My latest series follows some of my favorite bloggers and their clumsiest moments. If you want to learn a little bit more of about these bloggers and hear their craziest stories abroad, stay tuned every Wednesday to meet some graceless wanderers! This week, meet clumsy traveler Rachel of The Department of Wandering!
You know those Instagram accounts who make traveling look so elegant and beautiful? An account that gives you the most intense wanderlust that you could literally book a plane to a foreign destination that very moment?
I discovered Rachel through World of Wanderlust, a famous and award-winning blog. She was a writer for this site and, like an Insta-creep, I found myself perusing through her own website and Instagram.
Needless to say: Rachel gets around. Her photography skills combined with her adventures are so chic and so astounding, I’ve been following along like a crazed, travel-blogging groupie.
Sure Rachel has traveled the world and has perfect, beautiful photos documenting them. But surely, this girl must have a crazy story or two, I thought. I just HAD to inquire about her most clumsy moment during her travels.
And indeed, she did.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
The Department of Wandering is a travel and lifestyle blog aiming to help you explore a destination beyond the guidebook. Lots of destinations are covered, from Mexico, Poland to Japan, and there are loads of tips to help you to travel better. If you like good food, coffee, design and discovering a place well beyond the standard tourist sites, then stop by The Department of Wandering!
A little about me? I (really) love coffee, summer and making things. I watch way too many dog videos on YouTube. I have a weakness for red wine. I love the anticipation of a new trip but I also love the feeling of coming home.
2. How did you get into blogging?
Back when I moved overseas to Berlin from Australia, I started The Department of Wandering as a fun, creative, side project. I wanted to document my experience living abroad as well as all the travel adventures I was having.
Since then, it’s grown into something so much bigger and, together with my other freelance projects, it’s now my full-time gig! I now no longer live in Germany and am now based back home to Melbourne.
3. How long have you been traveling? What’s your favorite destination?
My first trip overseas was to Fiji with my family back when I was a kid, but I didn’t start traveling abroad regularly until I was older and could pay my own way.
It was in university when the travel bug really bit me.
Since then, I’ve trekked the Himalayas in Nepal, explored the atmospheric ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and road-tripped the national parks in California. Out of all the places I’ve been, though, New Zealand is still one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places I’ve ever seen – and so close to home!
4. So what’s your clumsiest, craziest or most bizarre travel story?
I’m probably just about the furthest thing from elegance that exists and so to only pick one awkward travel moment to share? That’s a tough one! I’m gong to have to go with the time in Bologna where I locked myself not out of my room, but out of my own suitcase.
I’d just gone and got myself a brand new hard case. You know, the ones that look all heavy duty and have those in-built combination locks? Yeah, all swish. This pro looked the part.
Of course, my upcoming trip to Bologna was the perfect opportunity to break it in. I packed my case, carefully set the combination lock and off I went together with my boyfriend, Ben. Bologna was incredible. Anyone who’s been knows that if you’re searching for the real Italy, this is where you’ll find it. It’s one of the best-kept secrets of northern Italy and home to some of the best food in the entire country. Needless to say, I absolutely adored it.
Eventually, it was time to pack up, check out of the hotel and make our way back to the airport. I closed my case and snapped the zips into the nifty combination lock just like before. Doing a last-minute check of the room to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind, I realized that I’d forgotten to pack a pair of boots that were hiding at the bottom of the closet. When I tried to open my case to throw them inside, I was horrified to discover that my combination code didn’t work and it wouldn’t open! Uh-oh. I must have accidentally re-set it somehow while I was packing and now I had no idea what it was and had no way of opening my case. Oops. How would I get all my clothes out? My laptop? My camera? Would I have to cut open the zip to pry them free and ruin my brand new case on its maiden trip?
I stood there for a moment like a stunned mullet before telling Ben, my boyfriend, what I’d done. He reacted as he always does when I do clumsy things like this, rolling his eyes and questioning why I don’t pay more attention. Grabbing the case out of my hands, he set to work on solving the problem. That’s what men like to do, don’t they? It was time to channel his inner MacGyver pick the lock.
To my surprise, only 10 minutes and a few YouTube videos later, the lock popped open, a self-satisfied smile spreading wide across his face. He was pretty pleased with himself. I couldn’t believe it! How is it that easy to pick a combination lock? I’m pretty sure it should actually be a lot harder than that. We shoved the shoes in and raced to the airport, frazzled but relieved. Needless to say, I’ve never used that combination lock since!
If you want to follow Rachel’s journey, check her out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course, her blog!