July 2016 has been an absolute shambles for me. I’m not sure whether it was because the end of my two years was in sight and I got cocky and careless, or if I’ve actually just genuinely lost the skill of life.
I lost my purse
In Greece. The only way I can think it happened was when I fell over coming home from a night out in Ios. I was Snapchatting… seriously… I had (small) platform shoes on, not my usual footwear attire, and was going down steps that looked like this but with a smaller step and more randomly placed.
I faceplanted and then got up quickly, embarrassed in the 5amish dawn light. The next day I realised my purse had gone, and seeing as I’d paid for a gyros kebab about 10 minutes before this, it’s the only way I can think I lost it. I lost my bank card, my driver’s license, and between €1 to €50, who knows.
Could be worse, I thought to myself, could’ve been my phone.
I lost my phone
Two weeks later. And I hadn’t even had a drink. We were out looking for the elusive Arctic Fox in the South Lapland wilderness. We’d been out for about 6 hours with no luck and were heading back to the car, with the hour-long hike.
At 11:46pm I Snapchatted (yes, I now hate that bloody app) about the daylight as it was still so bright. Then I put my phone in the kangaroo pocket of the jacket I’d borrowed to help with the cold. I can clearly remember doing it. Then at midnight I went to check the time and my phone was gone.
Panic. Absolute panic.
I tore off over the mountains, convinced I knew where I’d dropped it. I was crying, so damn angry at myself. I was glued to that phone. Every day I have the ‘oh my god I’ve lost my phone, oh here it is’ paranoia. But no, of course, this time… I couldn’t find it.
And then I lost the rest of the group instead. I saw a mushroom and thought to myself, that’s it, no phone, no way back to civilisation. I’ll be eating mountain mushrooms until someone finds me, just skin and bones.
About four minutes later I found them, of course, and they then stayed out for TWO hours with me to look for it.
The next day they all willingly gave up their three hours of free time (sacred!) on our press trip to look for it with me. We were convinced we’d find it. No luck. The area we were searching looked like the photo above, suddenly every rock looked as familiar as the next .
What I lost in a 6-month uninsured iPhone 6 (you can’t get insurance if you buy it from abroad on eBay) I made up for in finding out the kindness of my blogger friends who know how important a phone is.
Big shout out to Kerwin from , Scott from IntrepidEscape, Yulia from MissTourist, Nils from Stalo Adventures, the action adventure company we were with, and his dog Fingus.
I left my £80 MacBook Air charger in my Lapland hotel
No phone. No MacBook.
Things kind of tumbled from then on.
I always check the plug sockets when I leave a hotel. Always, always. But this time, I didn’t. I was so concerned with getting the front desk to print my Ryanair boarding pass so I wouldn’t have to pay any more money at the airport.
I went to the wrong Stockholm airport
My flight was at 6:30am, so I needed to be at the airport for 4:30am, so I needed to be on the Arlanda Express, to Arlanda Airport at 4am. But I didn’t have an alarm. The hotel didn’t do a wake up service, there was no phone in the room, no MacBook, no phone. Yes, I could’ve bought one but I wouldn’t trust it.
So I stayed awake.
I made it to the Arlanda Express, to Arlanda Airport. And just as I went to check which terminal it was as the train pulled in, I looked at my ticket and realised I was going from Stockholm SKAVSTA, not Stockholm Arlanda. Skavsta, which, at the very least, was two hours away by public transport or car.
FUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKK (yes, dad, it’s needed).
There was no way I’d make it for my Ryanair flight. Lucky for me there was a Norwegian Airlines flight leaving an hour later from Arlanda, at £110. And so I booked that, my THIRD flight from Stockholm to London (even longer story), and waited.
Looking on the bright side, the only side to look, at least I didn’t have to reduce my 19kg to 15kg for Ryanair, I didn’t have to deal with all that yellow and blue, and I was last to board the flight so they let me sit in the vacant exit seat row alone. I mean, some would say £110 was a cheap upgrade for that.
