When it comes to traveling, I like to think I become a senses-heightened, fully-engaged version of my normal self. That is: high-functioning, buttoned-up, sharp as a tack, in control without being controlling, street smart, friendly yet cautious, culturally sensitive, forward-thinking, spontaneous and always – always – prepared. Did I mention verbose?
Given my completely delusional sense of reality, it always feels particularly jolting when I tumble off my self-erected pedestal, as I frequently do when traveling, and onto the cold, hard floor of reality in whichever destination – this time – I have made yet another error in judgment. My Mom is the undisputed Queen of these embarrassing moments, which she calls, “walking in the room with an elephant on your head”, or something like that, which I’ve never actually understood, but applaud her enthusiasm nonetheless.
Thankfully, only one of my traveling missteps (thus far) has resulted in actual violence – a small matter of a guy pulling a gun on us while taking the MARTA back to our hotel one night. My husband – to his enormous credit – calmly diffused the situation and overpowered the guy, while I sat engrossed in conversation with a friend, completely oblivious to what was taking place right next to me. No shock that I was the one who had assured my husband, against his better judgment, that of course the MARTA was perfectly safe to take at night. Travelers to Atlanta, take heed. Don’t do what I did!
In homage to the “Oops!” travel moment we’ve all experienced, some with more frequency than others, I have decided to suck-it-up and regularly feature some of my more embarrassing or “seemed like a good idea at the time” travel hiccups with the hope that other travelers wont make the same seriously-stupid gaffes that I continue to make on a regular basis. If nothing else, I am optimistic it will be a cathartic process.