I got in the car and started driving. No map or anything, just my brain. My worst travel disaster was about to start. This was back in 2002 when smart phones didn’t exist and you either had a map or good luck with directions. Unfortunately, I had neither. I was on my way to a friend’s wedding in Ohio, and I was leaving from Connecticut, ready for my long drive. It was just me in the car, but I had faith in myself in getting to the wedding on time. I was wrong.
What went wrong?
If you want a simple answer: A series of wrong turns. The first started when I took the wrong exit and ended up on the wrong highway without knowing. I was young, and quite frankly, thought I couldn’t be wrong about anything related to cars. As such, I continued on my route until the final steps, at which point I realized that I was hundreds of miles from where I had intended to go.
I ended up in a town called Lexington in Kentucky. It was a fairly large town, so I had no idea that I was in Kentucky-to me, when I heard Kentucky, I initially thought of rural small towns, not urban cities. I thought I was in Ohio for a second, but I was proved wrong as soon as I saw some of the license plates. It is fair to say that there were too many Kentucky plates for me to be in Ohio.
I went into a gas station and, from actually using a map, realized that I was a startling 250 miles away from where I needed to be. This would not be too much of a problem, except I had to get to my destination in two hours. I knew I was in trouble. Thus, I called up my friend and told him I would be unable to attend his wedding. Instead, I saw a random wedding occurring in a church in Lexington, and went their instead.
How to avoid my experiences
Quite simply, do not be overconfident when travelling. Of course, travel is much different today than it was 12 years ago. Regardless, always keep a map in the car because your phones won’t be by your side like a map. At the end of the day, if you don’t get where you want to be, make some new friends and attend their wedding.