Waiting to de-ice the plane

Top 3 Regrets for 2012

Sophie at Luggage Tags and Ticket Stubs tagged me in a post to share my top 3 travel regrets! Since the year is about to come to a close, I figured I would add a little twist and write about three regrets I have for 2012. I really don’t have many regrets in general because I believe the hardships we encounter create learning experiences that help us grow. But, after some thought, I came up with my top three travel regrets for 2012:

1. I regret completely underestimating the size of Toronto which caused us to literally run around the city. If only I would have researched the area more, we would have been able to maximize our short time in the city. Instead of taking the street cars to zoom right to every stop on my long list of places I wanted to see, we tried walking everywhere, and it was just too large of an area to cover on foot in only one day. I am always overly ambitious in amassing a long list of places I want to see, but in this case, we would have been able to see the majority of my list easily, if I would have realized almost every stop I wanted to make was right along the street car lines. I’m sure our feet would have thanked us as well.

Toronto Islands

Downtown Toronto skyline from the Toronto Islands

2. I regret not packing better shoes and a warmer jacket for the November weather in Europe. First of all, I brought horrible shoes. I went back and forth about what shoes to bring many times before we left, and since I like to pack as light as possible, I didn’t want to bring more than 2 pairs. I threw in a pair of Toms since they are so light and small, and I ended up bringing the worst pair of boots possible. They were almost ready to fall apart, but I thought I could get one more trip out of them. I was wrong. The rain in Belgium did them in, big time. My feet were soaking wet, and we got lost walking from the train station to the hotel because we didn’t have a map or cell service/wi-fi. It was a very long walk even with a nice little pit stop for the most delicious hot chocolate ever (more on that later). Add that to the fact that I didn’t pack the warmest jacket: I was freezing! In my defense, the last time I was in Paris was in January when I was living in Minnesota. Paris winters can’t even hold a candle to the bitter cold Minnesota winters, so at the time, Paris in January actually felt warm! Fast forward to us now living in Florida and it presents quite a different situation. I have always been a wimp with cold weather, and going from a sunny 85° F to 35° F with sopping wet boots and a not so warm jacket, I really didn’t fare too well. Let’s just say I learned I need to up the warmth factor of my clothes for future trips. I know I haven’t talked much about our time in Europe yet, but you will be hearing more about it soon, so stay tuned for more details!

Boat ride in Ghent, Belgium

Trying to stay warm under a blanket, while on a boat in Ghent, Belgium

3. I regret not leaving a day earlier for a flight back to MN last February, as this caused me to get stuck in Chicago due to a blizzard. I was heading home on a last minute trip for my grandfather’s funeral. I really wanted to make it back because I was very close to my grandpa, and I just felt like I needed to be there, so I hopped online to look into reward flights. I surprisingly found tickets on an American Airlines flight through British Airways, so I quickly reserved myself a seat. Instead of making the trip Thurs-Sun, I chose to leave Fri-Sun even with the impending blizzard on the way. I figured this would allow me to work an extra day and still make it back in time for the funeral. I had to leave for the Miami airport at 4:30 am, and I was supposed to land in, Fargo, ND, at 2:30 in the afternoon, with a layover in Chicago, but due to the blizzard, that didn’t happen. By the time I landed at my final destination, Fargo, and made the 1 hour drive back to my small little hometown, I officially ended the day at 3:30 am. The entire trip home took around 23 hours. After a long day full of misdirection and waiting, I finally made it, but it was a lot of stress that could have been avoided. I was only home for 26 hours until I had to turn right back around and do it again. At least the trip home only had a 2 hr delay…!

Waiting to de-ice the plane

Waiting for the plane to de-ice

Overall, it was a great year, but these were situations I would have definitely liked to avoid.  Thanks again Sophie, and to continue passing it along, I would love to hear what these great bloggers top three travel regrets are!

1. Travel Destination Bucket List
2. eTramping.com
3. Vyvacious