What could go wrong? How to embrace the uncertainty of travel

So many travel stories include an unforeseen stroke of good  – or bad! – luck. Trips get delayed, luggage gets lost and bookings get cancelled. So how do we embrace this uncertainty, so instead of letting it ruin your whole trip? Roscoe Price Moore, founder of RoadyNZ, is here to help us embrace the unknown and to share some of his misadventures. 

DB: I find that really you have got to embrace the unexpected when you travel. I’ve had some terrible moments while I’ve been on the road, but then they’ve turned out to be some of the most memorable moments of the trip. So, when it comes to travel mishaps, is there one that stands out for you in recent times?

RPM: Oh definitely! A few years back – before the pandemic – we were driving the west coast with three friends. We had a big day to walk around the Franz Joseph glacier and we wanted to get to Lake Matheson for a killer sunset, before we had a big drive to Wanaka where we had our accommodation booked. We knocked off the walk and we were on our way, cruising to Wanaka. But when we got halfway there we realised that there had been a big slip and the road was completely closed off. It was nine o’clock at night, we were calling around trying to find some accommodation but no one’s picking up the phone or they’re already booked. So, we’ve gone back to the local pub, which was your classic Kiwi pub. We  sat down, we got talking to a bunch of locals and one guy invited us back to his place, put us up for the night and it just turned out to be the most cracker night. We lit a fire, he pulled a guitar out. And it was just one of those sort of movie moments you couldn’t script. What about you, Dom? 

DB: Firstly, what a night that sounded like. For me, earlier this year I did the Lake Waikaremoa hike and as we got to the start of the hike, my friend and I realised that we both thought the other one was getting the food. So we were foodless and the shops were all closed. We had like three muesli bars and we did the same thing as you, we just made friends. By the end of it, we had a crew of new friends, laughing at the fact we were hiking without food. It was a great talking point, but certainly meal time was the highlight of the trip. 

And I guess, it’s all about that one person in the group that was optimistic. There always needs to be someone that’s like “it’s going to be fine, we’re going to turn some lemons into lemonade”. That’s an  important lesson to choose who you travel with, I imagine right?

RPM: Absolutely. You want to pick high energy people and people that are going to bring the vibes when the times get tough because like I said, travel doesn’t always go to plan but you need the ability to be a bit fluid and be able to roll with the punches.

DB: What’s some advice that you would give people for trying to create moments like that, because I think you do have to be open. I certainly have learned a lot of valuable lessons from being out on the road and things going wrong and freaking out but then as you say, having to go with the flow. Any advice on how to embrace adventure when it comes your way?

RPM: I think you can do as much planning and research and it’s always good to be well-prepared, especially when it comes to these hikes. So obviously you’ve got to plan well to not put yourself in any real danger when you get out into some of the environments out there. But I think it’s just that ability to bring a positive attitude, make the best out of any situation but also the ability to not be afraid to ask people for help. In both of our stories, I think the key thing is that people are happy to help you if you ask them and we’ll do the same back if we find someone else in trouble. It’s cool to know that there are these people out there that are willing to give you a hand when you get stuck.

DB: I just want to finish with gratitude for all the people out there that help out us travellers on the road. Your gratitude Roscoe, where do you want to send it?

RPM: I’m grateful for travel. I think some of the best experiences we have in our lives come from travel and I’m just extremely grateful that I get the opportunity to get out there not only to some many cool places throughout the country, but getting to meet these amazing people along the journey as well.

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