My first piece of advice: be organised. If you know me you may consider me as an organised person: I love making lists; lists in notebooks; lists on my phone, making plans etc. However if you really know me, you will know these to-do lists are rarely completed and include ‘wake up… have shower… dry hair…’ as if I would forget to wake up or something. In all honestly, this organised persona is a facade.
It may be due to my unorganised persona that things tend to sort of…happen to me… And one of these ‘things’ happened on my first day of travelling: after my first EVER 7 hour flight completely alone, I landed at Dubai airport. I’d made it like 10,000 miles (very inaccurate guesstimate) and I felt like I could do anything. Strong independent woman. I’d worked out where my connecting flight would be, and sat at the waiting area for my gate with a load of young people, who I thought must be on my flight. Gap yah in Thailand and all that.
So I decided to get cash out. In hindsight that was already a weird idea: getting an unknown amount of money out in a currency I’d never seen before, and after the next hour would potentially never need again.
I stuck my prepaid cash card in the machine and BEEP BEEP BEEP *incorrect pin*. I tried again and BEEP BEEP BEEP *incorrect pin*…again… I couldn’t log onto the website from where my card was issued, and no phone calls would go through to the company (yet I was still charged £1.49 per attempted call, thanks Tesco). After some serious stressing, emailing and attempted FaceTime calls to my mum, the issue was resolved, and the pin was changed; meaning when I got off the plane at Bangkok, after the second 7 hour flight (filled with anxiety) I was able to get out my Thai Baht. Too much Thai Baht (I still didn’t know anything about foreign currencies).
So my lessons from the day are:
•Check a new card actually works before leaving the country
•Get a currency converter app on your phone, especially when using a number of different currencies
Thanks for reading!