Monday, 28 March 2011

Lost & Found Blogfest

Yep, another blogfest coming your way! This week the Lost and Found Blogfest, hosted by Myne Whitman, is happening.

The requirements of this blogfest are as follows:

"From March 25 - 31, post a blog telling me about anything you've ever lost and found, an object, a person, an idea, anything! The same week, visit two other blogs in the list, read their entries, and leave comments." - Myne Whitman

So, here I go with talking about something I lost, then found!

Okay, this isn't really my story, but I was there when it happened. In 1998 my dad and I were travelling in the U.S.A., and when you're travelling with my dad you know there's going to be adventure. You also know you're not going to be able to enjoy the sorts of comforts most people will attempt to enjoy while travelling. For instance, sleeping in an actual bed at night, instead of in a car seat or outdoors. Well, by the time we got to Wyoming, we were still having fun, but things were about to get pretty crappy.

  1. Dad lost his wallet somewhere.
  2. My bank card stopped working, and I soon figured out it had expired in the future (i.e. Australia), and was not going to work. I would have a new one waiting for me back in L.A., but we were a long way from L.A. at that stage.
  3. My mum's credit card, which she'd given me for emergencies, didn't work either - we couldn't get any money out of it, or use it for any transactions.

In short, we had to survive (and get ourselves back to L.A. somehow) on the little money we already had on us. And considering the cash Dad had had was in his lost wallet, that meant we were relying on my cash.

We dropped our Driveaway Car off and headed down the coast. How, you ask? We had no money! Well, that's another thing about my dad - you tend to end up hitchhiking if you're travelling with him. Just this year when he was heading for my brother's wedding in Canada, he opted to forgo using his plane ticket, preferring to hitchhike for the adventure of the thing. So yes, some things will never change, Dad being one of those things.

Anyway, back to 1998. We finally made it to San Francisco, where my second cousin was getting married the next day. We'd been invited to the wedding. By the time our last ride dropped us off, outside San Fran, we barely had enough money to get ourselves into the city centre. And that night, with no money and only a hunk of moldy cheese for company, we found ourselves a cosy homeless shelter to sleep in. That thin foam mat and scratchy blanket really brought my seventeen-year-old self a lot of comfort, I must say. But hey, at least we weren't sleeping in an alleyway.

The next morning we spent our last few coins on a bus ticket, and wound up somehow getting another bus for free (this part is cloudy for me). Then we hitchhiked again, this time with a very kind African American man who drove a black jaguar. While he took us up to the wedding (it was very nice of him to go out of his way like he did) he told us about his son who played baseball or something, and we got a feel for how proud he was of him. He dropped us off pretending to be a chauffeur by opening our doors for us. The sister of the bride later commented on how impressed she was by that black jaguar (never mind that she's wealthy and could own 50 of those if she wanted).

I was seventeen and embarrassed at having no nice clothes to wear. I also felt dirty, having not had a shower that morning. So yeah, ensue angst. But in hindsight the whole story was pretty hilarious. That night we stayed in a 5 star hotel thanks to our generous relatives.

But what is it we lost and then found, you ask? Well, months later by the time my dad got home to Australia (he travelled longer than I did, as I wound up having an emotional breakdown and flew home early), what did he find waiting for him?! His wallet! With everything still in it, including the cash, mind you. So I thought that was pretty fancy, and I was very impressed with the people/person of Wyoming, U.S.A., who did such a kind thing!


  1. What an adventure! Those are the type of experiences that I love looking back on, but don't always enjoy at the time :)

  2. Hi Trisha! How wonderful to meet a fellow Australian, writer AND musician/songwriter! :o) Gonna put you in my favourites folder right now!

  3. Carrie, yeah it was an adventure, and a lot more fun in hindsight. :D

    Jessica, great to meet you too :) Looks like we do have a fair bit in common! hehe

  4. I guess that those generous folks who gave rides knew that you were tourists. I think Americans are afraid to hitchhike, in case they find the axe-wielding freak.

  5. What an amazing story! You could make a thrilling and funny YA book out of that.


  6. Your dad sounds like a fascinating person! I'm glad you made it home safely and got to share an exciting adventure with your dad.

  7. Wow, that is an awesome story...though your 17 year old self probably didn't think so.

  8. Wow, I'm really impressed by that kind person that returned the wallet too. Thanks for sharing your story, and I also think it was a great adventure!

  9. Quite an adventure! There are good people in the world ...

    On a side note, SO MANY BLOGFESTS, so little time. This one sounds like a hoot, though.


  10. @Will, Australians have reason to fear hitchhiking too, what with the backpacker murders and stuff ;) But yeah, we met some very decent people who weren't axe murderers (at least not at the time we met them :D)!

    @VB - I've thought about writing it all up as a travel memoir, but it might be better to make it fictional so I can improvise and it won't matter if I don't remember particular details too clearly :D

    @Susan - he is definitely fascinating! I have many stories :)

    @Demitria - yeah, it was definitely easier to appreciate how cool the experience hindsight. hehe

    @Myne - I still think it's amazing too! Just goes to show there ARE good people out there :)

    @E.J. - I know! have you seen my blogfests page? you can see the ridiculous number I've done in March alone :D and next month is A-z!!

  11. That is awesome! What a crazy adventure story! You should write it out as a novel. Great stuff!!

  12. I've thought about it, but I'm not sure where it'd start or end. :D Something to think about though!

  13. Wow, that was really nice. What a great person to send that all the way back home for your dad. I must say, though, that I'm amazed with his resolve to continue traveling after all of that. I would have wanted to just go home. Sounds like your dad's a real character.

  14. I think my dad often finds it even more exciting when things go wrong ;)


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!