Don’t Lose Your Wife, and other Travel Tips

Pixabay Photos

Ready for another installment of my epic travel fails? Read and learn – what not to do.

black chimpanzee smiling

Over the years I’ve discovered that travelling is a perfect way to broaden your horizons.  It’s life changing, mind-boggling, and blows your preconceived notions out of the water. Its also a good way to make a monkey of your self. When you travel you step out of your comfort zone. You meet people with different customs, and visit places where you don’t know what your’e doing. In short, no matter how carefully you plan, something is bound to go wrong. At that point you have a choice, you can either pack up and go home, or laugh and take notes for a future blog post – like this one

How to Lose Your Wife

In  September 1988 we were road tripping around Switzerland. Our party consisted of myself, my husband, and two other couples.  This was in the early days of our adventures and we loved being spontaneous and schedule free. It was also the dark ages, commonly known as the pre-cell phone era. Our travel system was relaxed. It consisted of doing whatever sounded interesting during the day and finding a hotel or B&B when the sun set.  As far as we were concerned, this approach worked well – until it didn’t.

In Switzerland we shared two cars between the six of us and at this point the girls were in one vehicle, boys in the other. It grew dark as we motored along and we agreed to follow the men’s car until we found a roadside inn. We stayed close on their heels – or so we thought, until we realized the license plate number of the car ahead of us had changed. Someone had sneaked between us and led us astray!

We pulled off the road in a panic, afraid to go forward, afraid to go back. In the meantime, my  brother-in-law was happily driving up a freeway on-ramp when one of his companions looked back and discovered we were gone. They shrieked to a halt and my husband jumped out of the car to direct traffic as they backed the car all the way down the ramp. Luckily it was mostly deserted at this time of night. (Crazy Americans!) But now what?

We had no way to get in touch with each other and we had not discussed what to do if separated. It was soon clear that the occupants of our two cars might never see each other again.  There we sat, frozen with indecision, when our knights in shining armor miraculously pulled up beside us.

Hallelujah! All was well, and we learned a good lesson. Spontaneity is great, but there is a limit. Always have a meeting place should you get separated. Always have a way to communicate with each other, and most important – try not to lose your wife.  

For more travel blunders click here or read the French Connection (which is one of my favorites.)

31 thoughts on “Don’t Lose Your Wife, and other Travel Tips

  1. I love that story, that sounds like something I would do. So here is my little story. We were in Florida with the family and at one of the water parks. We picked a meeting spot, the end of the Lazy River. Here’s the thing, it is a circle, there is no end. I kept going around and around until my husband and kids saw me. They started running along the side of the river until there was a set of stairs do i could get out. I thought it was funny, they did not. It is these stories that make the memories.

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    • Hi Lisa, no not too long. It could have been so much worse. I’ve actually had people wonder if it wasn’t on purpose. There have been moments , but I usually don’t want to lose my husband. 😇

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    • Thanks Liza, Switzerland is certainly a wonder. This was the first place I’d ever been outside of the U.S. It was a real eye opener. Previously I’d kind of assumed everywhere else was pretty like home. Not even close! After that I became a travel junkie.

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      • Isn’t that them best part, embracing each country and its customs as an honored guest and filling yourself with the wonder of it all. Similar to trying to taste all 31 flavors at Basking Robbins. I began traveling in ’86, and it immediately changed my life and awareness of the world, and people. So many incredible experiences when you travel! it’s quite magical…..and at times, a test! I bet you miss it dearly! Hopefully soon…..

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        • Oh my, you sound like a kindred spirit. Yes travel changes you in so many ways, and I do miss it, especially cruising. We’ve been trying to plan a simple week long road trip and it’s quite complicated with hotels and resteraunts etc. especially during Covid. I long to just be able to sign up for a cruise, get on the ship and have everything taken care of. I think my most life changing trips Have been Ireland and Rome, but so hared to choose.

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          • Most definitely kindred spirits! “…get on the ship and have everything taken care of.” What bliss! I have never been on a cruise! I have heard that it’s 24 hour incredible food…mmmm 🙂 I love Rome dearly, it opened a new world for me. Sadly, haven’t been to Ireland and very much want to. When reading about your travel surprises, I remembered boarding a PanAm flight in the middle of my international layover (traveling alone, meeting up with friends in Rome) and getting right back off again. They had just gone on strike! Pre-cell phone, what to do? Times like these really let you know what you are made of, and I was pretty surprised at all the instant friends I met to pass the time with, and I am still laughing at how fun it was. When we are able to travel easily again….I will be off! It’s been way too long.

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    • Ditto with my Mom. She tends to wander and it was great to be able to just call and track her down. Another place cell phones have been a blessing is high school graduations, also Disneyland, obviously I could go on and on. Glad you haven’t lost your husband.

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    • Yeah, as we were just starting out on a two week trip it could have been a real bummer. Luckily we learned our lesson and were never that careless again. In fact we’ve gone to the other extreme. Today our travels are planned down to the details. We look back at our younger selves and are amazed we didn’t get into more trouble than we did. Fond memories though. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. It is amazing how we sorted out problems pre cell phone. If someone didn’t turn up for an appointed meeting time in the comminity, we could either wait or leave. It’s a concept that that confounds my children and they wonder how we coped with the not knowing!

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  3. What a great story! At least you three had the sense to stop and wait, and the boys had the sense to retrace their steps. I can’t imagine what would have happened if you had made different decisions. Like Candidkay said, “losing” a husband temporarily might be a good thing but, after a while, it’s nice to get back together… usually 🙂

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    • Yes, we were so relieved. This was at the start of a two week trip, and could have messed us up pretty bad. Our home base was a hotel in Geneva, so we would have eventually found each other, but it was far less stressful this way. We are so careful these days – and plan a lot more too.

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