When travelling: Make a list, and then check it twice. And then check it again. And then grab your passport. Because you forgot it, you idiot
I've been to more than 30 countries in nine years in Abu Dhabi - just add the Maldives, where I am now. And sometimes I think that between all those airplanes and airports, and hotels and guesthouses, I've actually gotten worse at travelling.
I hate packing and always bring too much, except for one or two things I don't have that drive me nuts the entire time. I always forget the most obvious things (which is how I found myself paying US$35 for a bottle of sunscreen at Baros Maldives this week and borrowing nail polish remover from the spa at One&Only Reethi Rah) and beat myself up about them later.
But this trip I made the motherload of travel errors: I forgot to take my passport to the airport. How, you ask? Don't ask me. It's been a rough couple of weeks and my mind has been scattered. But still.
What is the one thing you need?
I remembered just as my taxi was pulling up to Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, making that annoying inhale people make when the bad news hits them like a ton of bricks. All I could do was head back home and hope that I made my flight. I got back to the airport exactly one hour before take-off and, after pleading with a nice woman at the Etihad counter, jumped to the front of the queue. Then I pleaded my case to all the lovely people in the security line and, without wanting to sound like a jerk, managed to grab a coffee and a banana while a crowd was waiting to board the bus to our plane.
I am a very lucky dumb smart person, I know. The trip has been amazing. But I'm going to make a list of "must-haves" to keep on my phone, which I know will be so obvious it won't be believed. And I'm going to share it later. And maybe I'll also share a list of my top travel tips, even the ones I forget to follow myself.