“Have you applied for us to be on The Amazing Race Canada?” Dan asked me a few days ago. He had just seen a commercial for the casting call and was tempted by the idea of fame and fortune and spending so much quality time with the love of his life.
“Are you CRAZY?” I retorted. “We’d kill each other! It would be the worst experience of our lives!”
The truth is, Dan and I would probably be the best candidates for the show only because it would be hilarious to watch how horribly we suck at travelling.
It started as soon as we got married. Like, literally mere hours after we said “I do”. We were booked to take a cruise for our honeymoon and although we had flights to get us to our departure port in time when the trip was originally booked, sometime between then and our wedding day, the flights changed. Our travel agent called and told us that we were now scheduled to fly out on the previous day, which meant we were supposed to be boarding a plane at the same time I was supposed to walk down the aisle.
A honeymoon doesn’t make much sense without a wedding, does it?
The only other flight option would get us to port with absolutely no time to spare.
You can imagine how this story ends. So now take what you’re imagining and imagine it worse.
We never even made it to Florida, our departure port city. A lightning storm required us to land prematurely and sit on a tarmac for hours before we could continue on to Atlanta, our stopover destination. By this point the cruise ship had long ago set sail. We stood in a customer service line that was the length of the Atlanta airport while waiting on hold on our cell phones with Delta for hours. After three hours of this we decided to give up and just find a hotel in the city….
…where our credit card was declined.
Dan and I spent our first married day stressed to the max and unsure whether we would even be able to have (or enjoy) a honeymoon. (Here’s a good suggestion: Get travel insurance.)
Once we got through our honeymoon experience, we hoped that we had used up all the bad travel karma that would come our way. Unfortunately, we were wrong.
I’m currently in the midst of a Toronto trip. Although we will be in the city where my husband grew up and we will be visiting his family, I’ll also be involved with a little working project. Underneath all the packing lists and itineraries and phone calls and emails has been my underlying fear about stepping out and doing this brand new thing. So, I’ve promised myself to just roll with the trip and experience it as an adventure.
Except, sometimes it is hard to just roll with things.
We flew into the downtown Toronto airport on Friday night. Despite being on a tiny plane past bedtime with a toddler and a baby, the flight went smoothly. (My kids are awesome).
Once landed, things got a little… chaotic.
We made it to the shuttle that would take us to the heart of downtown Toronto where we were to find our rental car. We got off the bus, piled our luggage on the sidewalk around us, and just stood.
Toronto is big.
I’m so naive. I just kind of expected we would get off the bus and I would see the sign for the car rental place. It couldn’t possibly be that hard.
While I wore Gavin and Cameron switched from holding my hand to Dan’s hand and back to my hand, we wandered a few blocks underneath the CN Tower for a couple of hours. Hours! In the middle of winter.
No one could tell us where the car rental agency was. And the people who could tell us didn’t actually provide correct directions. We were lost.
And I just felt so little.
I didn’t know where we were or how to get to where I needed to be or how my hands would hold the playpen for one minute longer. And my kids! My poor poor babies were wandering this big cold city with us long past the time they should have been in bed.
By the time we found the car rental agency it was nearing midnight and obviously closed. And those car seats that we were supposed to have rented were locked away in a back room.
“Do you still think we’d be good at The Amazing Race?” I asked my husband while stranded in the middle of the biggest city in Canada.
“Well. I never said I thought we could win The Amazing Race!”
This is why I so often just stay at home in my pajamas all day. When you leave the house, big things happen. And no matter how much you try to prepare, there is no telling how those big things will go.
It is just easier to stay home.
Cameron and I are here in Toronto so that we can be involved in a TV shoot. When I was sent the request for an audition, I almost ignored it. Auditioning would be scary. Putting myself out there to be judged is frightening. What if they picked me? What if they didn’t pick me?
It is just easier to do nothing.
But I did the video. I sent it in. Little me made a big move. I resolved to put myself out there and just accept whatever happened.
And I am doing that. Still. I did on Friday night as we stood, out there, in the middle of Toronto, wishing so much to be back home in my little bed.
So this is an adventure?
Here we go, then.
Do you have any travel horror stories? I’d love to hear them!
I am currently tweeting and Instagraming this trip using the hashtag #LaurasTOAdventure. I’d love to have you following along! It makes this whole thing a little less scary.