Learning the Hard Way

This one is called: Learning your lesson the hard way.
Why is it that we do not learn our lesson, unless we learn it the hard way sometimes!? I am already laughing to myself that I haven’t shared this story from our trip to Japan a couple months ago. It’s about a girl crying to a foreign train conductor because she had no money to pay for her ticket… That girl I’m referring to was ME. Ohhh this is good, lets start from the beginning. On our last day our flight wasn’t till a little later in the afternoon, so we figured we’d wake up early, and go do some last minute sight seeing and souvenir shopping. We knew the bus was leaving our hotel at 11:30am for the airport, and was really cheap like 300 Yen (3 US Dollars). We took the subway into Tokyo, took some pictures, and spent almost the rest of our cash (knowing how cheap the bus was to the airport). We started heading back for our hotel and I kept looking at my watch thinking, “Okay we’re cutting this a little close, but what bus really leaves right on the dot!?” We started getting a little nervous so Brad and I darted off of the subway into a full on sprint! And if you know me, I am not a runner – I have terrible knees and I have the worst endurance. I was also wearing terrible shoes that formed huge blisters by the time we made it to our hotel (I so did not obey my own traveling tip.) We raced up the elevator, grabbed our stuff while frantically yelling at each other (because that’s what couples do, right? Ha!) then came downstairs to find the bus GONE. No where in sight. We had no idea what we were in for, by missing that stupid bus. Next thing I knew, we were sprinting through the subway again: but this time with our luggage, carry-ons, and bags of camera equipment dangling awkwardly as we ran. Now we were jeopardizing missing our flight completely! Brad was a trooper wheeling both of our bags, yanking them through the gates… And almost knocking people off the platform (not kidding) As I followed behind with three backpacks and a laptop bag around my body. As if our fair skin and light hair didn’t stand out already. We tried to make our own route through the subway station a couple times and ended up running for 25 mins straight to get from one end to another – my feet literally felt like they were on fire. AND of course it was the busiest time of the day too, we were wedged into the subway cars like a can of sardines – absolutely no where to sit down. We finally got to the last station to get on the ‘Express Train’ to the airport, and barely missed it. Brad and I kept looking at each other in disbelief. No words. We were in such a fluster and jumped on the wrong train a couple times, and finally got on the right Express Train half an hour later. With about 500 Yen (5 US Dollars) in our pockets. The ticket lady started coming down the aisle as we realized our subway ticket was not valid for this train. The awkward approach happened and luckily we were sitting by an American who knew Japanese to help us. The American lady translated that we owed 10,000 Yen (100 US Dollars) and my jaw hit the floor. I instantly burst into tears. Not only out of embarrassment, but out of sheer terror! “What are they going to do to us!? Throw us off the train like in the movies!? Are we going to have to beg for money!?” Brad left with the ticket lady to talk to the conductor, leaving me sitting there with my puffy cry face all alone. A girl sitting kiddie corner from me handed me a tissue, and 800 Yen. She spoke english and said “I know it’s not much, but I hope this helps.” Of course I burst into tears again – I will never forget her kindness. As I was writing down her address to pay her back, Brad returned with good news. The conductor was going to follow him off the train to an ATM to pay for our tickets. Thank you, thank you Heavenly Father! I gave that girl her money back and we got off the train. We split our separate ways, so I had to haul all of our stuff to the third floor of the airport. What airport has their Check-In on the third floor!? I could feel my pants sagging and my shirt falling off of my shoulder as I got to the last set of escalators. This african-american guy standing in front of me turned around, gave me the sassy stare down, and said “Are you alright??” I don’t even remember what I said to him, BUT I made it to the top! Brad ran up right as I got to the front of the line, and we made our flight by a hair. We sat down in our seats completely speechless. I seriously could not even talk. We definitely learned our lesson the hard way that day.The moral of the story is:
No matter how often you travel, don’t let yourself get too confident/comfortable. Be realistic with your timing, never ever get caught traveling without emergency cash,
and lastly, DO NOT MISS YOUR BUS.

I am so happy we can laugh about this now.


  1. September 11, 2013 / 1:26 am

    That sounds so intense! i would have a heart attack if that happened to me! But moments like this are definitely good stories later! Glad it worked out!

  2. September 11, 2013 / 2:23 am

    OOOOOH MAN!!!GREAT story! Ah I hate bad airport experiences… lets just say I have an almost as awesome story about me losing my passport in the France airport! I'll have to tell ya about it sometime! Ah does that experience still stress you out?? That story sure got me going– but it's crazy how you see look back and see God's hand in your life right!?

    • September 11, 2013 / 2:44 am

      You lost your PASSPORT abroad!? Oh my gosh. Do not forget to tell me this story next time we see each other! I'm dying. But seriously, it does make you realize how he is always quietly there beside you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. September 11, 2013 / 2:37 am

    My husband and I missed the plane that was going to take us to our ohio wedding reception last month! All because we tried to save money by not parking and took trax.

    I literally cried into my husbands shoulder as he tried to work it out with the ticket lady, but she wouldn't let us board the plane because we got there 40 minutes early instead of 45.

    haha I'm happy you made your flight!

    • September 11, 2013 / 2:43 am

      OH my GOSH Sarah!! For your wedding reception!? I would have died. Did yours have a happy ending!? I'm HOPING.

  4. September 11, 2013 / 4:36 am

    Oh that is rough for sure. We recently went on a cruise with my in laws and my father in law lost his wallet at six flags the day before we boarded the ship. Luckily we found it.but it was stressful. Ps I saw you guys at comedy sports this last weekend

  5. September 11, 2013 / 8:39 am

    wow, that's some story! I often have nightmares about missing the plane so I always try to go as early as I can although it might mean waiting there for three hours ๐Ÿ˜€ I prefer that to being late or just rinning to catch it. I really hate running to catch a bus/train or anything… I am glad it worked out well for you in the end! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. September 11, 2013 / 1:57 pm

    Oh my, this mad me almost cry and laugh. We did something very similar while in honduras. ATMs were not working, we begged to get on the last bus of the day promising to pay back when we got to the next city. Then the bus we begged to get on was robbed at gun point. The scariest thing i have ever been through. But we laugh about it now. read about it here,


  7. September 11, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    Oh man this reminds me of when we almost missed our train in China. We stepped into our train car and the train literally pulled away about 10 seconds later. Running through crows of Asians with a ton of luggage is an interesting experience.

  8. September 12, 2013 / 3:01 am

    Yikes!! I don't think I have a story as good as yours, but once when I was in customs coming into Tel Aviv I gave the attendant the wrong flight number (from the flight I had just arrived on), and there was some definite terrorist-checking activity going on. Who could blame them though, you know? My bad for not having myself together! Learned the hard way ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. September 12, 2013 / 3:08 am

    Oh My! That is awful! I can totally picture the whole scenario! I'm glad it you guys made it virtually unharmed! We had a similar experience at the Paris airport trying to make a connecting flight and speaking no French and completely lost in the HUGE airport. Big time running, sweating, panicking and hearing our names called out on the PA! Made it by the skin of our teeth. Fun stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. September 16, 2013 / 1:23 am

    Love this because it's so true! Never get too comfortable! Also, peoples kindness and little blessings never fail to comfort even the toughest situations no matter where you are in this world! Thanks for sharing!:)

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