I always write about my personal travel experiences, but this post is a bit different. It`s still travel related, but very personal and family related.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Today, exactly one year ago, I left for Barcelona to join a blogtrip in Spain. I`d just landed and was on my way from the airport to the hotel, when I got a phone call from my mom. – When that happens I already know something odd is going on. Not that I don`t speak to her during my travels, but I`m the one who lets her know I`ve made it safely or am doing okay. – I pick up the phone and already feel this isn`t a call I want to take. In short, she tells me there`s been a death in the family…totally unexpected. He was training to be a pilot, crashed with his plane and didn`t survive.
Time stood still and I remember saying “That`s not possible, I only saw him last night”. Tears welled up and I cried the entire ride. I just couldn`t believe what just happened.
Then the practical stuff comes. Do you fly back immediately or do you stay and do your job? It was a tough decision because you want to be there for your family, supporting and helping them, but on the other hand, there are people counting on you to do your job. Conversations between family went on and I even asked advice from fellow travel bloggers… After going back and forth I decided to stay until the end of the trip. I would make it on time for the goodbye ceremony and funeral. My family was helping each other and I knew after everything had past, I would still be able to offer my support.
Nevertheless it was a strange experience, participating in all the activities, even laughing sometimes, instantly feeling bad. I was glad someone told me: “Stay on the trip, I`m sure that`s what he`d wanted.” And I`m sure he was right, because my family member was learning to fly, he was following his passion.
If I learned anything from this, it`s that life can be over in a split second. Make the most out of it and to follow your dreams, don`t postpone, he was only 40… life is short.
Pilots never die, they just fly away.
Have you ever gotten bad news while traveling? How did you handle it?