That time I was a missing person.

In the spirit of throwback Thursday, I decided to throw it all the way back to when I was in the fifth grade nine long years ago. To set the scene it was a beautiful morning in Hawaii (my family’s first morning there!) but it quickly went askew and will long be remembered as:

That time I was a missing person.

MISSING

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Like I said, I was in the fifth grade which made me ten (and a half!) and my family took a trip to Hawaii. It was through my dad’s work so we had a handful of events planned for us. The very first one took place the morning after we had got there. We were jetlagged and tired but we made our way to a different hotel for a 5k. My big brother was in eighth grade at the time and on the cross country team. At that age I was a big people pleaser (still am!) and my thought process was something like, “If I can keep up with Alex, he’ll be so impressed with me.”

So that’s what I tried to do. Emphasis on the try. I don’t know how far along we were when I just couldn’t do it anymore. Most people were either walking or way ahead of us. Alex kept running when I stopped so I was alone I saw him go around a corner, but once I got there I couldn’t see anybody anymore. I tried to guess which way they must have gone, which was a bad idea.

Long story short is: I got terribly lost, it started to drizzle, people wouldn’t let me stay in their shops, and I was a scared little girl.

While I was wandering, the last racers were coming in to the finish but I was nowhere to be found. The golf cart tailing the race told my parents that the course was clear of all runners, and as I understand it that’s when things got messy. Of course my parents are freaking out – their baby had vanished on an island that they were not familiar with. And me? I was sure that I was going to be in trouble when I got reunited with my family so I was not only terrified, but I was doubly terrified.

My dad went off with a man in an SUV to look for me, because he knew I wouldn’t get in the car with a stranger, and my mom and brother stayed at the hotel in case I found my way back. Which I finally did.

I wandered back somehow or another, and found a lady who was working the race. She knew who I was, gave me a treat (time has made them memory fuzzy, I can’t remember what it was!) and sat tight with me. At this point I had calmed down, and I just waited until I saw my mom and my brother.

When I saw my mom I broke down. I could tell that she was really scared and upset, which made me scared and upset. We hugged and cried together and eventually my dad joined back up with us. Thanks to me we missed the free post race breakfast, which I’m pretty sure my brother never forgave me for, but the rest of the vacation went without incidence. Except my new friend Charlotte getting stung by a man-o-war and in turn getting pampered by the hotel, but that’s a story for another time.

What’s the biggest mishap that has ever happened to you on a family vacation?

 

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