When Things Don't Go According to Plan

I'm a serial planner- always have been, always will be. Two weeks ago, I spent an entire afternoon creating a colorful revision schedule for my upcoming sociology exam, instead of actually doing the studying part.

And while I did end up following my revision plan to a t, sometimes it turns out that as much as you plan on something, it doesn't end up going your way. And that's exactly what happened to me this Saturday on my way back home to Boston.

One of the best and worst things about studying far from home is the super long journeys going to and from school. It's the worst because, well, it takes an incredible amount of time to reach your destination- especially when you have a long layover. On the other hand, having a lengthy layover in a cool city can be a great opportunity to explore the area in a single afternoon.

Boston looking beautiful from the sky- as always.

Just a few days ago I found myself with an eight hour layover in London Heathrow Airport. And since I knew about the extensive break between flights ahead of time, I had perfectly planned out what I was going to do during that time.

I planned on leaving the airport right away and hopping on the tube- expecting to take two different underground lines to my destination. Then I would arrive just outside the Borough Market (a food lover's dream) and take a couple of hours grazing the stands for delicious eats. I would then get back on the tube and return to the airport in time for my flight.

Sounds like a great plan, right? I mean, I had even written down which stops I was going to get off at, and which line I was going to switch to. Plus, I knew exactly what I was going to eat at the market (a chorizo sandwich and goats milk ice cream, of course).

But as much as I had prepared for my eight hour excursion into London, absolutely nothing went according to plan. Upon arrival, I ended up going into the departures terminal instead of leaving the airport right away. It took me four customer service agents to finally figure out how to escape from Heathrow. Then, of course, there were multiple delays on the tube, and once I went to switch to the other line, I found out that it was shut down for repairs.

Okay, I thought, just get out at this station- you can't be that far from the market.

Wrong. According to Google Maps, I was a 57 minute walk away from where I wanted to be. If I had attempted to walk there, I would have had a measly 30 minutes to enjoy the market. I felt disappointed and deflated. I ultimately decided to skip out on the market and take a walk around the Piccadilly area and grab some lunch.

Luckily, it wasn't raining. So lunch in the park was an option.

I've never really been a 'go with the flow' kind of person- but in this situation, I knew I had to be. Despite all of my detailed planning, a few things had happened that prevented my plan from going forward, and these things were 100% out of my hands. 

In the end, you just have to make the best of your situation- whether it's planned or unplanned. I suppose the upside of my (mis)adventure was that I got some fresh air, saw a couple of cute dogs, and had a little taste of London in a short span of time.

And while my stress levels were high during my layover, I was lucky enough to have a stress-free (and rather empty) flight back to Boston, complete with a viewing of The Theory of Everything and two mini-bottles of white wine.

So I guess I can't complain.

Does wine always taste better when it's free?

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