Things I Forgot on our First Trip

Posted 2022-04-16

This weekend is our first real trip since the start of the pandemic. We used to travel a lot, given we both work remote, so we've always had a system for things and knew exactly what to bring and how to get going. In the past few years most of our travel has been centered around our RV which let's us pretty much pack everything around we need since it is basically just a house on wheels so we have plenty of time to make sure we have everything we need.

Well, as such with skills you stop using, it turns out we forgot a lot of how to travel. This weekend we decided to drive over to St. Augustine in Florida to stay in an Airbnb. It was a bit of a long drive but overall really not that big of a deal but as the weekend has progressed we've realized a few things.

  1. Bring snacks. Seriously, we didn't bring any snacks on a three and a half hour drive. Forgetting snacks is rookie level shit.

  2. Cleanup the house a few days before you leave, don't wait until you have to get on the road in an hour. Maybe this is an "Our thing" but we like to have the house cleaned up so when we get back it's not a mess. Usually we do it a few days before but we were so busy we left it to the end and it was just added stress to our departure of wondering if we forgot anything else.

  3. Make sure everything you need works. I don't really use my laptop much so I rely on my desktop and use a VPN to get connected to my network. Well I haven't booted it in a while and apparently something is messed up and my laptop can't connect. So now I'm stuck with no connection. If this was a longer trip I'd be up shit creek right now.

  4. Have a check list of important items. I left my MFA key on my desk. Every site I have that supports using hardware keys are setup to use them. Thankfully I don't really need anything from them this weekend but, yeah, that's not something I'd want to forget if we were going out for a week where I would still need to work.

But there's one more point that I think is more important than any thing else: Don't stress out when things go wrong.

I think this point is one of the hardest things to learn, and, it's ultimately something you learn more from experience than anything. Shit goes wrong - it happens, and, it's happened to us plenty of times. The hard part though is not letting it stress you out. Once you get to that point everything becomes a fight and the entire experience just goes down hill. Shit happens, it's literally on a t-shirt. What makes or breaks you is what you do when shit happens.

Unless you are travelling to the remote regions of the Amazon, don't stress out if you forgot something. There's always a Walmart or something close enough that you can get a replacement.

If you get to your destination and it turns out the weather is not what you were expecting - you just adjust your plans.

When you get to your Airbnb and find out your host lives next door and likes to throw raging metal parties at 2 AM? Well, honestly I don't have great advice but if that does happen I'd love to hear the story.

Things go wrong, trust me I know. The thing I've always tried to do though is to handle the situation as best I can at the time and laugh about it later. The absolute best stories are always the ones you can tell when shit goes wrong.