When A Weekend Away Goes AWOL

weekend away + car troubles [trip style = any]

Last weekend I got stranded roadside with Mr. Trip Styler, Ms. Fashion Friday, and Mr. Nacho King {my pup}. In the process, we were picked up {and pulled} by a tractor, and rescued by way of an animal shelter and a do-gooder named Randy.

For the first time in nine years, our SUV shut itself down {while driving!} due to an electrical issue in the engine. To make matters worse, it was a Sunday so n-o-t-h-i-n-g was open, and we were in another country {the USA, aka, using our Canadian cell phones was uber-expensive}.

Sometimes weekends away {and all travel} go belly up. You come home stressed rather than relaxed. You're down and out due to something in your travel plans going awry---a feeling exaggerated by being away from home and out of your comfort zone. But here's the good part: it also forces you to reach deeper into your soul, use your intuition, trust strangers and rely on the help of good Samaritans. Strangely, the situation refreshed me.

While talking travel troubles isn't TS's normal flight path, our situation is a good reminder to keep cool, even in the face of travel challenges. In the moment it feels insurmountable; in retrospect there's always a silver lining, or some life lesson or truth we can glean!

What Happened {Coles Notes Version} Our car stopped in its tracks across the street---a busy street---from the Camano Animal Shelter. In order to get our vehicle to the other side of the highway, it was towed by a tractor that 'happened' to drive by just when we needed it. On the other side, we asked an electrician for a jump, and he said no. {Strange in that he had a Bible verse plastered over his work vehicle (FAIL).} The animal shelter, 100 meters away, empathized with our situation and allowed us to use their wifi and computers to research what to do. While searching for a solution, the lovely worker referred us to her next door neighbor who drove down to the shelter to assess our vehicle.

Long story short, this dynamic duo helped us troubleshoot, drove us back to our weekend abode for the night, gave us extra dog food {because OF COURSE we'd run out} and picked Mr. Trip Styler up the next morning to go and search for a car part. All this because they were nice people. When Mr. TS asked the good Samaritan for his rate, he said he it was nada---he tries to do one good thing a day. In that moment---exhausted from sitting roadside and hatching fix-it plans---I burst out crying. Somehow, we'd met the nicest person on the island!

The next day, the car part came in, worked like a charm and the good Samaritan gave us MORE of himself, aka, a piece of his handmade art. For the record, I will NEVER get rid of his orange-hued artifact, a metal crab made out of two horseshoes. This crab has quickly become one of my most prized travel possessions. In the end, we paid him anyway. He only accepted the money "for his art."

Travel always surprises. Sometimes in the form of delight, sometimes in the form of relaxation; this time in the form of grace.

Dear Randy: I'm not sure if you'll ever read this, but you saved us when we were down and out. It's people like you who make this world a better place. Thank you.