My Airbnb host hates me
This is getting long, I’ll be quick. Then my London AirBnB host had written his address in a confusing way and I’d noted it down with a PENCIL in a NOTEBOOK and had no way to contact him or check it. I arrived in Stockwell, where it was, found the apartment block and pounded on number 45 for 30 minutes.
No answer. Furious.
I had to go back to Central London (30 minutes ish, with bags) to find a Three phone shop. I bought a phone (went for the iPhone 6SE) but of course it wasn’t charged. So then I went to the Apple shop – oh apparently the one on Regent Street has closed, so I had to walk to Covent Garden – to use their computers. I contacted my Airbnb man, to find out where tf he was and then come back. Turns out he was number 61.
He was annoyed at me. Yes, it was clear on another page, but not the one I’d looked at. If I hadn’t lost my phone, I would’ve seen that.
Then some guy in the street decided to tell me I had fat legs, which got me in a rage.
I came back and said Airbnb host, who I’m staying with for a month, accused me of breaking the toilet. I’d had a wee, flushed the toilet, the end. I’ve done it before, I know how it works. He said I’d flushed it too hard. WTF?
I just looked at him, went to my room, and went to sleep.
(Two days later he told me it wasn’t actually my fault, see)
I’m trying not to let the fiascos of July override its brilliance. I’ve had two of my favourite trips of my life this month. I spent a week travelling round Mykonos, Santorini and Ios in Greece with Travel Talk Tours, and then I went on an incredible press trip to Sweden’s South Lapland.
Mykonos in Greece and Saxnas in Sweden are now two of my favourite places. I’ve already been thinking about when I can go back to both.
And of course, if you follow me on Snapchat (@VickyFlipFlop), you’ll have seen the fun that was TBEX in the middle. The Travel Bloggers Exchange conference happens three times a year and is a chance for bloggers to come together to learn and network. I always feel a bit disorientated and confused during and after TBEX, but in hindsight they’re so much fun and I keep going back for more.
Parties, blogger chat, fun at the ABBA Museum and tunes will be how I remember Stockholm TBEX 2016. Good times.
Two year milestone
July 17th marks two years since I left my flat in Vauxhall in London and went off on my travels. Two years! Can you believe it?
I’ve been trying to make a video like I did for my first year of solo travel but I have so much more footage it’s taking me ages.
Best experience of the month
We hiked for two hours out of Hermavan in South Lapland, got to a clearing, and then a helicopter came to pick us up and take us to Saxnas, 30 minutes away. The views were absolutely incredible.
WE SAW REINDEER ON THE MOUNTAINS!
So beautiful on every side and for miles and miles – I’m totally in love with Sweden.
Oh, and The Guardian named me as one of their top 12 fashion bloggers. Love it.
Losing my phone, no doubt about it. All the videos and photos from said helicopter flight, gone. Luckily I had three other cameras on the go, so all was not lost, but still gutted.
This month’s posts
It’s all been a little bit niche on the blog this month. Just you wait till August – I’ll try not to bombard you :).
- Everything You Need to Know About BBK Festival
- The Best Hostels in Austin
- Why I’m Moving Back to London
- The Little Man Who Bullied Me on the Way to Sainsbury’s
- My Favourite Photos from 2 Days in Mykonos
Next month – August already!
– Me when I first moved to London in 2008, haha.
I’m in London for the month, catching up with work and friends. I’m totally inspired by my blogger friends Emily and Jess, who are both feeling amazing after changing their diet and exercise. I’ve signed up to the gym in Brixton and have done 2 hours of classes a day since. Go me.
They both gave up booze too. Yeah, not doing that.
August will be a London weekend with my parents to see the Sunny Afternoon Musical, Wilderness Festival with one of my best mates from school, Paris on a solo adventure for 24 hours and then Paris again for the Rock en Seine Festival.
And as much London as I can fit in in the middle.
If you have any suggestions for me for London, or can share a story of a lost phone so I don’t feel so bad, let me know in the comments section below.