It all started when the bus didn’t stop. All through the 90 minute ride, I stared out the window at the unfamiliar landscape, prepared to signal my desire to disembark when we turned off the highway. Proud of myself for recognizing the spot based solely on Google Maps research, I stood up. But the bus driver ignored me, even after I asked him to please stop, and drove on. Way on. By the next stop, I was too far from my destination to walk.

I was determined to visit Lahemaa National Park, about an hour’s drive from the capital, Tallinn. I particularly wanted to visit Viru Bog, which looked beautiful from the photos I had scoured through online. The problem is Lahemaa National Park isn’t the most straightforward place to visit for fiercely independent budget travelers like me. Renting a car was too expensive. Joining a tour meant thwarting my aspirations to wander alone in the woods. There are self-guided bike tours, which, while probably enjoyable, were also out of my price range. After consulting the internet and a host in another town, I decided to attempt taking the bus, which was supposed to stop near the trailhead and should come by in the afternoon for the trip back to Tallinn. Clearly, no such luck.

But here’s the catch: one thing my travels have taught me is not to fret. Something will work out. Walking back in the direction I had come, I stuck out my thumb.

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Path into Viru Bog