Things Never Work Out Exactly The Way You Expect

Things Never Work Out Exactly The Way You Expect

Sometimes you just need to adapt

I'm the kind of person that really enjoys having a plan for something and I find myself getting kind of frazzled when things don't go the way that I had planned. I knew that going abroad was going to be different and I knew that there would be adjustments so it's not like I wasn't mentally prepared for what was to come. However, there is only one thing that is completely throwing me for a loop. THE FREAKING WEATHER IN ITALY.

When I decided to come to Florence I was under the impression that it was going to be relatively moderate in temperature and sunny pretty much every day. That was naive of me but when else are you supposed to think when all the pictures you've ever seen of this country are set under beaming rays of glorious sunlight? Since I've been here the only time I feel real warmth is when I'm taking a scalding hot shower or when I sit in my kitchen with the oven on and open (I'm actually doing that right now as I type this article).

Listen, I understand that it's winter and that obviously March doesn't mean summer temperatures but I really wasn't expecting literally freezing weather all day every day. When I packed my suitcase I left sweaters and coats at home because I thought it would be excessive to bring them since it was going to be warm anyway. HA! Now I'm really regretting only packing seven sweaters to last me the whole semester.

All of this to say, I'm still having a great time and I really am getting used to it but when you idealize something in your head it's never going to meet your expectations. I based everything I thought about Florence on the two days I spent here in the height of summer three years ago.

This whole experience has really taught me about being able to adapt to any situation and that even if it's the complete opposite of what it's like at home, you'll get used to it and everything will be great. So, I'll sit here in the cold waiting for it to actually SNOW in Tuscany like the weatherman is predicting for tomorrow. I'll embrace the fact that I have to wear four pairs of socks when I leave the house and when I get back home to my apartment. I'll deal with these things with a good attitude because eventually, it will get warm. Eventually, I will regain feeling in my fingers and toes.

I'll be able to eat a gelato in order to cool down instead of eating it and only having my teeth chatter even more. All the while I'll be even more grateful for everything because of the cold that I endured. And even when I'm walking around feeling annoyed and frozen I just need to take a minute to remember where I am and how fortunate I am to be here. Studying abroad has been the only thing I was absolutely certain I wanted to do in college so I'll be damned if I let a little (well a lot) cold ruin my time here.

Cover Image Credit: Ellinor Lindahl

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6 Reasons You Shouldn't Fly RyanAir

And Why I Won't Anymore Either

Recently, I booked a flight with RyanAir from Prague to Brussels. After having an overall horrible experience with the company and their representatives, and a disappointing experience on the flight as well, I want to make sure the people around me know not to use this airline. Here is why I will no longer be using RyanAir and why you shouldn't waste your money either.

1. Website Doesn't Work

My first issue with RyanAir came with booking my flight. I booked this flight alongside two of my friends and two out of three of us had the same issue. When going to check out and purchase our ticket, the website had an error. This error would not allow us to purchase the ticket and would cause the page to refresh. Each time the page refreshed the price of the ticket would double.

I was the first to purchase my ticket, however, I ended up paying three times the price of what my other friend paid because of this issue. Thinking this was an issue with my credit card I called to fix it, nothing was wrong, it was the RyanAir website.

Unsure what to do, I went to contact RyanAir customer service who were unreachable. This leads me to believe that this "glitch" is actually a scam to overcharge their customers.

2. Pricing Scam

Like many other airlines, RyanAir reserves the right to change the price of the flight at any given time, much like other airlines. This change in price would have made sense if I had exited the webpage and come back later, however, this was not what happened.

I have a credit card from a major company that is accepted at any retailer, so when I have an issue, it is surprising to me. When my third friend was able to book with no problems using the same card, I started to question whether or not this was actually an issue with the site, or if it was intentional.

This same issue happened to my second friend as well. If we had been the last ones to book our flight I would have understood the price difference, however as my third friend booked after we had and still paid a significantly lower price, it seems shady on their behalf, especially in combination with their "refund policy" and lacking customer service.

