The Travel Book

The Travel Book – TRAVEL STORIES – Getting Lost In Tampa

In 2021, we want to give you some special editions of the Travel Book throughout the year. Whilst there is still so many places to write about, I think it is also really fun to write about actual experiences that I have had whilst travelling. There have been so many interesting stories so I thought what better way to celebrate them then by telling you all about them.

Photo by Jen on

Getting Lost In Tampa

Whenever I go abroad, I tend to use the local transport a lot as most of the time it is really easy to get around via the busses, trains and metros. I don’t drive so these local transport links are usually very important for me to get around and usually I am very lucky and you can see a lot of the area you are visiting. However, no matter how much research you do on an area and its transportation links, I learnt a very important lesson when I was visiting Tampa in 2013.

When we went to Tampa we learnt pretty early on that it was not the easiest of areas to get around with public transport and that the shopping malls were quite far out of town so you needed to get the busses to get to them. We did go to a few malls with bus routes that were pretty long but the shopping was worth the wait. The good thing about these shopping malls was that the last stop was there so you would know that if you saw a bus you wouldn’t have long to wait until it turned around and took you back to the place you came from.

However on one of these days out something weird happened. We came out after shopping and found the bus stop we were meant to go to for the exact same number that was meant to take us back to central Tampa, however halfway through the journey we started to notice that everything looked really different, the route wasn’t the same or even remotely similar. We asked the bus driver what was happening and apparently the bus route (without actually saying or informing you) changes its return route on the way back on certain days and instead of going back on itself it was heading for a prison that was miles out of town!

We got off the next stop on the bus and then had to work out how to get back to Tampa! Luckily for us there was a lovely woman at the bus stop who was happy to help us out and guided us as to what we needed to do next. We had to wait quite a while for a bus but at least we found out pretty swiftly otherwise we would of had to wait around a prison. A very random day, but a really important lesson to learn – transport is very random in some places.

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