Tripping All Over the World

Jo in Briancon, France

Tripping All Over the World

I was trying to save my traveling stories of dumb shit I do for some perfect time or ideal publication but honestly, I think it’s funny, so I want to share it with you.

I’ve noticed that some of my favorite traveling stories to share with people are often the ones I should probably be embarrassed about. But who doesn’t like to laugh at that idiot person who bought a small package of yeast thinking it was butter? I know I do.

While all these could potentially be short stories, for now, they are just a list. Maybe I’ll start writing about each one individually and if I do, I’ll start linking to that full story. On that note, if there’s one where you desperately need to hear the whole story, let me know! Put it in a comment! Send me an email! Write a personalized post card! It’s your choice really.

So without further ramblings,

The Dumb Shit I’ve Done Traveling:


  • Somehow losing an entire outfit without realizing it. I still don’t know where I left them.

Me looking back at photos two weeks later: Oh yeah, I forgot I’d brought that tank top…
  • Buying sparkling red wine when I wanted normal cheap red wine. On the bright side — I will never forget that frizzante means sparkling or fizzy in Italian.
  • Slicing the tip of my thumb while cutting chorizo. I have no excuses for this one other than the chorizo was really good and the knife was really sharp.
  • Dropping a hot oven tray on my knee. I was trying to save a pizza, can you blame me? Why anyone trusted me to take a sliding pizza out of the oven is another question.
  • Buying a cube of yeast thinking it was a baby cube of butter. It fit in the palm of my hand. It was SO cute. Fun fact though, fresh yeast does not taste cute.
Okay really, if you saw this, not knowing how to say yeast or butter in French, and it had a picture of bread on it, would you not think it was butter?
  • Almost taking someone else’s bread at a bakery because the woman put it on the counter next to mine. The first time, the lady laughed, and we moved on. The next morning when I accidentally did it again she was not so amused. What can I say, shopping in a language I don’t know is stressful.
  • Forgetting to put on sunscreen then going climbing in the sun for four hours. The word for after-sun in French is après-soleil.


  • Making a detailed itinerary of my cycling route, then forgetting the itinerary in the pack I left behind.
  • Also, conveniently leaving my journal I was going to document the trip with in that pack.
  • Not realizing there was a specific bike path and biking on a motorway. In my defense, it hadn’t looked like a motorway at first.
  • Buying a can of beans then not having a can opener. Note to self: not all cans are easy open.
  • The biggest one for Iceland: Not being much of a cyclist and deciding to do a 6-day bikepacking trip by myself. Who’d have thought that was a bad idea?


  • My personal favorite: Not reading the fine print on my plane ticket and missing the flight because I hadn’t gotten a visa stamp at the check-in desk.
  • Boarding the wrong bus and then missing the last train of the day because I hadn’t bought tickets ahead of time.
  • Leaving a bathing suite out to dry at your hostel is a practical thing to do, right? Less practical — forgetting to repack it before leaving the hostel.

Hopefully, this has made you feel better about your traveling incidents. Or maybe you’re a perfect traveler, in which case, hopefully I’ve given you a reason to laugh or be deeply confused at how anyone could travel so much and still make so many mistakes. Maybe both.

Happy traveling!

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