In early October, my husband and I took a whirlwind trip to Europe. While it felt magical and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we encountered some travel stress that has convinced me that I will never apply for Amazing Race.
Are you familiar with the reality TV show called The Amazing Race?
It is a reality travel show where several pair of contestants travel together around the world completing tasks. Teams are eliminated along the way and the team that crosses the finish line first wins one million dollars.
It is our favorite TV show. My husband and I have never missed an episode. In fact, we rewatched all seasons last summer.
When we watch, we pretend that we are contestants racing around the world. We keep a tally of how many roadblocks each of us does and we pick out which detour we would perform as if we are on the show.
Sometimes we criticize people on the show for their choices or emotional outbursts. We have thought they have made stupid moves at times. We have even said that we would never do this or that.
I will NOT apply for Amazing Race
When we were in Geneva, Switzerland, we reenacted a task from season 28. That was the season with all the YouTube stars on it.
In this task, the pair of contestants had to calculate the length of the world’s largest bench using the width of an opened newspaper they were holding.
We found this bench in La Treille Park which overlooks Bastion Park in Geneva.
We had been exploring the city and went hiking up in the mountains that day so we are pretty tired by the time we reached this older part of the city.
There is a steep incline to get up to the park and the bench.
We did not have heavy backpacks on like the contestants, but we were tired out as it was.
We pretended to hold open a newspaper and switch positions as we moved to cross the bench and got tired very quickly. We realized that it is a lot harder than it looks on TV. This pretty much sealed the deal on why I will not apply for Amazing Race!
There have been many times when we have watched the Amazing Race and we have poked fun at extremely emotional contestants.
While I will never be a fan of demanding or demeaning contestants, I will no longer look down on those who are struggling.
Stressful Travel Stories
There were two instances in Europe where I had to sprint through an airport and another time when we boarded the wrong train and had to quickly get off, that had me in a very vulnerable emotional state.
The first problem happened at London Gatwick. We were changing terminals when my bag was tagged for secondary inspection. That inspection line was quite long, so Eric went to the gate to make sure the plane did not leave. As if they would hold it for us.
Grab my free backpack packing list for your next trip.
When it was my turn the guy just said next time move your little scissors to a clear bag without even inspecting it. I grabbed my backpack and ran to the gate. Luckily, I did not take any wrong turns. Eric was on edge as I arrived when they were making the final boarding call. They did allow me to quickly use the restroom.
In Europe, they will close the gate for check-ins, but hold passengers in a waiting area until they are ready to board the plane. I was so thirsty but the vending machine in the gate area was not working. I was pretty worked up by the time we could purchase bottled water on the plane. I am not sure why we were rushed into the gate area and then held for nearly an hour before boarding.
The others happened when we were in Geneva.
While we were still on WiFi at our Airbnb, Eric got a text that our flight was delayed two hours. We decided to go explore Geneva a little more and have lunch at a popular place for local cuisine. We walked around a little after and decided to head to the airport early.
We were told that all the trains stop at the airport, so we hopped on the first we can find. After French and German, announcements were made in English. Next stop was Lucerne, not the airport. That train pulled away about 5 seconds after we scurried off.
We scrambled to the next track and get on a train that said the airport. It pulled away in what we thought was the wrong direction, but it proved to be right.
Geneva, Switzerland Airport
After a long walk to the terminal, we looked up our gate assignment. It showed that our flight was moved up and scheduled to leave only 20 minutes late not 2 hours. That meant the flight should be closing any moment.
We hurried to security (had to ask someone if we were even at the right place) and got through in under 15 minutes. Then we scurried through the zig-zag of duty-free gift shops that is Europe, only to find out it is a 15-minute walk to terminal D.
I quickly put my shoes back on and RAN. I am not a runner, but I kept running. We did the 15 minutes in 5. Right as we got to D, I heard an announcement with our gate number, so I knew we made it. We chatted with someone in line who got the same text. We actually waited a few minutes to board and then had to sit on the tarmac a little bit.
Hopped on the proper bus immediately upon arrival in Amsterdam. The remaining travel was uneventful.
We had a great time riding rental bikes in The Netherlands.
We can laugh at those crazy incidents now, but I was quite overwhelmed at the time. I realize that I would be overly emotional if I were a contestant on The Amazing Race.
I do not want to put myself through that and I do not want to face the criticism of people online, so I am never going to apply for Amazing Race.
I am well aware of my limits.
My husband and I have had numerous talk since those crazy trials in Europe we are going to make some plans in case we have to run or if we get separated security in our future travels.
I hope that everything will be smooth sailing when we return to Europe next year for our 30th anniversary.
Do you have a stressful travel story to share?