Funny travel problems? Well, the way we look at it, you might as well think of them as funny. When you travel, conditions can change as you’re on the road, and that may lead to changes in your itinerary. If you don’t think they’re funny when you’re working through them, hopefully you’ll be able to laugh at them after the fact.
Some of the stories we love to tell and laugh about now were on trips where we ran into problems and had to adjust our travels…. Keep your sense of humor, and sometimes they led to adventures you won’t forget.
What if you run up against something like…. a labor strike in France. In France, this is something that really could happen. It’s happened to us twice!
There was the time we planned a driving trip in France, but when we arrived, there was a fuel strike! The French farmers were blocking gasoline deliveries to protest high prices. For the first week of the trip, we went only as far as we knew we had gas for and still get back to Paris…. It made for some changes in our itinerary, but we had lots of help from hotel keepers and locals finding gas.
The second time was a transportation strike in Paris. No metro, no buses…. no taxis! Museums were closed in sympathy. That rearranged our itinerary! We had to walk everywhere for that one day…. and we watched Parisians bike and skateboard to work… and we thought we had a funny travel problem!
Weather can change your plans even if you’re going in the “best season”. Hiking from Thimpu to Paro in Bhutan, we got snowed in… in April! We couldn’t make the hike across the mountains, but with some quick re-arranging, we did get to Paro by car and then on horseback up to Tiger’s Nest.
Sometimes it can be just bad luck… or maybe the weather… especially if you go in the off season. Friends of ours got stuck in Alausi, Ecuador because there was a slide over the train tracks during a heavy rain. Because it was rainy when they were there, they couldn’t see the sights either. They weren’t happy about getting stuck, but they tell the story over and over and laugh about the adventure…. A funny travel problem only after the fact… and could probably have been avoided by going in the dry season… but who knows?
It’s probably a good idea to be cautious about “inaugurals” too. What if the boat (or whatever) isn’t ready? In Papua New Guinea, we were scheduled to take an inaugural cruise on a boat up the Sepik River. Somewhere in the PNG highlands, we got word that the boat wouldn’t be ready for another week. We had to revise the itinerary and catch the boat in the opposite direction.
People are usually very helpful when things go awry. We were at a Game Lodge in the south of Botswana when we heard that there wouldn’t be a plane in again for three days. We needed to get on with our trip, so the manager of the game lodge radioed out (still were no cell phones) and had Avis deliver a car to the border with South Africa.
The lodge dropped us off at the border, we picked up the car and drove to Kreuger National Park. An adventure we laugh about… and one I’ll never forget…. all because of a funny travel problem.
So think about it… keep your sense of humor… sometimes travel problems just lead to adventures!
Wild Indonesia Papua’s Lost Worlds National Geographic
tells the wild life in the Indonesian region of Papua island in the Pacific Ocean.