Often times our perfectly planned vacation doesn’t go off without a hiccup.  How you react to that hiccup can then set the tone of the rest of your vacation.  So what do you do when you experience that bump in the road that you didn’t plan for?

You know, thinking back I don’t recall ever having a perfect vacation. And you know what, that’s alright by me.  Although at the time it may have been an inconvenience, when I got home it generally added humor when I regaled with my friends my vacation stories.  Two particular journeys come to mind when I think of what could have been vacation lemons that were made into lemonade.


The first story took place on my very first international scuba vacation.  I jetted off to Beqa, Fiji, to experience my first time diving in warm, tropical waters and I was so excited to be traveling with a group of fellow divers.  Well, the trip had been planned around my dive shop’s slow time of the year, which meant we were taking a chance on having excellent weather the whole time. So be it, luck was not exactly with us when a typhoon decided to blow through.  Now of course we couldn’t go diving while the winds were howling and the rain was pouring, but were we going to let this ruin our good time? The choices were simple, yes or no.  Well one couple chose to complain to high heavens that this was not the vacation they had paid for and wanted to return home immediately. They opted for locking themselves up in their bure to pout until staff could safely transport them back to the main island of Viti Levu.  The rest of us, however, chose to go with the flow.  We broke out the umbrellas, hopped in the pool and played a raucous game of Marco Polo.  When the winds died down enough for safe sailing, the inpatient couple headed off, and the rest of us continued to enjoy the island, its wonderful people, and eventually some awesome diving.  Do you know what happened to that couple that couldn’t just go with the flow and relax?  They sat in a hotel on the main island and had to wait until just the day before we were scheduled to depart before they could get a flight home.  Who do you think had a more enjoyable vacation with a wonderful story to tell when they got home?


The second story that comes to mind was when I led a group of divers down to La Paz, Mexico.  Generally, this area is not the victim of large hurricanes, but this had to be the year…just one month before we were to arrive, Baja was struck with one heck of a hurricane leaving a path of destruction from Cabo to Loreto.  I had my phone ringing off the hook and email blowing up from divers in the group wanting to know if we were still going.  When I was finally able to get in touch with the resort and ascertain that, although a little worse for wear, they were still open for business, I let the group know that although the resort may not be in stellar condition, I planned to still lead the trip and help support this community with my tourist dollars to aid in the recovery.  Thankfully everyone in the group was of the same mind and we flew on down.  So yes, we definitely did experience some challenges with plumbing and internet at the resort, but overall the place was in good shape.  On this trip though I did have one diver who admits now that he was not use to being able to let go and just find enjoyment in all the things that were going right. He finally confided in me at the end of the trip that when he realized that yelling at staff was not going to change the fact that some things could not be repaired instantly, his stress levels decreased and his enjoyment levels increased, and it turned out he had a wonderful time.  I felt quite rewarded when he told me that it was my example and attitude that influenced his change and taught him a valuable lesson.  There is peace in letting go and being flexible.


So tell me, what do you think?  Do you have a story to share about how you turned lemons into lemonade on your vacation?  Didn’t your hiccup just add color to what would have otherwise been a typical vacation story?  I’d love to hear from you.

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