Some Bloggers Travel Gracefully. I’m Not One of Them.

Some Bloggers Travel Gracefully. I'm Not One of Them.
Some Bloggers Travel Gracefully. I'm Not One of Them.
Some Bloggers Travel Gracefully. I’m Not One of Them.

When you’re a travel blogger, people have certain expectations about you. They expect you to have traveled around the world. Twice.

They expect you to know how to book the cheapest airfare to anywhere and pull strings to land a complimentary hotel room in a sold out chichi hotel. They also expect you to be a packing ninja, know the ins and outs of every minute aspect of travel and look as cute as a button at all stages of travel, even after the end of 24-hours journey.

Perhaps there are some travel bloggers who have truly perfected the whole traveling gig – or at least they’ve made you believe they have – but I full heartily admit, I’m not one of them.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. I’m at the stage of my life where I’m happy with the person who I’ve become and extremely grateful for seeing the efforts of working hard paying off. I’m confident in saying I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

Besides, what fun would travel and life be if I already knew the answers? It’s much more fun to go out and learn my trial and error.

Several days ago I returned from a 7-day excursion with Viking River Cruises on the Heart of Germany Christmas market cruise and one word to describe the experience is “magical.” It was, however, one of those journeys in which it seemed as though I never traveled before.

Sure, on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels I shared the fairy tale-like experience but what I didn’t share were my fumbles along the way. Yes, my friends, I am not one of those all-knowing travel bloggers and my middle name will never be “grace.”

And because you are faithful readers, I’m keeping it real and sharing this trip’s fumbles…

Seven Years Bad Luck?
Applying my makeup and opening my MAC blush compact, I saw the mirror had shattered! Guess it fell off the sink and onto the tile floor one too many times. Slightly superstitious, I opted not to apply that blush nor pack it with me, the last thing I needed was the guilt of a whole plane disappearing in the Atlantic Ocean because I was carrying a broken mirror.

The Black Friday Deal That Wasn’t
Heading to the airport on departure day, I realized I needed saline solution for my contacts. I stopped at CVS to pick up a travel size, grabbed my new suitcase and heard the sound of thread being ripped apart. My gut sank, thinking “No! My flight leaves in three hours!”

I also thought, “You dimwit! Why did you buy that cheap luggage at Target on Thanksgiving? You’re being punished for shopping on Thanksgiving!”

For the first time in my life I shopped Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving evening. It wasn’t my intention and I’ll spare you the details, other than I needed a rest stop after driving back from Thanksgiving dinner and figured Target would be open. Rather than paying respects with the porcelain gods and leaving, I was sucked into the savings frenzy with the thousands of others.

In a slight panic with my brand new ripped luggage, I ran into Walmart and grabbed the first suitcase I saw, a Coleman in which if need be, could double as a bed. (Note: I Tweeted my displeasure with Target and they said I could return the set if I bring in my receipt. Me – who saves receipt for luggage??? I ended up paying almost twice as much for the Coleman suitcase but I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting my money’s worth.)

Really, I Have Traveled Before
I’ve flown dozens and dozens of flights and I know the protocol, BUT, because of the stupid luggage game, I’m antsy about getting on the plane, especially when I’m seated in the last boarding zone. My carry on bag was carefully packed and full of electronics (cameras, laptop, etc.) and items for a trans-Atlantic flight. Last thing I needed was having my bag checked.

Standing in line waiting for Zone 5 to board, a passenger behind me asked which zone they were boarding.

“Zone 5,” I said.

“Oh, I’m Zone 4,” he replied.

“Would you like to go ahead of me?” I asked.

“No,” he smugly said, “I don’t worry about these things.”

“Well, you never know. Someone may take your seat,” I told him.

The gate agents asked passengers to check their carry on luggage and he did. Boarding the plane, almost all the overhead space was full, except for an opening above my row.

Relieved, I quickly eased my bag up top, settled into my seat and as I was fastening my seatbelt, the Zone 4 guy was standing over me, looking at his phone.


In all my excitement of finding overhead space for my bag, I took the wrong seat! On occasion, I’ve had other passengers sitting in my seat but rarely have I sat in the wrong seat.

Apologizing, I told him I’d be happy to move – to the other aisle seat in the same row – but he said he was fine sitting in my seat.

During the flight, I couldn’t help but giggle over the irony of me telling him earlier someone may take his seat and I ended up being the one who did.

Missed Some Kodak Moments
I love photography and surprisingly, I wasn’t all that upset when this big blunder happened during the trip. My DSLR’s lens broke. Yup. I dropped my poor Nikon D5000 one too many times and it landed on the lens. Thankfully, it stopped working on the last day of the trip and I had my Canon point-and-shoot along with my GoPro Hero3 and iPhone5 to snap photos. But, it was, and still is, sad.

It Wasn’t Spinach, But Mustard
I’m one of those people who will tell a stranger when they have spinach between their teeth, toilet paper stuck on their foot or when they’ve dropped something. However, I seem to attract people who are shy telling me these things.

While touring one of the Christmas markets, people were staring at me and I couldn’t figure out why until one of the cruise passengers finally told me I had mustard on my cheek! About 20 minutes earlier I had indulged in (another) bratwurst sandwich topped with mustard and it took 20 minutes for someone to tell me – and it wasn’t even my sister! Note to self – moving forward, eat condiment-free food.

Yes, there were more snafus during the trip, ones worthy of handing in my travel blogger card, but hey, I’m not perfect but sure do enjoy laughing at my fumbles.

View photos from the trip on my Flickr account.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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