Trying something new always has risks. There is the risk that you will hate it and have a horrible time. But there is also the risk that you will love it and your perceptions will be changed forever.
Before this experience, honestly, I was a little nervous about both. My recent trip to Barcelona coincided with my friend’s birthday and so she convinced me to do something I would never normally do – ride the guided tour bus. Now I did want to ride a double decker bus, but I had envisioned a red London transit bus not an incredibly dorky tourist trap in Spain. However, I believe that the moments when life presents you with an unexpected opportunity are those that led to the best adventures. And so despite my reservations I ended up paying the exorbitant amount of 36 euro for a two-day bus pass that would take me to Barcelona’s most visited attractions. On the plus side, it did include routes around most of the city, jump on & off privileges and discounts on the main sights. Best of all, we would be able ride around beautiful Barcelona soaking up the sun, the sites and the insider information provided by the live guide. In my pre-trip daydreams I feared not that I wouldn’t like it, but that I might like it a little too much and have to eat my mocking words.
As with most travel, things didn’t work out exactly as planned. Due to factors we couldn’t control, my sun-filled daydreams were only in my head. The reality was long lines; foggy, rain-soaked windows; uninspired, pre-recorded audio guides and overall an inauthentic, made-for-market feel. So did I fall in love with tourist buses and change my travel ethos? Not exactly, but I did get to experience a European city in a new way and test my preconceived notions about the tourism industry. So while I’m happy I followed an unexpected opportunity, in the future, I think I’ll be saving my 36 euro and investing in a transit pass, a guide book and a good bottle of wine.
Today I say yes to sharing an adventure with a friend. Yes to keeping an open mind and learning as I go. And yes to Barcelona – rain or shine.
I didn’t say no because between safety and adventure, I choose adventure. – Craig Ferguson