• Ashley Nicole

A Near Miss

I was just thinking recently, that I've had quite a few random and bizarre events that have taken place during my travels. So far, I haven't shared many of them. I think I'm going to mix things up a bit today, and share with you one of my crazy adventures. Sit back and relax, because it's story time! 

Many years ago, I studied at university in the state of Virginia. It was about a 12 hour drive between my house and my school and because flying is so expensive, I used to save money by taking a bus to travel between the two. I traveled often with Mega Bus, from Toronto to Washington DC (the North American versions of Europe's Omio) and despite the very long journeys, I saved myself quite a bit of money. (My trick was to take the overnight bus, so that I could try to sleep at night, and make the time pass more quickly - sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not...)

One Spring break, I had a bit of a complication.... I was at home in Canada and I was going to be leaving on the bus that evening. My bus left from Toronto, so my family and I decided that we would go out for dinner together, on our way into Toronto. We booked a reservation at the restaurant and once my suitcase was packed and ready to go, we were on our way to dinner. My family is known for running late, but we knew that because we had a reservation, everything should run smoothly for us to eat dinner and be on our way.

Once we arrived, the host looked at our reservation and said that it had already been checked off. Someone had stolen our reservation and we had to now wait for a table!! We finally managed to sit down, eat and even chat for a bit, before we realized that it was time to leave - it was already later than we had anticipated! Felling that we might be a little be pressed for time, so we really started feeling the pressure. If I missed this bus, I'd have to take another one the next evening and miss my classes the following day.  

In the car, I nervously looked down at my ticket, up at the clock in the car, and back down to the ticket. My parents were trying to reassure me to not worry, as they thought we would end up making it in time. Just as we were pulling to the station, 2 minutes before departure time, we saw a bus pulling out of the station. The words across the top read, "Toronto to Washington DC." THAT WAS MY BUS!!!

Next thing I knew, I heard "Follow that bus!!" and we started tailing this bus through the streets of Toronto. Eventually we stopped behind the bus, at a red light, and my mom jumped out of our car and ran down to the the bus, knocked on the window and tried to explain the situation. The bus driver agreed to pull over, so a little while down the street, he pulled over this big, double-decker bus, hopped off, checked off my name and chucked on my luggage. I sheepishly walked onto the bus and picked a spot in the bottom, so that I don't have to face so many staring faces of annoyed people, wanting to see who had stopped the bus. I MADE IT, but oh man, was the adrenaline pumping! 

To be honest, I can't really say there are too many takeaways from this story, except always plan to be early for your transportation. Other than that, I'm just very thankful that I eventually made it on the bus, despite all that stress. I do find, however, that the worst or even most stressful moments in life always tend to make up the best stories later on. Am I right?