonderful times — people are friendly (if you are). Food is cheap. If you just go and take it easy and enjoy yourself, if you look and feel relaxed and happy to be there, carry yourself with confidence, no one will even notice you. It’s the nervous obviously foreign people who have too much luggage and who complain, act “entitled,” and refuse to BE there that probably have problems.

        I’ve been in Venice twice all by myself — amazing place, expensive, yeah, but I never had any money and it was easy to find all I needed, or pack a lunch, or eat from a kiosk, go to a bar (bars are coffee and pastry places) and get a quick bite.

        One of the best ways is to sign up for a school and study Italian. Then you get to live there. I did this on my trip to Verona. It was awesome. I had an apartment and school for a total of $1000. I got to see things in the city I would not otherwise have seen; I met people I could travel around with if I wanted or not if I didn’t want to. I learned cultural, historic and social things I wouldn’t have learned on my own. It was a great way to make that trip.

      • Thanks so much Martha. It sounds just like what I would love to do. As soon as my daughter recovers from her surgeries and therapies, I am going to make it a must do. Your info is encouraging. Again, thank you so very much.

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