After publishing this blog post I’m probably going to hide in a haunted forest until I have the guts to come back. Traveling makes us wiser, broadens our mind, takes us new places, and gives a sense of freedom.When we set out for our traveling journey, we hope for a smooth sailing and good memories only.However, not every journey is a smooth sail, we occasionally experience some rough seas regardless of how positive we are about our trip. These moments of rough seas become either a minor issue in our travel experience or our Worst travel memories.
Below I share with you my worst travel memories. Some of them make me cringe and call myself stupid. Others make me laugh at myself and a few of them infuriate me. Without further ado,let’s dig in.
1. Not being able to retrieve my suitcase from the baggage carousel.
This happened on my first trip to Hong Kong. I’m sure a lot of people laughed at me on that day. I don’t know if the baggage carousel was moving too fast or if I was exhausted from the flight. But when I grabbed the suitcase to pull it from the carousel, it carried me along. My baggage felt heavier than it was before I left for Hong Kong. Imagine how ridiculous that scene was: being dragged along trying to pull out my suitcase. That day, I told myself never again am I traveling with a 40kg suitcase.
2.Trying to ascend a descending escalator .
I don’t know how I could do such a stupid thing. I was extremely sleep deprived from work and I was jet-lagged as well (I was working on a cruise ship back then). I knew my body badly needed some sleep but I wanted to explore Singapore too. So I went to the harbor front, I was on the ground floor looking for a way to get to the shop upstairs, and as soon as I spotted an escalator, I stepped on it. Not checking if it was coming down or going up. I remember asking myself: ‘’ why is that thing pushing me down?’’. It was not until I spotted an elderly lady looking at me weirdly that I realized I was attempting to go up on a descending escalator. I ran away from the machine red in the face. This is my cringest travel memory. I still want to hide in a deep hole when I recall this moment
3.Being accused of carrying drugs by Singaporean ports Official.
This happened on my 2nd visit to Singapore, I was still working on the cruise ship. I bought a new suitcase on that day, because the one I had was damaged. As I was passing through the security, this grumpy guy blocked my way and started questioning me about my suitcase. He told me that he needed to check inside because I might be carrying drugs. Woah, this statement irritated me but I calmly said: ‘’This is a new suitcase, there’s nothing inside. You can see it through the scan’ ’But, this guy insisted that I open it because he had a doubt that I’d smuggled drug inside. This resulted in a heated argument and his colleagues had to intervene. But hey I stood up for myself and in the end, I did not have to open my new suitcase. After this incident, I swore to myself I will never put a foot in Singapore again. But later, I realized that the other Singaporeans I met, were friendly and welcoming people. Therefore I can’t blacklist an entire country because of the unpleasant attitude of one single individual.
4.Wasting 15 minutes on a Pedestrian crossing in Vietnam.
Traffic rules don’t exist in Vietnam. Pedestrian Crossings and traffic lights are just for decorative purposes. Well, I did not know this on my first visit to this country. I ended standing on the pedestrian for a good 15 minutes, wondering why the motorbikes weren’t stopping at red lights and why they circled dangerously around people attempting to cross to the other side. After a while, my patience came to an end, I did as the locals were doing; crossing on a green light, moving slowly in the midst of this motorbike chaos and letting them swirl around me. Later, I felt so irresponsible for crossing the street this way. When I looked up online, I learned that’s the normal way of crossing the road in Vietnam; you just have to walk NEVER RUN! I would have saved my 15 minutes if only I’d researched about the traffic rules in Vietnam beforehand. Lesson Learnt!
5.Getting Scammed by a Tuk Tuk driver in Cambodia
I wanted to travel in a tuk-tuk on my visit to Phnom Penh. As I was trying to cross to the other side of the street, a friendly-looking tuk-tuk driver stopped by and proposed to take me to the nearby Wat-Leun Temple for $50.I told him it’s an expensive price and he dropped it to $35 to which I agreed. It was a short 30 min drive away from the capital. The place was really peaceful and the ride was fun. However, at the end of the trip, when I handed him the money, he told me that he had said $45.I argued with him but he kept insisting. Language being a barrier and also because I did not want to get into a fight in a foreign country because of $10,I gave him the $45 he was demanding My jaw dropped when I checked for the fare on TripAdvisor.The average price for a tuk-tuk ride is $20. I got heavily ripped off.
