Preparing for the unexpected?

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Unexpectedness is inherent to travelling. The door will always be open for unplanned situations. Being prepared for the unexpected, and being open-minded about the unknown, is when one experiences travelling at its best.

Being over 7 months pregnant, however, means that the unexpected is not always welcome. One just cannot endure the same challenges, nor be as open-minded about unforeseen situations coming your way. Arriving at your destination luggage-less is one of them.

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To be honest, our day started off a little too bright and early, leaving hometown Ghent, via Antwerp, for Brussels Airport on the early commuter’s train.  The random yet elaborate security checks at the airport that have become common in the aftermath of the 22/3/16 attacks, added flavor to the morning buzz, along with the long, long cue at the check in. And when we were up in the air, bitterness hit a high note when we were confronted with a verbally and physically aggressive man in the seat in front, complaining of the hubby’s knees in his back. After a short transfer in Copenhagen we were finally on our last stretch towards destination: Vágar, Faroe Islands.

When our two bags did not roll off the luggage carousel, we were still confident and trusting that they would arrive later that day with another incoming flight from Copenhagen. Which was indeed the case with one of them. The second bag, containing all our clothes, shoes and hiking gear was orphaned. Alas, no less than five days afterwards, after losing that high-valued patience and understanding, after numerous e-mails and hashtags on social media, and somehow overcoming the rising impulse of ceasing the trip, our open-mindedness was no longer tested and we were finally reunited with socks, shoes, sweatpants and  sweaters… How one can long for one’s basics and want nothing less, nor more.

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Lessons learnt the hard way:

  • Look into taking a(n) (elaborate) travel insurance when pregnant.
  • Divide your belongings into separate bags, making you less dependent on the content of that one missing bag (e.g. with clothes and shoes, toiletries, etc.)
  • Put essentials for the first days in your hand luggage (medicines, underwear, pair of socks, clean shirt, etc.)
  • Do make sure that you have highly needed pregnancy-related clothing packed in your hand luggage as well. You can always buy new socks, but suitable clothes for pregnant women are not as common, nor affordable when you are on an airline’s budget to buy essentials.
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