On My Own in Estonia

July 12, 2020
Missing the Boat in Estonia

When I got word that my contract job was ending, my first thought was “Great! Time to go on another trip.” I knew my aunt was going on a Baltic Cruise in less than two weeks, so I booked my trip to go with her. It never crossed my mind that this trip would turn out to be my first solo adventure.

It was raining in Houston and I woke up to a text message stating “flight delayed.” It was my last day at work and all I could think about was… I can’t miss my flight! I knew I couldn’t get into Russia without a visa, which I did not have. I knew missing my outbound flight would cause a ripple effect and cause me to miss my connecting flight. I hurried through the morning, said my goodbyes, turned in my laptop, and raced to the airport.

Due to the rain, several flights were cancelled. I stood at the counter while the agent tried to find an available flight so I could make my connection in Germany to Estonia. Nothing was available. I just had to get to Estonia and take it from there.

I landed in Germany and made my way to the connecting flight to Estonia. The arrival time was delayed… again. When I finally got to Estonia, I hopped in a cab to the port. The cab driver talked and talked and talked. I told him I was in a hurry, and he assured me I would make it since the port was only a few minutes away.

I was on my own in Helsinki but I loved it. I was beginning to realize that I love freedom to explore on my own terms.

When we got to the port, he had a weird look on his face and said “The ship, it was right here this morning.”

I saw it alright. My ship was floating away out to sea, without me on it! I had missed the boat. I was in a tiny Northern European country, all alone.

By missing the ship, I was already losing money–now I had to pay for accommodation and food for three days until I caught up with the ship. I found a room in Estonia, put down my belongings and explored the old city. By this time, the shops were closed and the streets were deserted. I decided to head back to the hotel thinking it would be dark soon. No such luck. The sun didn’t go down until after 10 pm.

The next morning I wanted to make my way to Helsinki before the ship’s slated arrival two days later. I was chasing that ship all over the Baltic Sea and I did not want to miss the boat again. I took the two hour ferry, which was a cruise ship with lounges and a grocery store. I took selfies, went shopping and listened to music. I was loving this solo trip.

Sometimes the best adventures happen by mistake. I never set out to be alone on this trip, but it taught me that in spite of what happens, just pray and keep moving.

When the ferry landed in Helsinki, I got off and looked for a hotel. Except, there were no hotels. All I saw was construction. Alone again in a very foreign land. So, I found a cop. He pointed in the direction of the hotels and said “it may be a long walk”. That didn’t make me feel good at all. But, I started walking and taking pictures of my surroundings. Thank goodness for my carry-on luggage only. I continued onward, but I was lost, and not confident about the direction I was headed. I saw a beauty salon and popped in to get directions. They drew me a map and I was on my way again.

I finally got to the hotel. No vacancies! They checked their sister property and found me a room for one night. I didn’t care about the cost at this point. The hotel was another 25 minute walk away. But I made it! My aunt called me just as I was settling in.

I was on my own in Helsinki, but I loved it. I was beginning to realize that I love freedom to explore on my own terms. I had lunch, shopped, and saw things I wanted to see. I even stopped at a coffee shop that drew me in with the sounds of a great live band playing. The best part was that I didn’t have others with me whining that they did or did not want to do something. I was free and I loved it.

Then, I saw it. There was my ship! I finally made it! Sometimes the best adventures happen by mistake. I never set out to be alone on this trip, but it taught me that in spite of what happens, just pray and keep moving.


About Angela Petitt

A phenomenal trailblazer and award winning leader, Angela Petitt traveled to over 30 countries in 2 years! From a winning corporate resume to doing what most people only dream about, she took a step of faith in the midst of the recession by quitting her job to travel the world and live life to the fullest. Despite being a well over 40 IT professional, she did not sell her home, car, or anything else to make her dream of a sabbatical a reality. During her time off, she flew a Cessna plane, tried her hand at playing golf, narrowly escaped the earthquake in Japan, climbed the Great Wall in China, and was surprised with a huge bouquet of flowers from an admirer while exploring Italy. Dubai, Israel, Siberia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Estonia, all around Europe, and many more amazing destinations, Angela’s travels have taken her to over 60 countries and counting. Currently, she is earning her Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and continues to work as an IT Sr. Business Analyst Consultant.

4 thoughts on “On My Own in Estonia

  1. Elizabeth Hill
    November 13, 2016

    I loved reading this. You turned something that most would just have panicked with into an adventure! I understand about traveling alone. I took a trip right after I retired (it was just a 2000 mile trip around Texas!) by myself. I stopped and saw friends along the way but as I traveled I could do whatever I wanted! No one saying, I don’t want to stop or I don’t want to go there! If I wanted to turn in and see something or stop for a while and take a sight in, I did! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ronda Aldridge
    November 12, 2016

    Congrats to my EAGLE sister!!!!! Willowridge has produced another EXCEPTIONAL woman. Usually when I start reading something,I don’t finish because I lose interest BUT this kept my attention. I am so glad you had the strength and positive attitude to stay focused. I love it!!!!!

  3. Joe Ann Clack
    November 10, 2016

    That is enjoying life – you are enjoying everyday on your own terms with the Lord Blessing and the faith you have! Take care – Tatum/Clack

    • Angela Petitt
      November 10, 2016

      Thank you Ms. Joe Ann!

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