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.