I found myself in Barcelona, loving the architecture, enjoying the smell of the fresh baked goods they told us about in Spanish Class, and STARVING. My bank hadn’t done as promised and marked my travels on my account, so my card wasn’t functioning, and I hadn’t yet been given the “Take Cash” advice.
I was too far ahead on the clock, and would probably die before my bank opened. I held on, though, learning the USD is weak, and my $10 on the card that still worked was only worth about 6 dollars here. What did I buy? A coconut water and sweet rolls. LOVE.
Talking to my dear friend and comrade, Shanna, we joked about the proverbial Black ditch. It’s a REAL ditch where all Black mothers tell their children they will end up if they aren’t too safe and well prepared. I will never end up in that ditch, but I’m not the average person.
I’ve built my life around struggles, some voluntary, some not, so I’m well conditioned to handle the severest strains without breaking, but not everyone is.
1. Keep your bank on speed dial, and get an off-peak hours number if they have one.
2. Make friends with someone at your local branch.
3. Don’t spend your last few dollars on bullshit. NUTRITION and HYDRATION.
4. When you have the opportunity to eat a lot for cheap, do it. You never know when that next meal is gonna come.
5. Download every possible social media app that stretches across the world, in case you need to make quick friends who can cook, or who can buy you a meal, or provide lotion.
6. Most importantly, don’t let this ruin your trip. Keep smiling, knowing you will be alright, and you won’t die, things will just be hard for a second, and you will have a great story to tell.