When things go wrong

Jackie challenged me to run in every city we visited on our digital nomad journey. While I was apprehensive about running in so many unfamiliar areas, I was also up for the challenge. 

I put in 163 miles in 11 cities and on two continents. I was ready for number 12, but my right knee was not. In a beautiful Lisbon city park on one of the best paths I’d run on in Europe, something popped, and I couldn’t keep going. I tried restarting three times, and the pain increased with each effort. 

I limped the final half mile to the cafe where Jackie was waiting to start our half-day walking food tour. Not wanting to miss Portuguese snacks and food during the tour, I downplayed the severity of my injury. But Jackie knew it worse than I was letting on as I hobbled along with the group. 

I was ecstatic when the tour wrapped up and the Uber driver rolled up to drive us home. 

Once in the car, we went into planning mode. 

  • Where should I seek treatment?
  • What were our alternatives if I couldn’t continue the trip?
  • Who do we tell first? 

(You get the idea)

We knew we had to make some decisions after meeting with an orthopedist in Cascais, who told me it was probably a torn meniscus. Our time in Europe without a visa was approaching the 90-day limit, otherwise, I would have continued treatment in Portugal. Instead, we decided to cut our trip short and return to the States. 

It got me thinking about how we handle things when they go wrong. We could have catastrophized the situation and gone straight  into “woe is me.” Or, we could make the best of an unfortunate situation and be grateful for the journey we’d experienced to that point. We went with option two and started implementing our plan to go home. 

While we’re disappointed we didn’t get to experience the UK leg of our trip, we’re excited to be back with family, friends and work colleagues.

I could write several posts on things that didn’t go as planned during our travels (missed trains, poor directions, a stolen phone, wrong suitcases, unnecessary hotspot (the list goes on). I could also write several posts about what went well. The experiences we had, the people we met, the food, cooking at Cordon Bleu, making pasta, making pastel de nada, and just experiencing living in cities throughout Europe. 

Actually, we will write about all these things at some point in time, so stay tuned!

And drop a comment about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you overcame it. 

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