My Biggest Travel Mistake
There’s no easy way to throw shade at yourself. (Are the kids still saying that?) I’ve been to a few countries now and so, it shouldn’t be very surprising that I’ve made a few travel mistakes. Forgetting to leave a key for our dog sitter and having to turn around halfway from our destination does not compare to my biggest travel mistake.
If you’ve subscribed on YouTube, you may already be familiar with this Norwegian adventure that left me feeling like a frazzled failure. Now I look back on it and laugh… sort of. In 2018 we planned a New Year’s Trip to Norway. The trip would be a long haul flight with only one stop in London. I normally feel very anxious before a flight, and this trip wasn’t any different. As soon as I got through security I dropped and lost my boarding pass. A big ol’ hand to forehead. This was a clear sign that the rest of the travel experience would be terrible.
I am a very organized person. You should see my house! No clutter – everything in its place. BUT whenever I travel, I become a different person incapable of doing normal things like holding a boarding pass without dropping it.
It was an easy fix. I went to the gate and asked to be printed another. I was crying when I told the lady this and she assured me it was no big deal. Feeling like a baby, I continued crying until I told her that I was just afraid to go on the plane. Remember, this is not my first flight. She confidently and casually told me that she would be afraid too and that she hated flying. UHM. NOT HELPING, LADY. I told her I thought she was the flight attendant to which she replied, “No way! I’m terrified of flying,” and proceeded to tell me about the latest news story involving a plane crash.
I went back to my seat and waited to board. When the plane arrived, two hours delayed making our connection in London close to impossible, I noticed it didn’t say Norwegian Air. Instead, it said something like Wazoo Air – like the name of a dorm hall at a Clown University. I was really feeling my anxiety building up.
People with anxiety do not handle change well. In my case, I need to know the details of an adventure to be as fully prepared as possible. So, when my flight time or plane name change unexpectedly, mental chaos ensues.
As I stepped on the plane and sat next to a young British man I named Harold, I noticed that there were no screens, as in no flight entertainment. I thought to myself, “This is why I don’t fly. Everyone’s a liar.” I had been told that the plane would come equipped with beautifully crisp screens full of trendy movies and even touch screen games. Nope. Nothing. Josh’s phone was at 17%, so we shared my phone and earphones for 13 hours. 13 HOURS. And that’s just some of the trip. We still have the London to Oslo leg.
I had bought a fanny pack to hold my IDs and credit cards but had unstrapped it when the plane ascended. I was sandwiched between Josh and Harold. Harry (we’re close like that) was asleep most of the trip and really kept to himself – so British and, as an introvert, I’m so thankful. When we arrived, we were told that our connecting flight had already boarded and our names had been called multiple times. They were going to leave without us. “Wait,” I thought. “It’s not our fault. The Wazoo people were late picking us up.”
As per usual, everyone is in a panic to get off the plane. When we finally did get off the plane, we RAN – yes, RAN in full winter gear – to our gate, which of course had to be on the opposite side of the airport. Have you ever ran in unstrapped snow boots and a puffy winter coat whilst holding most of what you own? Out of breath, security told me to show ID to get on my plane. My fanny pack was gone. I had left it on the plane. It had my ID, credit cards, insurance cards, Airpods and $20 – basically “me” in paper form. Thankfully, Josh still had my passport and all his stuff, and that’s what got me on the plane to Oslo.
You haven’t experienced “uncomfortable” until you’ve walked into a plane where every passenger is seated and glaring in unison. They must have all been thinking, “Americans.”
I spent the next couple of hours in the air fighting off panic attacks and mentally retracing my steps. Josh was the kindest and never made me feel bad – which is good because I was doing a good job of doing that to myself all on my own, thank you very much.
When we landed we canceled all of my cards and reordered new ones. We sent in a request for the Airport’s Lost and Found and never heard anything back. It’s almost as if everything disappeared into thin air. I hate to say it, but I blame Harold – I think he was a thief… and it’s also easier to blame someone else. Overall, it was an easy fix thanks to technology.
So, there you have it. My biggest travel mistake. What’s your biggest travel mistake? Comment below and make me feel like I’m not the only terrible traveler.