The best memories are often made in the most unusual and unplanned circumstances.
And so have been my memories in Stockholm.
Our first day was a struggle. We spent an hour trying to get out of the airport and when we finally got into the city center, we got off at the wrong bus stop.
So there we were in the middle of Stockholm surrounded by hundreds of people. We were each carrying about 60 pounds of luggage and screamed tourists. I might as well have had a target on my back that said, “Rob me.”
We wandered to a back street and pulled over frustrated about my Swedish map. A man wearing a purple Ralph Lauren shirt asked us if we needed help. After quickly scanning his face, belongings and clothing, I deemed him safe.
He gave us directions and restored my faith in humanity.
We finally got to our hostel and stumbled in through the front door. We nearly lost our luggage down the steep spiral steps to the lobby.
The lady at the hostel’s front desk clicked around for about five minutes before finally telling us that someone had messed up, and they overbooked. Emily and I were now staying in separate rooms with all guys.
Yep, we were the only girls in our rooms.
It turned out to not be that bad, though. I didn’t have to change in front of them, and I didn’t encounter what I feared most: a naked man.
Two Italian guys came into the room around 1 a.m. After revealing we were from Los Angeles (it gives people a general idea), I asked them where they were from. The one said, “Guess.”
“Give me a hint.”
We laughed and went to bed.
The next night in the hostel’s lobby, Emily and I were doing some work on our laptops. An Italian man took my hand, kissed it and asked me my name. He ran up the steps, stopped and then ran back down and sat in the chair next to me.
“What do you eat to be so beautiful?”
“Umm….burgers and Taco Bell?”
Okay, so I didn’t really say that. I just shyly looked away and said I didn’t know.
He proceeded to tell me there was a magic in my eyes and then ran up the stairs to his friends who were yelling at him.
And I can’t begin to tell you how many times we’ve gotten lost in the past three days. I don’t think I’ve ever used a real map so much in my life. But in our wanderings, we’ve come across serene spots and quiet cafes.
Sometimes getting lost is the best thing you can do.
When things don’t work out, don’t freak out. Embrace the unexpected and have fun along the way because the best memories are the ones you weren’t expecting.