Way before we all came to terms and started calling ourselves a traveler, a storyteller of adventure and its obstacles and all the fun learning we had the opportunity to understand from roaming the beautiful places on this earth – we all have a version of our ‘rookie traveler mishap.’
Sometimes in my line of work I get to meet amazing people from different parts of the world with amazing stories in tow. Today I got the chance to hear one of the funniest first-time traveler’s personal mishap story – as we all have it, sometimes it serves as a good lesson to look back to and be like “Yeah, I did that.” and laugh a little bit.
Today started as usual in this small food truck I’m working at while the cafe and interior design shop I’m employed for is currently under construction for the last four weeks and for that long period I have been working side-by-side with Frenchie (apparently not his real name but could give you a hint where he is from) and since the whole day consists of mise en place, customer service and lots of awful inside jokes – today was a tad different and we had tons of conversations about several interesting topics including politics, culture and travel.
Frenchie just recently came back from an awesome trip from U.S.A and Iceland and from that alone he had tons to tell, which is probably yet another story to tell. We discussed long flights and other travel mishaps which lead us to this story about his first international flight (or should I say, first flight ever) to Iceland. You see, as he told me, this flight was very important for him as he just quit his restaurant job where he was a trainee to be a Pastry Chef and decided not to attend the Culinary School where he already got a slot. That said, he left every good opportunity he had to work for a chocolate factory in Iceland because you know, why not. It’s Iceland. It was a cool idea. So, whatever. After a discussion with his parents about the Pros and Cons of leaving he still decided to travel and explore seeking adventure in a foreign land with his backpack and basic English with a French twist in baggage – not to mention he was only 18.
Like every new traveler in this world, he was wary and obviously nervous for this big adventure and did every first-time travelers would normally do – made sure that everything was well planned, in order and all documents photocopied at least twice because you know, you’ll never know.
“As you know by now Evan that if you are traveling within E.U or Schengen countries and is an E.U citizen, then you can just simply travel with your I.D card,” he told me (He doesn’t have a passport)
“And I photocopied every document I needed for the flight,” he added.
It sure is a splendid idea to have copies of every important document you need while traveling and the tip about the I.D card was excellent and made me realize that I should get a Finnish I.D card for myself – passport is a little too valuable and expensive to lose.
Frenchie has then carried on to tell me the story of why he chose to move to Iceland and why he decided to leave everything else in France. Well, you see, the young man was only 18… Of course, he’s gone out of curiosity, and the dear lad wanted adventure. Can’t blame him for that! Nevertheless, the excitement grew in him, even more, when he and his brother journeyed from the small village they were from called Saumur to Paris which sums up into a three-hour joy ride.
Alas, they finally arrived at the airport it was time to say his first ever goodbye to his dear brother and beloved motherland. A temporary farewell till they meet again; his attempt to say au revoir, however, was cut short when his brother stopped him to say “Get your I.D ready for the check-in.” He took his wallet from his pocket, opened it and voila, it was not there. If it would have been magic, he probably did a fantastic job at it, but it wasn’t so his eyes widened and were almost ready to tear his wallet apart.
“Where is it?” his brother asked looking at Frenchie’s bewildered face
“Please don’t tell me you lost it!” his brother added
“Oh, I know where exactly it is…” Frenchie replied
“Please don’t say you left it at home!” Frenchie’s brother exclaimed
“…in the copy machine.”
And there it went, his whole future minding its own business ‘in the copy machine’. His future turned into dust. Gone. Poof.
Just kidding, the Icelandic immigration was kind enough to let him in the country with just a copy of his ID card and his Drivers License when the French side called them and just gave him a ‘permission’ letter so they can identify him when he reached the Icelandic border.
I don’t know if it was just the chill and laidback atmosphere at work that made me laugh out loud from his story but for surely I t was an absolute rookie mistake which he, thankfully, learn and will never do again. Just a note, we are not lazy workers who only talk at work, we are trained to multi-task! I’d like to say my thanks to Frenchie for letting me write about his rookie mistake. Merci!
*Photo credit all goes to Frenchie (he knows who he is). All photo was taken in Iceland on his first visit to the country to work for a Chocolate Factory.
We all had our taste of this travelers rookie mistake, and I’ve personally had a fair share which I am even so embarrassed to share! However, that’s how we learn and to be wiser, we have to make mistakes.
YOUR THOUGHTS MATTERS
- What is your greatest travel rookie mistake?
- What did you learn from it?
- Would you go back to redo it all over again?
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