Responding to Change

Since I’ve been traveling, I’ve learned that not every single trip I will go on will run smoothly. No matter how much planning my friends and I do, there is bound to be something that goes wrong, or a plan that gets altered. 

Just the other day, a train trip we thought would take a mere five hours ended up being closer to nine. 

We discovered the schedules had been updated last minute, and fortunately I checked the train schedule the morning of the trip; otherwise we would’ve gotten ourselves into an unplanned, lengthy train ride.

Nevertheless, we reconfigured our plans and everything worked out great, but it was definitely something that we didn’t expect. 

There are sometimes small changes like this that one can roll with, but other times there are things that can alter a trip entirely. 

One of the biggest changes to travel plans this semester was the restriction on our spring break. 

Our spring break plans changed, and they changed a lot. There were some groups of people, mine included, whose trips were cancelled completely. 

The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels raised concern for travel to other major cities across Europe; so all three university’s administrations released a list of places that were considered off-limits until further notice. 

While it was disappointing to receive this news just hours before we were suppose to leave for a week of travel all across the continent, we realized that the decisions made were done so in our best interest, and not intended to solely ruin our trips. 

I want to share something I posted to each school’s respective Facebook pages within 24 hours of getting this news. My intentions were to capture what everyone was feeling, and also to give parents and loved ones an update as to what was going on.

Yesterday our group was told not to leave Vienna yet. We were all suppose to be departing for Spring Break and going our separate ways for a week of adventure in cities all across Europe. Because of the recent events in Belgium, some cities that we were going to be visiting were decided by our three schools as places that should be avoided for safety reasons. We all had a lot invested in this upcoming week, and I’d be lying if I said to you that I wasn’t disappointed about not being able to go. Many people have flights that may or may not be refunded, AirBnB’s and Hostel’s where the refund amount is $0. While I am fully understanding of the situation and the reasons why our trips are canceled, I am still wishing that I was headed to Spain right now. But sometimes in life, things are out of our control. This is one of those times. While I am not going to be going on the trip I planned this upcoming week I am keeping a positive attitude and looking for things to do that I would have not otherwise had the time. There is so much we can still do here in Vienna, and there are day trips and other destinations that are still attainable and possible this week. Though these attacks on Belgium may have caused us to give something up, we can be thankful for our safety. Yesterday, soon after we received the news about our spring break, I thought of a song. The song is by Ben Rector and it is titled “Life Keeps Moving On.” We can either choose to dwell on the fact that we lost money, and don’t get to have these experiences, or we can accept it and choose to look past it because life really does keep moving on. If you haven’t heard the song, I encourage you to go look it up! It’s good.

Overall, after coming to terms with the realization that we were going to have to re-evaluate our entire spring break plans, we moved forward. That was all we could do. 

Some of us ended up going on the trips we originally planned on, because the destinations were believed to be safe, and others found entirely new destinations to explore. 

Our spring breaks were still memorable and fun, all because of how we responded to the situation and were able to overcome change in a positive and carefree way. 

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