“The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see” – Gilbert K Chesterson
Ever feel like you are the most unlucky person in the world?
Have you ever had that sick feeling in the pitt of your stomach when you have lost your wallet or phone? And feel totally stupid because it was your fault?
Have you ever had that panic when you travel and feel totally helpless? It has happened to all of us. In fact, if I think of the top 10 worst things that can happen while travelling – I can almost guarantee it’s happened to me.
1. Arriving with no money – tick!
Who forgets their wallet on a year long trip? I swear I remembered everything else. Two minutes before leaving for the airport, my sister convinces me to take a photocopy of all my bank cards and drivers license just incase I lost them. Good idea I thought. She quickly took them for me and placed them all in the scanner for 30 seconds. That was the last time I thought about them until boarding my flight. There were tears and phone calls and panic. Lucky I had a friend in London who could help me out! Argh!
2. Missing a flight – tick!
My boyfriend and I are regular travellers. We fly at least every 2 months for work or leisure. So you would think we would be more capable. We literally just read the flight time incorrectly and arrived for our flight long after it had departed. Embarrassing!
3. Being arrested – tick!
Madagascar is a funny place. It’s one of those places where the police are the last people you trust. I was arrested for not carrying my visa with me through town. Which is certainly not required but I stood out as a tourist and therefore had dollar signs on my head. The policeman wanted to bribe me however i quickly jumped out the other side of the car and ran through the town to escape! Lucky I was faster than him!
4. Offending the local people – tick!
Hint to self: either learn the language correctly, or simply speak in English. My poor Spanish skills led me to continually ask for small boys to be delivered to my table rather than coffee. A red faced waitress had to correct me after 3 days. Eeek!
5. Getting diarrhoea – tick!
This is something we have all had a some stage. The difference if whether we had it in the comfort of our own home, or camping on the Inka Trail in Peru without showers or toilets. Definitely one to remember.
6. Getting food poisoning – tick!
I was lucky enough to get food poisoning many times on the trip – probably because i gave little thought about what it was I was eating and just wanted to try all the local produce. One time in particular I had a severe case and couldn’t leave my bed for 48 hours – not even for food or water which I really needed. And I was all by myself. I got so desperate, I had to crawl out of my bungalow in the hills of Pai in Thailand and down to the shops practically on my hands and knees to get someones attention. I got more than I asked for unfortunately.
7. Ending up in hospital – tick!
Excitement sometimes takes the better of me, and I can make some pretty stupid decisions. One of these included getting on the back of a quad bike with 3 of my girlfriends and riding home on one the most dangerous windy streets in Ios, Greece. In summary, there was a broken tailbone, broken ankle, scarred face and an emergency hospital visit. Lesson learnt.
8. Getting lost – tick!
Getting lost is something that is encouraged when you travel. I get motivated by quotes such as “get lost and you will find” kind of stuff. This is certainly only desirable in situations such as walking around a city. It does not include getting lost in the Albanian Mountains without a path, map, food or a watch. After 9 hours of hiking, my friend and I had to walk into a nearby house and beg a non-English speaking stranger to drive us home. Classic.
9. Sharing a tiny bed with a stranger – tick!
Usually when a hostel booking stuffs up, I just find somewhere else. However when you have booked a tiny 7 day boat trip – there isn’t too many other options. I had no choice but to share a bed with a South African woman who barely spoke 2 words to me. Did I mention it was only a double bed? Awkward.
10. Getting stuck at a border – tick!
This happened to me more than once for various reasons – whether it was simply bribery or other time I had forgotten my visa. However on the border of Thailand and Cambodia, my dodgy bus driver left me stranded because he got a better paid offer! I was stuck in Thailand with no transport, no option to get back into Cambodia and no refund. I ended up harassing his friend for 3 hours by following him around begging to drive me to Bangkok city. He ended up doing it because he wanted me to leave him alone. It worked!
What’s the worst thing that has happened to you while travelling? Share it below!!!