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