Many years ago, I decided to travel to Scotland with a friend. We had never even traveled to the big city of Seattle by ourselves, let alone a foreign country. But away we blithely went, with $500 in our pockets, for six weeks. The best advice I got prior to the trip was the reminder that everything that goes wrong just makes for a good story later.
That advice has come in handy many times over the years. When I’m in the middle of some drama, whether it’s traveling or simply broke down on the side of the highway, those words allow me to take a deep breath and find some humor in the situation. Granted, most times the humor isn’t found until days later when I’m retelling the story. Then the writer in me comes out.
But really, this time, my brother and his wife are testing that advice to its fullest. His boss gave them a cruise trip. All they had to do was pay the taxes. On a limited budget like all of us, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. They left last week. And now they are going to come home with a whopping story.
While on a walking tour in Italy, my sister-in-law fell and broke her hip. She’s healthy so this was quite a fall. And it appears the cruise ship then sailed away without them, without noticing that they had not come back with the tour. Today my sister-in-law had surgery for a full hip replacement, in Italy. They have another week to stay there (neither speak Italian), and then will be sent home. The cruise ship, thankfully, has agreed to pay for everything.
I think this tops any traveling tale I could come up with. These are the kinds of stories people tell all around us, from daily irritations to huge problems like having to stay behind in Italy for an extra week. And I have to admit, these are the things I take notes on. Bits and pieces that may show up in a story somewhere down the road. I’m going to have to thank my sister-in-law for giving me story fodder. Wonder what she’ll say.