Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere // Travel Woes and Getting Lost

If you've been here before then you know I'm a fan of being brutally honest and keeping it real. Which is why I knew when I started writing more about my travels I wanted to include what I like to call, the stuff you won't see on other travel blogs aka when shit goes wrong. It's all well and good to post beautiful pictures and talk about the amazing time you had. I do this. But it's not always all sunshine and rainbows and beautiful sites. Shit goes wrong...a lot. And it's not all glamourous. So welcome to my first post of Travel Woes. This post will talk about my real one and only gut check, holy fuck what am I gonna do, panic moment of traveling. Thank God and baby Jesus that I've really only had one, maybe two, moments of panic. Here's one...
Excited and Instagram'ing pre shit hitting the fan

While living in New Hampshire I knew I wanted to go to Montreal. I had heard amazing things about the city and it was only a 3 hours drive so I planned a weekend to go and I was so excited. I use Google Maps all the time; it is my travel BAE. I would be lost without it (see what I did there?)...or you can be lost with it apparently. So the great thing about Google Maps is that you can use it without wi-fi as long as you map your route while you have wi-fi, it can still use your location in real time and you can follow the route it sets our for you...unless you get lost. Let's back up a moment.

While waiting to cross the US/Canada border I turned my phone on Airplane Mode as I always do when leaving the country. Fast forward 40 min and *surprise* the road in front of me is barricaded because some stupid fucking cycling race is happening. The French speaking police officer who eventually switched to English gave me some ridiculously long directions that I didn't absorb at all minus turn around and follow the road to 15 or 115 and turn right. *Ok, Kel, don't panic. Just stop at a gas station and ask for directions* I did this...and the girl had no fucking clue how to help me. Cue. Absolute. Panic. I am in a foreign country. I have no cell service. I have zero fucking idea where the fuck I am. How the fuck do I get where I need to go because I'm gonna start driving blind.

So long story short, I followed the ONE direction I remember from the officer. I turned right on 15 or 115 or whatever the fuck it was at the time, found myself crossing BACK OVER into the US and from there, the very nice--and cute might I add--Borders Patrol officer gave me idiot proof directions to get back into Canada and straight to Montreal. Yes, kids, I crossed the border no less than three times that day and not a stamp I have to show for it. What a bunch of bullshit.

So what's my advice to you if this happens?
Don't panic. Simple but serious. I let my nerves get the best of me for a few minutes but in hindsight, I can't stress this enough. Do not freak out. You will find your way home or where you need to go. Had I not remembered those directions I would have stopped at store after store until somebody knew how to help me. Or worst case scenario you turn your phone on and to hell with the exorbitant roaming bill you will acquire when you get home. Your safety and ability to get where you need to go comes first and foremost. That's what I would have done if I hadn't eventually figure it out.

Trust Your Gut. If something feels off or if what one person is telling you doesn't sound right, ask somebody else. You'll never see these people again so what does it matter?

Learn to Rely on Yourself. I love this situation because after the fact, I felt really proud of myself that I figured it out. Was I at one time driving aimlessly hoping I was on the right track? Yes. Did I know at the time it would all work out? No. But now that it did it felt really good to be able to rely only on myself and get myself out of a crisis. A few blips and hiccups always teach me something. And I look at all of them as learning experiences and how to avoid future disasters. AKA maybe have an alternate route, take more time writing down the directions instead of panicking, or having a good ole fashioned paper map at the ready.

Have you ever had a panic moment while traveling?
What are some of your travel woes?

2 comments:

  1. I love that you're being honest about the "bad" side of traveling and all the mishaps that occur! It's refreshing, and I definitely feel the tips you gave afterward will be helpful to me (and others) in the future.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I really wanted to try and shed light on non-highlight reel moments because it's not all rainbows and butterflies. In the long game, it of course is to an extent because it's a blessing and rare opportunity, but shit does go wrong and it sucks.

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