When my husband called from work asking me to meet him at the airport for a spur-of-the-moment trip to Patagonia, I was excited. We had four days off and a place to go.
Traveling on a whim wasn’t unusual before we had children. Checking flight schedules, we’d throw clothes in a bag and run to the airport to catch a flight.
Packing quickly wasn’t difficult. I was a flight attendant. I did it all the time. Besides, I knew it was summer in South America, since it was winter here in the U.S. I checked the internet to be sure, though. Yep, it was summer down there or was it???
Gathering my husband’s clothes, I tossed them into a suitcase along with my two short-sleeved T-shirts, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a sweater.
The Cold Shoulder, Head, Knees,Toes, Arms, Legs, Ears….
Arriving in Patagonia, we stepped off the plane and I realized I had made a big mistake. (One of the many travel mistakes I’ve made.)
“Where’s my jacket?” my husband asked, shivering.
“Um, well, uh, I packed a sweatshirt for you,” I answered ruffling through the bags looking for it, trying to avoid his gaze.
“A sweatshirt? You didn’t pack a coat? It’s freezing!”
He was right, it WAS freezing! When I checked the internet, I verified temperatures for cities further north. I didn’t realize we were going to be so far south, next to glaciers!
I felt so stupid. I didn’t know a thing about Patagonia. I just showed up at the airport, expecting it to be summer. And it WAS summer. It’s just that Patagonian summers are freezing!
Since we were only there for a few days, it seemed like a waste of money purchasing heavy coats, so we suffered through it. Wearing every t-shirt I had, I layered them on top of each other and covered my head with my sweater. Even wearing all my clothes at once, it was still teeth-chattering cold. My husband wore his short-sleeved T-shirts and his sweatshirt, not complaining, but obviously cold, hands stuffed into his pockets, trying to keep them warm.
It was at that moment I realized I needed to do some research before we travel. I may not know everything there is to see and do in each country, but I ALWAYS check the weather several times before leaving. Even then, it’s no guarantee I’ll get it completely right.
Thankfully, my husband didn’t give me too much grief about packing for the wrong season. Poor guy, he was sick for two weeks when we returned to the States, though.
Today, six years later, we laugh about it, especially when looking at ourselves in the pictures. But it was worth it, frozen toes and all! The glaciers are amazing, and this vacation is one of my favorites.
My husband now packs his own bags.