The Right Place At The Right Time: A Travel Tale

Sometimes, when you spend your life on the road, the road gives you signs that you are exactly where you are meant to be. The universe is a strange and mysterious place and if you follow the path that inspires you, it will often give you clues that you are in the right place at the right time. For us, we’ve had many of these experiences, but perhaps none more obvious than the story I’m about to tell you.

Satellite Photo Of The Milky Way Galaxy
Satellite Photo Of The Milky Way Galaxy

We were in Malacca, Malaysia at the time. We had always used our cellphone for an alarm clock in the morning and seeing as we had lost it two weeks earlier, we were planning to buy a new one. We woke up in the morning later than we had hoped and although we had nothing to do that day, we had a flight the following morning and we didn’t want to rely on a guesthouse wake up call. So we set out on our day around Malacca. We wandered the beautiful old town and got so caught up in the beauty of the place that we completely forgot to  look for an alarm clock at the night market.

Malacca Night Market
Malacca Night Market, Malaysia
A Back Street In Malacca
A Back Street In Malacca

It wasn’t until about 10:00 at night when we remembered. We were walking down a quiet, in fact eerily silent, backstreet in China town, heading back to our guesthouse. Suddenly Dariece stopped and said, “SHIT! We forgot to buy an alarm clock!” To which I replied “Oh Yeah! Well nothing’s open now, we’ll just tell the guesthouse to give us a wake up call.” It was that minute when we suddenly heard a loud ringing sound echoing down the narrow alley in which we stood. Shivers immediately crept over our bodies, the same shivers I get now as I’m writing this. We were both pretty certain of what the sound was and we started searching around to find its Garbage Bagsource. Right next to us, not 5 feet from where we were standing, there was a lone, black garbage bag ringing loudly. We quickly tore it open and right there in the bag was a bright red, shiny, NEW alarm clock!

Now this already sounds weird, but when you really think about it, it gets weirder. This alarm clock had been thrown out in perfectly good condition, but apparently it no longer worked. That person must have had the alarm set for 10:35 for some reason and it just happened to go off at the exact minute we were talking about needing an alarm clock. But if the alarm and timer worked, why was it thrown out? If that’s not enough of a clue that the universe was speaking to us, this alarm clock only did its job that night. It worked all the way up until 6:30 in the morning when it woke us up on time for our flight and from that minute on, it stopped working. We could never use this alarm clock again.

Alarm Clock

This story almost seems too strange to be true but we strongly believe that travel is what we’re meant to do and there have been plenty of times that the world has told us to keep travelling. We still have our little red alarm clock and although it can no longer remind us to wake up, it’s a constant reminder that we are following the right path.


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Written by

Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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