No photos but an interesting life lesson, and an adventure I could have done without, causing me to ruminate and reflect on the experience and write it down here – it might also be useful to any of you reading this and thinking of travelling! I am in Central Australia now, Alice Springs to be precise, and in the final few weeks of my rambling down under! For 2 days I have been without money! not entirely true as I did have about 80 dollars on me but that doesn’t go far in terms of moving on! I had a 5 day trip planned and paid for up to Ayers Rock and King’s Canyon and likewise a flight to Sydney next week – but no money for 5 nights accommodation and food – how did this come about! I will try and explain simply a rather complex situation – I always travel with travelers cheques (finished now!!!) a debit bank account card (the subject of bank fraud late December so the bank issued a new card which sits with my daughter in the UK) and a credit card which to my dismay reached it’s limit and refused to give me any more money!! I had tried to send them a payment twice at the end of January and was unaware that the second time the payment had still not gone through- so of course rang them immediately 3 days ago and discovered this was my own stupid fault as I had written down one of the sort code digits wrong so of course it bounced back again the second time – the payment I then made takes 3/4 working days (and remember this was Friday!) so the card really was going to be no good until the end of the following week and I was moving on at the beginning of the week – the credit card help desk suggested that the bank could make a fast payment but to cut a long story short they couldn’t! a further telephone call to the bank who then suggested a payment to me through my (unactivated) debit card that my daughter was keeping for me didn’t help as my daughter had left on holiday to the USA the previous night! Talk about the timing of all this! I think I got an anxiety panic attack at that point! I really was meant to learn this lesson wasn’t I! After several phone calls an enlightened young man at my bank talked to his manager and said to ring Visa International for an emergency payment! I did but even this was not straightforward – everything in my life seemed blocked – I started doing affirmations ( why do I forget - but better late than never!) GUESS WHAT - last night a lovely woman called Benel in Maryland USA pulled out the stops and solved the reason for the delay (which turned out to be lack of my passport no for the bank to release my details to them) – I have just been to the post office and received the emergency payment which is enough to cover all my expenses until I get home – life is good, bright and beautiful again today and I am sitting in a lovely cafe in Alice Springs with a delicious latte and 2 pieces of raison toast!!
So what happened in those 2 days – my world turned negative along with my thoughts – people seemed unfriendly, the place dirty, it even rained (quite rare in Alice) - I will leave the rest up to your imaginations albeit to say that my security was well and truly tested! and in terms of the majority of the world’s population I am one of the lucky ones! I have money sitting in my bank account from the sale of my house – all that money and could I get my hands on it – well NO!! It has made me think so much about refugees and alyssum seekers and the anxiety they must face on a daily basis! When I get home I will find a way of offering some support to these people. I just want to add that 98 percent of the people I have met while travelling including those trying to help on the other end of the phone have been truly supportive and great people to know – I have made several friends here in Australia that I know I will stay in touch with and hopefully meet again!
SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNT FROM THIS EXPERIENCE SO FAR!! (and I’m sure there will be more!)
1. Never to rely on a bank/credit card or even 2 cards when not in your own country!
2. Always to have enough cash to pay for everything for at least a week when travelling!
3. Negative thoughts create a negative world around you (I knew this but needed to be reminded)
4. There is always someone willing to go the extra mile and it’s just a matter of finding them ( positive thoughts needed)
5. Affirmations really do work and why do I forget this!
7. Remember that I am blessed and that I have an abundant, creative and rich life!
8. Money is actually quite important if you haven’t got any!!
9. That actually in the scheme of things it was not all that bad because the worst that could happen was that I would have had to cancel my trip (and lose the cost of it) as I am sure the YHA would have let me stay here for a few more nights until the card payment went through! But I really didn’t want to miss seeing Uluru (Ayers Rock) And of course I would have lost a few more pounds (in weight) too!!
I would love to hear your comments! The next post will have some photos I promise!