Martinique, Part Un: That Trip Where Everything Goes Wrong
I know we aren’t the only ones to have a trip go completely awry. The destination isn’t what you thought, the people are rude, you forgot electronics, you didn’t pack right, you lose something important, you don’t speak ONE word of the native language.
On any given trip we are usually prepared to deal with 50% of these curveballs, but on this voyage about 95% were thrown our way.
Brigette and I are both November babies, born just 6 days apart. Before we started traveling together, our celebrations would entail aluminum foil “grills” and a trip to our favorite dive bar. (Shout out to the L St. Tavern in Southie)
Now that we’re older and wiser (LOL), we have made a tradition of celebrating our birthdays with a little getaway, so when I saw a mistake fare pop up for a roundtrip flight to Norway, I scooped them up without doing any research. (More about that compulsive habit another time).
$230 for a roundtrip from JFK > Oslo with a layover in Lisbon, Portugal. We just needed to catch a shuttle to JFK from BOS, which is usually pretty cheap.
As the departure date loomed, neither of us were in a position to take a full week off, so after some brainstorming, we came up with 3 options.
A. Go to Norway & book a different return flight
B. Hop off the plane in Lisbon & book a new return flight
C. Go somewhere else & eat the cost of our Norway tickets
On Saturday morning we arrived at JFK with very open options. We had plane tickets booked to 3 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. (Don’t do this! This is stooooopid!)
First, we turned to Instagram for advice.
In typical #hairtothere fashion we showed up at JFK today with the option to go to Portugal, Norway, or Martinique. (Don't ask why we had flights booked to each of these destinations 🙄) . . We may be flying @flynorwegian but we're en route to Martinique! Hope we picked wisely! . . Which flight would you choose? ✈️
Then we consulted with our old friend, Pinot Grigio.
P.G. swayed us into our tropical option. Wheels up!! We were headed to MARTINIQUE! (via a super cheap Norwegian air flight)
The weeks/days leading up to our departure were a bit tumultuous so it was little surprise that once we landed in Fort de France, we were exhausted. A tiny bit of excited energy managed to propel us for the next few hours We booked an AirBNB last minute and the owners of the house we rented were willing to pick us up at the airport, but we had rented a car to ensure we could come and go at will. When I asked for the address of the house, the answer was weird…
They sent me map coordinates. UHHHHH. Maps coordinates. Luckily our hosts were used to accommodating guests who speak neither French nor “MAP” & insisted on meeting us at the airport, so we could follow them back to the villa. Had they not met us at the airport, we would still be trying to find the place. Other than being sleepy, we were happy to arrive at the villa and the place itself was beautiful!
Queue the landslide of things that started to go wrong…
Our actual hosts were out of town, so their daughter was the one to meet us at the airport. I expected a language barrier, but I didn’t expect communicating to be near impossible. #stupidamericans
We had no idea we were staying in such a remote area. We arrived after dark & weren’t confident we could find our way back if we ventured out for dinner. #domoreresearch
SNACKS. WE FORGOT OUR SNACKS. While we debated cannibalism, dinner ended up being a 1/4 bag of wheat thins I happened to stuff into my carry on last minute. #hangryamericans
MOSQUITOS, why are there so many mosquitos!? #soitchy
NO! We forgot our power converter. Upon realizing this fact, we were flooded with regrets. Why did I scroll through Facebook for SO long. Did I really need to check my Instagram for the 75th time!? OMG, why are ALL of my apps open at once!!? #15%batteryremaining
We dragged our exhausted, itchy, hungry selves to bed with the hope we would wake on the right side of the bed in the morning. Let’s just say in the words of Brigette, “OMGAHHHHHHH. THE CRICKETS.” A war had begun over night. Brigette v. Crickets.
Stay tuned for Part Deux of our calamity course through Martinique.
Spoiler: This post would have more photos if I hadn’t lost my phone on Day 3.
Have you ever had a trip go totally wrong right from the start!? Misery loves company; share the details with us in the comments!
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