I am not much for superstition. As a previously-long-suffering Red Sox fan, some kind of otherworldly curse was the only way for me to stomach what happened to Bill Buckner and the Sox in 1986. But once my team finally won, I realized just how pathetic using curses as a crutch truly was.
I find witchcraft, voodoo and any kind of sorcerous skullduggery to be a lame way of trying to explain that which we can't quite grasp. And I find those who purport to practice such dark arts to be woefully disconnected from reality.
I'm Scully, not Mulder. To me, there are better explanations than defaulting to extraterrestrial or otherworldly culprits behind the bizarre moments in our lives that leave us pondering the existence of greater powers or far-flung beings.
As editor-in-chief of TravelPulse, I set the messaging for the site. In these terrifying days of chaos and tragic headlines, we are banging the drum for never giving into the fear of traveling in these turbulent times.
So please, forgive me for the tale I'm about to spin.
I think I may have been cursed. I can't pinpoint exactly when it began and I'm not enthusiastically accepting this fate or label. But there is simply too much corroborating evidence to turn a blind eye to the possibility.
I don't say this to win your sympathy. In my time with TravelPulse, I have seen parts of the world I could have previously only dreamed to cross off my bucket list. But for every amazing adventure to places like South Korea or Europe that I have taken, there are about two to three trips that I have had to cancel.
My cohort, managing editor Barry Kaufman, was the first to attach the word "curse" to my growing list of travel fails.
It began with illnesses that overcame me with ridiculously awful timing. From pneumonia to the flu to broken bones or torn meniscuses, I've had a laundry list of maladies sideline me. But even that can be explained by the presence of two young sons who travel daily to and from germ factories otherwise known as schools or daycare centers.
It's when the more random and scarier occurrences began happening that I gave the word any kind of credence. I got into a car wreck, narrowing avoiding worse injury on the way to Raleigh-Durham airport in April 2015. My bags have been lost for full trips. I have had my luggage literally ripped to shreds. My youngest son, a daring and surprisingly fearless flyer, went from perfectly healthy to unable to stop throwing up on a flight from Boston to Miami headed to Cancun. He threw up three more times on the return flight to Boston, only to return to perfectly healthy by that night.
The early part of 2016 was a completely lost cause. I canceled a trip to be part of The Travvys in New York in January due to a collapsed lung. That led to four more trips canceled between February and April. I finally broke that string with an amazing trip to England to see my beloved Premier League soccer firsthand. But then, three more trips canceled due to family emergencies or epic traffic jams on the way to the airport that caused me to miss flights.
I've had four straight flights canceled at the New Orleans airport, all because of mechanical trouble. Travel friends in the business do not like seeing my name listed on press trip rosters, as I've been part of five trips in three years canceled due to natural disasters.
Up until early 2015, I was generally a very healthy person. But for the last 18 months, some kind of funky cloud has always found me, no matter how many greens I eat or Airborne I ingest weeks ahead of trips.
I thought I had officially broken this curse when my wife and I went to Hawaii for our 20th wedding anniversary in September. Again, we missed our first scheduled flight to Maui due to an unheard-of amount of accidents along I-93 that turned a 20-mile, 30-minute drive into a three-hour, 10-mile crawl before we turned around and headed for home. Still, we were able to reschedule flights and got to Hawaii the next day.
CURSE BROKEN! Take that, Barry!
Well, perhaps I have started some new funky mojo. My next trip, a scheduled quick trip to Belize to see Norwegian Cruise Line's epic new port of call, Harvest Caye, did not happen this week. A virus began spreading through my family last week and despite my best efforts to quarantine myself, I began feeling virus symptoms in earnest around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday ahead of my 8 a.m. flight to Paradise.
Now, my Scully is slowly wandering into Mulder territory. I'm simply looking for any magic to end this pattern. At this point, I'm open to a seance, a voodoo ceremony or any other curse buster you out there might suggest.
As much as Barry points at me like Nelson from The Simpsons ...
... I could very easily trace this back to the hiring of one Barry Kaufman. Upon our first trip to the home office for his training, we got snowed in so badly in Chicago that in order to make it home for Valentine's Day, we rented a car and proceeded to drive through a blizzard from Chicago to Bluffton, S.C. -- one of six total cars among a cadre of wrecked long-haul trucks we saw during our trek.
Stop mocking me, you insensitive dolt. Perhaps I should fire Barry. Yes, yes! THAT WILL DO IT! MWUH-HA-HAH!
(The writer slaps his own face.)
Get a hold of yourself, Tim. No, he's too valuable. No level of scourge is worth abandoning our bromance, right?
Whatever the root, I want it gone. This is pathetic. I'm not this guy. I refuse to wear this label.
Travel friends and partners, don't give up on me. I'm feeling the mojo turning. My package of burning sage and Harry Potter-quality potions arrived via FedEx today.