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.


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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  1. Natasha

    May 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Yup I know this feeling so well. We felt like when we headed to Thailand and I had wine and booked flights to Chiang Mai instead of Chiang Rai!! It’s one thing after another!

  2. Indrani

    May 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    OMG! I am wondering how you coped up finally!
    I am looking forward to read what you did rest of the days.

  3. Natalie

    May 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Oh, my goodness! This is so awful …and so funny. You are hysterical and your post makes it sound like you manage to have fun even when things go awry! When you travel with the kids, like we do, research is critical because there are so many people to suffer from mistakes. LOL! Love the hashtags in your post. So funny.

  4. Carmen Baguio

    May 13, 2017 at 12:51 am

    What a trip! Our worst– I’ve had the sky start falling from the sky right after we’d spent an hour setting up our campsite. When you have to use an umbrella to keep maggots out of your coffee, you should just pack it up and go home.

  5. Gareth

    May 13, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Wow, this does sound like a barrel of things to go wrong but I got to say, forgetting about those mosquitoes is a rookie mistake. Nevertheless, a really enjoyable write-up as every although I’d take anything pino grigio says with a pince of salt! Fortunately, it all looks very nice once you did manage to arrive however

  6. Rashmi and Chalukya

    May 13, 2017 at 2:32 am

    OMG! This is terrible, it would have ruined our trip completely. Sleeping half-starved after a tiresome journey and with so much of noise around is literally impossible for me 🙁 Would love to learn how things turned up next. How was your trip?

  7. Rhiannon

    May 13, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Oh bless you both! Although to be honest I’d love to be able to just rock up at the airport with 3 choices of where to go! Given the current rainy weather here in Wales, Martinique definitely would have been my first choice.
    It’s the absolute worst when you arrive somewhere unfamiliar so late that you can’t go out and eat. It’s happened so many times now I always carry a bag of microwaveable pasta with me on every trip!
    Hope it all worked out for the better, I guess I’ll have to wait for part deux to find out!

  8. Abhinav Singh

    May 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Oops! Looks like you had a hard time on this trip. I would advise you to carry a mosquito repellant. That easily wards off mosquitos. And always carry some packed food. But then experiences like these teach us a lot.

  9. Swati & Sam

    May 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    That’s some trip that you had. Worst part is the converters, I can never forget one. I always have three different kinds in my laptop bag even when I know I am not going to need the other two. The worst that happened to us was in La Digue when our confirmed booking was cancelled and we were informed about it when we reached the hotel. Dragging our luggage in La Digue and looking for a room to stay at 8 PM in the night is the worst that we have suffered.

  10. Bhusha

    May 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I started laughing the moment I read the 1st para of the post! Reminded of my own disasters!!! Asking dear Pinot Grogio is a good idea though, lolz! Its ok, these are lessons learnt for upcoming travels!

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