One of the things I love about travel is that it shows me that perfection doesn’t exist. I used to envision the “perfect” vacation: from the exotic location, to the inspirational conversations, to the unchangeable and unbreakable plans. I thought I could get on the airplane and leave my life behind for a week or two for a more orderly, more pretty, more better existence. Then, I could go back to living the life I had.
traveling, clearly, had other plans for me.
In 2010, we went to Egypt and Evan and I got food poisoning while on a Nile River Cruise. Sharing a small bathroom on a boat and being unable to digest food is not fun. We were the only Americans on board, and after we ordered bread, soda, and rice for lunch and dinner, everyone knew we were those “Americans” who couldn’t handle foreign food. We were sick for two days straight, but we didn’t miss any tours. When we turned the corner, we celebrated in Luxor by ordering Mc Donald’s food.
At this point, we were already sick.
On that same trip, I took $7,000 in cash across the border into Jordan for our tour operators. Why? Because they needed to pay the tour operators in Jordan. And they asked us (read: me), nicely. In the moment, Evan and I disagreed over this. Strongly. He was kind enough to tell me he would call for Consular Help if I got arrested in Jordan. I didn’t. Hands-down, this is one of the best stories to tell our family and friends, even though it doesn’t come free-of-judgment.
In 2011, Evan and I headed to Tanzania. We were both scheduled to depart from NYC, as that was our home base. However, Evan took a role in London and left NYC in August. Our Safari was the first two weeks of September. For a hefty $600 fee, we changed his ticket to depart from the UK. That wasn’t enough of a change, because I proceeded to losing my suitcase. If it hadn’t been for my mom, I would have missed my flight. But she knows me well, and pushed me to buy a few things, and I made my flight, exhausted, sweaty, and defeated. For two weeks, I dealt with not having a hairbrush, floss, or many clothes.