When Googling this error message it became very clear that this is a common occurrence as this error message screen was all over the web. When looking at the RyanAir Twitter, people tweeting at them with this error message was not hard to find.

3. Terrible Customer Service

What made this issue look even worse on their behalf was their customer service or lack thereof. I was unable to reach a representative for about two hours prior to booking my flight. This meant no one was able to help resolve their website issue while it was happening. I had to resort to calling my mother and having her book the flight for me using another site that was not RyanAir.

I first attempted to use their online chat service which was not available at the time. I then proceeded to call their hotline. A machine answered and when I selected to talk to a live person I was hung up on.

Finally, I was able to access their live chat feature after two hours of it being unavailable and glitching. The representative I spoke to was unable to help me and directed me to another web portal. This would have been fine, however, he ended the chat without answering my questions. My interaction with this representative was not rude or malicious, I simply asked what category my complaint would fall under.

After filling out the form in the portal as recommended, I had to wait a week for a response. This response again did nothing for me and redirected me to another form, which I am still waiting to hear back from. At the very least I would like an explanation as to why my credit card was unable to be used on the site, let alone a refund for the issues with their site.

4. Poor In-Flight Experience

RyanAir is known for hiring new pilots. I knew to expect this going into my flight, but if you were not aware of this it is useful information. I would say this was definitely noticeable during my flight, especially the landing.

My biggest complaint with the in-flight experience was with the chairs and the floors. The chairs on the flight were incredibly uncomfortable, especially when compared to equivalent airlines. The floors on the flight were also uneven, making it unsafe to walk around.

Their recent policy change on cabin bags also negatively impact the in-flight experience in my opinion. A bag is not a "cabin" bag if cannot be kept in the cabin. Customers must now pay an additional £5 to bring their cabin bag on the plane. If not their baggage will be stored underneath the plane and will need to be reclaimed later.

In my opinion, the purpose of only traveling with a carry-on is to not have to deal with reclaiming luggage or having to worry about anything being stolen or damaged. This new policy makes having your carry-on with you unpleasant as you now have to pay extra to do everything yourself.

5. Terrible Care of Luggage

Usually, people joke about having their luggage tossed around by airport workers. When traveling with RyanAir, this is not a joke. There was no care taken with the luggage of passengers, in fact, we were actually able to watch our luggage getting thrown around.

This experience made me regret not paying extra to just bring my carry-on with me as it did cause items in my bag to leak, however, I really just regretted not booking a flight with another airline.


Overall, after my experience with RyanAir I find it hard to believe their company is still in business. I have never had such a poor experience using a company's website, customer service, or flying in general. At the very least I would expect a response from a customer service portal, but RyanAir has proved themselves incapable of doing the bare minimum.

I find it incomprehensible that they could get away with providing such a poor overall experience, essentially scamming two-thirds of their customers, and to still be in business. It is entirely unreasonable that they could run a scam like this on their customers and expect any repeat business, or respect as a company

Hopefully, you have not had as poor of an experience as I have had with RyanAir. If you are looking to book a cheap flight in the near future, I would totally recommend EasyJet, I have had nothing but good experiences with their company and have found their flights to be cheaper and more enjoyable. Basically, fly anything but RyanAir.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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5 Life-Changing Lessons My Europe Trip Taught Me

30 days full of food adventures, new lifelong friendships, and unimaginable experiences.

This past summer, I was given the opportunity to travel all over Europe for a month. Europe had always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, and it was finally happening.

Never would I have expected though this adventure would change me as a person and teach me so many valuable lessons. These are the 5 lessons I learned during my unforgettable and breathtaking trip.

1. I learned how to be my “weird” self

I like to compare myself to Kinder egg because although I look completely normal on the outside, I’m a big “surprise” when you get to know me. Only my close friends really see this bizarre side of me because I usually contain it with everyone else.

