My travel bug has been kicking my ass this year. 2020 is the first time I’ve stayed in one place for more than four months since I was 12 years old which is absurd but also the natural endgame of having parents that live on opposite sides of the United States. But instead of dreaming about all the wonderful trips I’d love to take (though I will admit a beach vacation would be nice right about now), I’ve been thinking about all the terrible things that have happened while I travel to remind me that it’s not all fun and dandy.
I’ve got good stories. When I was 19, I went to Paris by myself for two weeks. On day three, a man stole my cell phone right out of my hands, which was cool because I only spoke marginal French and lost all my photos from the road trip I’d taken from Germany to Austria. I spent the rest of the trip as a weepy, wine-drunk tourist, which I suppose is The French Way.
Or there was that time in Iceland where I couldn’t avoid running over tools that fell out of the back of a man’s truck. It blew one of my tires and sent me careening into one side of a ditch, then into another as I tried to keep myself from falling into a 10-foot gorge. I was out in the middle of nowhere, so I had to wait hours for a tow truck to retrieve me because the rental company didn’t have a spare tire in the trunk. I also ripped off the front license plate, which was very embarrassing to explain to the rental company when I returned a wibbly piece of dented metal.
There was that time I convinced all my friends to come to the US Grand Prix with me only for it to rain so torrentially that not one single pair of shoes lived through the weekend. My friend literally had to buy something from Target so she could have shoes to fly home.
And I can’t forget the shitty blizzard that hit right when I was flying from my mom’s back to my dad’s after Christmas. Our 6am flight was cancelled, and we only managed to get out of San Antonio at 7pm. At which point we flew to St. Louis for a several-hour layover. At which point we arrived in Detroit at four in the morning. At which point my mom drove my brother and I several hours to Bay City for a 7am custody swap. She then turned around, drove back to Detroit, and flew back to San Antonio that very day because she is a champion. (I love you, momma.)
There was also a four-year period where, every time I took a flight, it was significantly delayed. Didn’t matter where I was flying from or to. Didn’t matter when I left. Didn’t matter the airline. Always delayed. If I was supposed to arrive at noon, I just started assuming I’d get in at midnight and factoring that into my travel plans.
So, let’s kick this travel bug together. Share your very worst travel stories and remind us all why staying home is actually kinda cool.