The myth that travel is all glamorous and wonderful does not have a home on Edna Explores. These are tales of unfortunate and predictable events on my journey thus far, starting in 2020. Knowing myself and how traveling to unknown places works, this list will grow with time. I will either learn something out of the experience, laugh about it or cry about it. I will definitely tell you about it. In a nutshell, don't do what I did.
A Very Long Bus Ride
In February 2020, I got on a 12 hours bus ride from the Amazon in the east of Ecuador to Cuenca in the South; I had not thought things through. About an hour into the bus ride, motion sickness hit like never before; I didn't even know I suffered from motion sickness. For five hours, I lay on my back on two seats looking out into the horizon until we stopped for dinner. I had plain rice and grilled chicken. When the bus continued, I remembered why the bland Banana, Rice, Apple, and Toast (BRAT) diet – the perfect temporary nutrition for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea – is well-known.
I needed to pee at some point, so I willed myself off my back and went to the bathroom. As I was exiting the bathroom, I automatically turned my head to face the toilet.
I proceeded to throw up everything I ate right into the toilet. No splatters, nothing! I felt better and patted myself on the back for being a perfect aim in a moving bus filled with passengers.
Next time though, I will take motion sickness pills before getting on long bus rides, stock up on hard ginger candy, and have pressure hand bands with me. Lol, you don't need to take all that with you; I can sometimes be a bit of a drama queen. Please don't listen to me. Consult your doctor; they know much more than I do.
The Sunflower Looking Plant in the Jungle
If you ever find yourself in a jungle and an inner voice tells you not to touch a flora or fauna, do not touch it! I learned this lesson the hard way while trekking in the Sierra Nevada jungle in Colombia in March 2020. The translator of my group presented me with a flower he picked. Ignoring my inner voice telling me not to touch the flower, I smiled and accepted it. I then proceeded to touch my face. Big mistake! It took about six months for my allergic reaction to clear from my face. Since wearing makeup irritated my skin, I learned to love my bare face for six months and became a lot less vain. Lesson learned? We have instincts for a reason; listen to them!
A Self-inflicted Flood
In Carriacou, an island attached to Grenada, I rented a quaint little cottage by the coast. One afternoon in December 2020, I went to wash my hands in the bathroom and left. As I was typing away on my computer on the veranda of the cottage, I looked down and saw water. I checked to see whether I had tipped over my water bottle. I had not. Then it dawned on me. Shit!
I opened the door to the cottage's bedroom and stepped into water, a lot of it.
In my absent-mindedness, I had flooded the bathroom and bedroom! I automatically turned off the faucet and contemplated whether I should notify the owner. I was so embarrassed. Thankfully, the floor was tiled, and the room was sparsely decorated. So, I took the broom in the outdoor kitchen and started sweeping water out. I swept water for over an hour. The owner still does not know...shhh!
The Stamp in a Passport
I entered Grenada on November 12, 2020, knowing that I could stay in the country for up to three months visa-free. I went through immigration, got my passport stamped, left the airport, quarantined at a government-approved accommodation, tested out of quarantine, and started galivanting around Grenada. I ended up staying for three months. A week before leaving the island, I decided to check my passport. Written on the stamp given to me by the immigration officer was “admitted until December 04, 2020,” the date of my exit ticket when I arrived. Yes, you probably guessed it.
I overstayed my allocated time in Grenada.
I could have easily obtained an extension at a cost, but I had failed to see the need. So, on February 11, 2021, I headed to the airport expecting to pay for overstaying and hoping for the best outcome. I experienced the friendliest and most stern talk from an immigration officer I have ever gotten. There were consequences beyond paying fines, but he saw it as oversight and allowed me to proceed to security. Phew! Lesson learned? Check the stamps immigration officers put in passports.