6.Getting yelled at by taxi drivers in India and being forcibly taken on shop tours.
This is one of my scariest travel experience. I promised to myself to never go to India alone again. This happened in Mumbai. I was walking outside near the Mumbai port, peacefully strolling through the streets. Suddenly, I felt a group of men following me; they were taxi drivers offering to take me around the city, I politely refused them. But they didn’t pay heed and kept following me for a good 10 minutes invading my personal distance occasionally. I was really annoyed and I coldly told them: ‘’ I’ve asked you nicely to leave me alone several times. I don’t want a taxi ride, Just go away please’’.One of them yelled in my face; ‘’Just go then’’ and continued on yelling in his native language. I was scared at this point but they eventually left.
Further down the street, I met a man as I was coming out of a restaurant, he looked friendly and knew a lot about my country, Mauritius. Foolishly, I trusted him and I confided to him, that I wanted to visit the gateway of India and told him the story about the taxi drivers earlier. He seemed to sympathize with me and called me a taxi(one of his friends) and said I had to spend 10 minutes in 2-3 shops so that he can park freely at the tourist spot.
This man was huge a liar: Taxi drivers get commissions when they bring tourists to the shops and not free parking spots! The dishonest taxi driver took me on 45 minutes shop tour and when we reached the gateway of India, he kept hurrying me up and I spent only 5 minutes at the place. I was so disappointed! When we got back to his taxi, I was really frustrated and wanted to cry as well. I told him I have other things to do and to drop me nearby a bus stop. He was annoyed and rudely replied; “Just sit down, we have other shops to visit”. But I kept insisting to be dropped at a bus stop. When I paid him the fare we’d agreed on. He had the audacity to ask me for ‘’gifts’’. HAHAHA! He wanted a tip for ruining my trip and wasting my time.
7.Getting quoted a higher price because I’m a woman.
I was in Sri Lanka. My colleagues wanted to visit a temple and they invited me to join them. Since we were far from the city Center, they hailed a taxi down. They were all boys. I was a bit away from them when they were negotiating with the driver as I was clicking some pictures. When everything was settled, they gestured me to hop in the car. Upon my arrival, he hiked up the price and he said it’s because I’m a woman. My dudes didn’t agree with him and we paid him the price he quoted before.
At the temple, we hired a rickshaw driver to take us back, we agreed to pay him $15 and we even tipped him $5.But boy! He was a greedy man! When my colleagues turned their back, he quietly called me and asked me for $5 more then changed it to $10. When I asked him why, he told me ‘’I was not included in the price quoted before because the pricing is different for a girl’’. I wanted to argue with him but noticed my colleagues were a bit far away and the place I was at looked sketchy. As I was about to hand him the money, luckily my colleagues came back and chased him away. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country but when you experience things like this and you end up hating the whole country itself.
8.Flying through a Turbulence
This happened exactly one year ago on this very date 27 July in Barcelona. It was raining cats and dogs in Spain on that day and several flights were canceled due to this. My flight got delayed by 2 hours. The plane took off without any problem but 30 minutes later, I thought the plane was going to crash. I remember seeing a flash of white light outside the window which engulfed the plane then the aircraft dropped down in altitude abruptly and the lights went off for a brief second and the flight attendants were telling everybody to remain seated and to fasten their seatbelt.Luckily,it was nothing serious but a lightening. I love flying through occasional turbulences but this one scared me out of my wits.
That’s it for my not so glorious travel experiences, although they happened 1-2 years ago, they are still fresh in mind especially the escalator one
What are your worst travel memories? Share them in the comments below.