“what do you mean, I’m still in France?” OOPS!

BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel Project


Day 4: Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. We forget to ask for Coke without ice in Mexico and spend the rest of the trip in the bathroom. Or we arrive at the airport for a 7pm flight only to realize the flight left at 7am. Tell us the story of your worst travel mistake.


There is no denying that the road is bumpy. Nothing about RTW travel is smooth sailing. Yet I think this is half the fun. It’s this sense of adventure that I craved, that caused me to leave my life in the states. Every bump is a lesson learned.


As I sit here, at the beach on Cat Ba Island Vietnam, thinking about what my biggest travel mistake has been none of them seem that substantial. This is not to say that I am a perfect traveler. Mishaps do happen but looking back all the drama has faded and nothing remains but funny memories and lessons learned.


If I have to name one it would probably be from many many years ago, my first trip to Europe. I was traveling with my father and grandmother at the time, I was twenty. We were aboard a night train Nice to Barcelona. This wasn’t a sleeper train but just normal train seats and brightly lit cabins. I could not sleep. So at some point I left the train car we were all in (along with my luggage and passport) and went searching for a better place to catch some zzzz’s. And this is exactly what I found. I passed out in some random dark train car and didn’t wake till the train had stopped at dawn. Behold my shock when I realized I slept past the time when we were supposed to get off the train at the Spain border and I was still in France. I ran outside and tried to figure out where I was. The conductor just yelled at me in French. I was lost and penniless. Luckily I found some fellow backpackers who spoke english and could tell me where I was. It ended up that I was two hours inland from the coast. The train had split in the middle of the night and I was on the wrong half. At the time I had no idea that trains did this. If I had been on my own and had my luggage I would have stayed in the quaint village I was in but that was not the case. Instead I had to wait several hours till a train to Spain passed by me and I could get back on route. When I finally got to the border station I found my father never looking so worried. He had the whole place looking for me. He was told by someone that they saw me leave the train with a gentleman and go down the creepiest horror movie hallway you have ever seen. It looked like something right out of “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Even than I found the whole ordeal funny. My father and grandmother not so much… Oops!


From this I learned the following:
~ Do not fall asleep in a different train car.
~ Make sure that the train car you are in is heading to your destination.
~ Always tell you traveling companions where you are wondering off too, especially if they are you parents.
~ Always bring your luggage with you because you do not know when chance might grab you and you find yourself in a cute little town with fresh croissants that you want to linger in.
~ Finally, never forget to laugh! The mishaps are part of the frolicking fun!!



2 Responses to ““what do you mean, I’m still in France?” OOPS!”
  1. Oy, I can’t imagine how scared your dad must have been! Have heard many a story about the “whaddya mean the train split”? At least all was ok in the end, and you remembered to laugh 🙂

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