I want to write about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets during study abroad, but I'm lacking ideas for a main conflict. I have ideas for plot devices, like missing a flight or getting pickpocketed, but those feel too contrived. She wants to go around and see new places and enjoy new experiences; I can't come up with good obstacles for her goal. Any ideas that can help point me in the right direction?
So you’re looking for obstacles to a girl traveling?
- A stolen/lost passport could be huge obstacle. Especially if she doesn’t have other valid forms of ID. This could get her stuck in a country for while, make her lose flights, miss events she was planning to go to…it could also be how she meets the boy. Maybe he’s fighting with someone at the consulate when she goes to get a new passport or maybe he offers her a “faster” way of getting a passport…
- Weather/power outages/security problems can all ground or delay flights, trains and other forms of transportation. If she had planned out all her travel dates and everything was already booked, that could be pretty hard to deal with.
- Medical issues could make her lose a flight (so it’s not too contrived) or if she does get on it could make her feel even worse and force her to miss out on things she had planned.
- Since this is for studying abroad maybe something goes wrong with an assignment or test and she has to redo it all. Or the teachers involved have strong rules about where she is allowed to go and what she can do.
- A misunderstanding gets her put on the no-fly list.
- An emergency/mistake makes her to spend a lot of her money. She doesn’t have enough now to keep traveling and still make it home.