However, being an American did put me at a disadvantage when driving. One evening, I was driving back to where I was staying, I stopped at a roadside park to enjoy the view of the countryside. I stepped out of the car so I could walk along the road while looking out over the mountains and turned my back to the car. I immediately became distracted by the sound of gravel being crunched under the weight of the tires. I had left the car in neutral and it was slowly making its way down the hill without a driver. Panic set in as I tried to stop the car by sheer force while hanging onto the door knob and digging in my feet. The car did not even slow down. My next attempt was trying to out run the car and get into a position to where I could open the door and jump inside. For some reason this worked and I slammed on the brakes and for good measure added the parking brakes.
There I was, half on the road and half on the shoulder. Luckily, it was a remote area and cars were not common. Being parked in the middle of the roadway did not present any immediate danger. I gathered my wits, and drove back to where I was staying the night. And that evening, I had a great story to tell during dinner.
Linda Jenkins is the CEO of Vacations-Abroad.com http://www.vacations-abroad.com A travel website with vacation properties located in Italy, France, Spain and England
Makiko Saba is preparing for solo backpacking adventure across Asia & Europe. Featured posts will share a glimpse of countries that will be covered along the year-long expedition route.