Only my close friends know that I’m an obsessed and crazy unicorn and sparkle lover, and that I send five-minute Snapchat videos of me ranting with a voice change filter.

In Europe, something changed within me that I felt like I didn’t need to “contain myself." I felt more comfortable in my skin and was tired of hiding my quirks, so I decided to be genuine to myself and to the all the people I encountered.

I was going to show them all the sides of Jane Kim and I didn’t care if they were going to accept it.

2. I learned how to open up

I love putting myself out there and meeting new people, but I never let my personal guards down doing so. I always had trouble really opening up because I thought that being vulnerable was like giving people the opportunity to hurt you.

I met so many people during my whole tour that were from different walks of life and cultures, and many of them were able to openly talk to me even with having gone through so much pain and loss. It amazed me that they were willing to show me that part of them self to me, a stranger they had just known for a week. I found myself opening up after endless nights of so many intimate and meaningful conversations.

I talked about my aspirations, my fears, and the things that hurt me in the past. I was breaking the tough wall I had been building and bared myself because I learned being able to make yourself vulnerable to others shows strength and courage.

I wasn’t my past mistakes nor was I a coward for having fears. I was a human being just like everyone else.

3. I learned age was really just a number

The company I was going through had an age range from 18 to 35-year-olds, so I was fearful that I wasn’t going to make friends and no one would want to hang out with me because I was “too young."

Never had I been so wrong in my life. My group was full of people of all varying ages and never once did anyone treat each other differently because of their ages. We all bonded with each other and ended up becoming a close-knit family that looked out for each other at all nights.

I realized quickly no one cared about age, but more on what kind of person you were and how you handled yourself during difficult situations. Connections aren't based off who’s wiser or who’s older but based on what each person has to offer to help expand the other person’s intellectual thought.

We all learned from each other and respected one another as just individuals without a number attached to ourselves.

4. I learned how to "slow down"

I was born and raised in New York, so everything was always fast-paced in my life.

In Europe, there was no such thing as "fast-paced." Everyone took time in their steps admiring the beautiful and intricate historical buildings around them and in getting know each other during any meal of the day. People barely took out their phones during meals because they valued face to face conversations.

Nothing mattered besides the present time.

My steps became gradually slower because I took the time to look at my surroundings. In Paris, I captured the awe-dropping moment of me standing on the steps in front of the glimmering Eiffel Tower. In Austria, I breathed in the mountainous scenery as we were white water rafting. In Spain, I stopped on the La Rambla to watch and admire the local musicians playing.

I also indulged myself in meaningful and intellectual conversations with the locals and the people from my tour. I’m so thankful that I did because I heard amazing stories from all over and that’s something you can’t get through just searching the web.

5. Finally… I learned that three meals are never enough

I don’t know who made up the three meals a day routine, but whoever did most likely has never traveled to Europe or is missing out. Only having three meals in Europe compares to only having the crust of a whole pizza pie or getting just rice and beans at Chipotle. YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

Food is at every corner you turn in Europe, whether it be a kabob stand in Amsterdam or a schnitzel restaurant in Germany. I learned that calories did not count in Europe because food was a part of the culture and it would be wasteful to not fully experience it all.

Every meal was a three-course meal. Dessert crawls were a part of our routine in Italy; we would have tiramisu in Venice, cannolis in Florence, and gelato practically everywhere multiple times a day without shame.

Being a HUGE foodie, I never complained once during this whole adventure of finding small hidden cafes and restaurants in the dimly lit alleyways. I’m a strong believer in eating a lot of good food in this one life we have.

Europe was a defining moment in my life because I learned more about myself and the different cultures. I learned to be true to myself and never let anything ever get in the way of that. I am eternally grateful for this trip because I was able to make unforgettable friendships and connections on the trip.

I truly hope to see my lifelong friends one day again.

Cover Image Credit: Jane Kim

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