Follow the leader

By Michele Smith
This item appears on page 39 of the July 2019 issue.
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This month’s winner is MICHELE SMITH of Hickory Corners, Michigan:

While I was kayaking on the River Avon in England during vacation, the British kayak leader kept referring to me as “The American.”

We were about an hour into our trip down the river when he turned and yelled to me, “We’re ahead. Pass it on!”

I turned around in my kayak, facing aft, and shouted, “We’re ahead. Pass it on!,” and heard the echo refrain go down the river while watching the British tourists quickly paddle toward the shore.

When I turned around to face forward, I went over a 6-foot waterfall, somehow remaining upright.

“Great job, American!,” the kayak leader beamed. It was then I found out he was actually yelling, “Weir ahead,” referring to a man-made dam and its overflow.


Tell us about the funniest thing that happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

This month’s winner is MICHELE SMITH of Hickory Corners, Michigan:

While I was kayaking on the River Avon in England during vacation, the British kayak leader kept referring to me as “The American.”

We were about an hour into our trip down the river when he turned and yelled to me, “We’re ahead. Pass it on!”

I turned around in my kayak, facing aft, and shouted, “We’re ahead. Pass it on!,” and heard the echo refrain go down the river while watching the British tourists quickly paddle toward the shore.

When I turned around to face forward, I went over a 6-foot waterfall, somehow remaining upright.

“Great job, American!,” the kayak leader beamed. It was then I found out he was actually yelling, “Weir ahead,” referring to a man-made dam and its overflow.


Tell us about the funniest thing that happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.