Taking a chance, trusting a stranger

BootsnAll Rogue Travelers C.J. and Brianne are on their way around the world, sampling wine and learning how it’s produced, and so far they’ve had a great time in New Zealand and Australia since leaving Oregon last fall. They painstakingly researched their trip before they left, and made contacts along the route they’d be taking. They’ve been meeting unexpected travelers and locals along the way, and they’ve also been aided by people they “met” online. They’ve been housed and fed by vineyard owners, and taught some tricks-of-the-trade by wine makers and fellow travelers alike.

As C.J. notes, however, it was inevitable that they’d meet someone unsavory at some point in their long journey. If you’ve ever been screwed over by someone on the road, C.J. and Brianne’s story makes for an interesting read.

After driving “Mick’s” boat (not his real name) across part of Australia for him and repairing a hub on the trailer (they were lucky to have not lost the wheel on the road), they were unable to reach Mick to give his credit card number to the mechanic. They put the repair bill on their own credit card and hoped they’d collect when they collected Mick in Sydney.

Now, if I owed someone a reasonably large sum of money, I’d either mention it or pay it back as soon as I saw them again. Mick did neither. Not at the Sydney Airport, not once we were on the highway, and not when we reached Yass, the town where we would be staying that night. So I was forced to breach the subject first, handing Mick the repair receipt while checking into our hotel in Yass. Mick told me that we’d settle up in Albury, but since he’d earlier said that we’d settle up in Sydney, I insisted that he pay us back in the morning. Mick’s unreliability was troubling, but I still wanted to believe that he’d honor his word. Brianne and I went to sleep that night cautiously hoping for that.

Round One began as soon as we got in the car the following morning. As soon as I suggested that Mick find an ATM on our way out of town, it was on.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Especially these days, when travelers are more apt to make connections via the Internet (before it’s truly possible judge whether these people are trustworthy), it’s a good idea to be aware of how much you’re willing to lose for the chance at what you’re hoping to gain.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | January 26, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “Taking a chance, trusting a stranger”

  1. Rolf Says:

    In the interest of keeping blog comments focused on practical and conceptual issues of independent travel (and not ongoing arguments about specific personalities and situations), I have turned off the comments to this post.

    The “Mick” in this story can be contacted by email(gregausti@hotmail.com) for his take on events.