But Did I Learn?

Things go wrong during my travels just like things go awry in life. I try to cover all of my basis, plan for emergencies, and think like a local when planning. And I sometimes forget things and fail HARD especially if I’m sleep-deprived. Here are the 10 mistakes I made during my 25th breast Cancerversary celebration: 

  1. I traveled without cash. I don’t carry cash as a rule. I use a rewards credit card for every single purchase so I can collect points. And I didn’t need cash until I had to pay a toll in Oklahoma and I had no cash. There wasn’t an option to “take this exit before paying toll” so I pulled over to go through every pocket in every bag and coat I had. And I found $12.00 stuck in my coin purse. I asked the employee at the toll booth what people did if they didn’t have cash and she said they also took checks. CHECKS???
  2. I forgot my debit card. I figured I’d solve my “no cash” problem by using my debit card to get cash back. That was a great plan until I checked my wallet and discovered I’d left it at home. I have a credit card that looks too similar to my debit card and I picked the wrong card in that game. Was I even wearing my glasses???
  3. I didn’t turn on my cell phone tracking. I listen to my gut when I’m traveling or at home and it is a great safety guide. I usually share my itinerary with someone so they know where I should be just in case something happens. Cell phone tracking is a better option because it’s precise and immediate and I just forgot to turn it on. I realize I make many last-minute travel decisions and it’s a good idea to have somebody know where you are. I just have to remember to turn it off when my adventures is over!
  4. I made problematic food choices. Ya’ll, I had some of the most delicious food ever during my Cancerversary! East and West African (especially the stuffed cabbage rolls), First Americans, and that apple soda. I was having such a good time that I failed to ask the most pressing question for someone with IBS: what’s in it? I had a meal in Tulsa, Oklahoma that triggered a response, trapping me in the hotel for almost an entire day. I never want to lose a day of adventuring but I did because I stupidly ate something that I should have avoided. Wheat and high fructose corn syrup remain on my naughty food list…………
  5. I didn’t pack any of my “safe” foods. I was given a three page front-and-back list of foods to avoid when I was first diagnosed with IBS but now I (usually) know which foods to avoid. I didn’t bring any safe foods when I traveled throughout Alabama because I knew it would be easy to run into a grocery store and grab something. But I should have brought some when I traveled to Oklahoma. Sulfur-free dried fruit, nuts, (AD) Chamomile tea, and (AD) RXBars are my go-to’s and often substitute as a meal when I can’t find anything that meets my diet requirements. Why didn’t I bring them? Because:
  6. I was team carry-on. I am usually team carry-on but I really needed to check a bag when I traveled to Oklahoma. The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy which meant I couldn’t bring my beloved Chacos. I wore boots on the plane, packed a pair of shoes, carried my insulated raincoat, but packed a lighter coat, plus my clothes and my bag was full. The airlines were losing luggage and I didn’t want any delays so I traveled lightly. But that also meant I couldn’t bring back some items because there wasn’t room for them.
  7. I didn’t verify the weather. I really blame this on the amount of travel I did in October. I check Oklahoma’s weather the weekend before I flew out and the report was cold and rainy. But it turned out to be cool and misty and I didn’t need my big raincoat or my boots. I could have rocked my Chacos and had room for the coffees, art, and bag I wanted to buy. I should have checked it the night before and could have packed accordingly. 
  8. I didn’t bring my emergency car bag. I put a bag of clothes, adult diapers, toilet tissue, water, food, blankets, and fire-starter items in my car every winter. It’s a lesson learned from 2014’s Snowpocalypse when it took me hours to get home and I finally had to abandon my car and walk. I also have a summer version of that bag with lots of extra water and sunblock just in case I have car trouble. I didn’t bring the bag at all and that was really dumb because I spent a lot of early mornings and late nights driving country roads. I’m grateful I didn’t have any car trouble and therefore didn’t need it.
  9. I didn’t pack my OTC tattoo medicine. I’d been following Slim’s instructions and really wasn’t having any issues. My arm was still occasionally achy but taking an Aleve took care of it. But I forgot to pack it when I traveled to Oklahoma. Lifting and carrying my bags and being jostled in the airpot seem to exacerbate the discomfort and I realized it was another thing I needed and didn’t bring. 
  10. I didn’t get enough rest. Y’all, I went HARD in October! I traveled every weekend and had adventures throughout the week. I had more than 25 adventures, I just haven’t written about all of them. Lots of early mornings and late nights, miles on my car, hours on the road, it was all wonderful! But I didn’t prioritize sleeping because I didn’t want to miss out on anything and that was my biggest mistake. Why did I keep forgetting things? I didn’t get enough sleep. I missed visiting a museum because I confused it with another museum. I forgot to pack essential travel items. I was so tired I slept on the plane and I never do that. Two weeks ago I discovered I have either misplaced or lost a vital item and I’m experiencing some mild panic about it. I’m waiting, resting, sleeping, hoping I’ll remember where I put it, and beseeching the Universe that I didn’t leave it somewhere. Ugh…….

October 2022 was good to me, so very good and these 10 mistakes didn’t change that fact. Mistakes are part of life, accidents happen, and the lesson is to learn from them. Sometimes you want to repeat the mistakes because they turn out to be good for you and sometimes you want to never do it again. 

What mistakes have you made during you travels? Would you repeat or avoid them again?