Abby is Lost: Southern California Edition

Dropping the Uber pin in the right place for pickup and not directing a confused driver to me in a strange city has been a triumph. Learning how to read subway maps has been a complete game changer. I research locations ahead of time to know where I’m going. But no matter what I do, I inadvertently get lost at some point when I travel. My time in California for the Women in Travel Summit preserved that legacy…

Only this time, I wasn’t the only one who was lost...


Lost and Upset

Two of my Uber drivers were directionally challenged, despite their GPS devices. This ended up in doubled fares and one Uber driver telling me there was “no real beach at Newport Beach!" After this particular Uber driver called his clearly annoyed wife on speaker phone to ask her about which beach I should go to, I wound up at Corona del Mar for a beautiful but unanticipated visit. My 1.5 hour beach visitation window was demolished.

Pictured: Not Newport Beach

As for lost Uber driver #2? An awesome retired English teacher (not native to the Orange County area) picked me up at Newport Beach to take me to the airport. (Yes, I eventually made it to my original destination a few days later.) When we reached the airport, we arrived at an entrance to the tarmac instead of the terminal. I was worried about missing my flight and it was everything I could do to stay put in the car and not run across the tarmac towards any plane that looked like it was eastward bound. When the driver got lost a second time after stopping to ask directions, I needed a paper bag with which to hyperventilate.

Maybe we’ll blame that one on where the SNA airport pops up in the Uber app. Regardless, we were lost.

I’ll just say this – you know there's an issue when I am in your backseat Google Mapping and/or Mapquesting like a fool.
Upside to getting lost? You still see beautiful things.

Lost and Happy!

Now that I’ve spouted off about the times I did not enjoy getting lost, let me tell you why sometimes getting lost is my favorite thing.

I made a great friend after I got lost in South Coast Plaza following the phenomenal Women in Travel Summit style and branding workshop with the glamorous Diana Jennings. My new friend Angie and I had 15 minutes to find our shuttle after we went shopping, but we could not find it. In determination, we continued to look for the door we entered through for over an hour after our pick-up time. At every door we came to, we exclaimed, “This must have been it!!” 



Eventually our determination gave way to hunger, so we ducked into Claim Jumper for a 4 hour dinner and chat.

Keep in mind that I just met Angie that day. After our dinner, she knows more about me than my brother. This is the amazing part about travel in general - you never know who you are going to connect with! Just remember to be safe.

We felt better once we learned that nearly everyone who had been dropped off by the shuttle also got lost on their way back.

At one point we walked right into Easter on steroids.

I will also mention that on the way to the Plaza, our shuttle driver nearly lost his way. Part of me hopes that we went to the right entrance for pick-up the first time and that the problem was on the driver’s end.


General Mishaps

When flying from Columbus to California, I forgot that the boarding time was well in advance of the time my flight left. By some miracle, I checked in and made it through security and onto my plane within the span of the 10 minutes until my plane boarded. Port Columbus is a rock star of airports, especially at 5 AM.

Also, this happened because I can’t use adult toys.

I pride myself on being an observant, intuitive individual. There’s just something about directions, etc. that trips me up. The difference about this trip is that I did not get lost alone. From my new friend to beautiful sights, SoCal was bursting with (mostly fun) confusion while I was there. At least it was less painful than the time I was lost for over an hour in the Detroit Metro Airport parking lot.

Even though Jake told me that he was still in *cough* Ohio, he might have been looking out for/stalking me the whole time.

Do you have a story about getting lost? Where were you and how did you find your way? Let me know in the comments so I don’t feel alone!