Travel Fails and Mishaps
Travel can be fun, exciting and filled with life changing experiences and unforgettable moments. Sometimes, the road isn’t as smooth as you would like it to be. Your itinerary can experience mishaps and failed plans along the way to paradise. I’ve compiled some of my most notable negative experiences to date.
I’ve always traveled frugally with an eye on my budget so I’ve stayed at some inferior accommodations. Staying away from hostels but some of the rooms have been of the low-class motel quality. But, none have been as terrible as the tent I reserved in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect much but this facility had a shower that had low pressure, like a trickle, and the hot water never worked in my three-day stay. They also had a policy of shutting off the electricity by 7 p.m. so the first night I showered by flash light. The food was also terrible. Without restaurants in the area, I was forced to eat whatever was served to me.
The worse flight I’ve been on was a small propeller plane that seat about ten people. It was a short twenty-minute flight from San Jose to Quepos, Costa Rica. The plane was so small that a gust of wind could be felt. To be honest, I would do it all over again to avoid the rough five-hour ride that included dirt roads as portions of the route.
The worse trips are always the one’s you have to cancel or the one you didn’t take. Having to postpone a trip isn’t much fun either. I had to postpone a trip to Belize because of late seasonal hurricanes and heavy rains. It was the worse rain the area had seen in 50 years resulting in thousands of deaths. Postponement was the smartest choice but it hurt financially.
The worse ride I’ve had during my travels was from Puerto Princessa to the paradise town of El Nido in the Philippines. I thought the toughest part of the transfer would be the last hour on a hard packed and uneven dirt road. It turned out to be the kamikaze drivers. Put them behind the wheel of a minivan packed with a dozen people with the roof weighed down by heavy luggage and add the rough route, and it could equal some terrible experiences. On the way to El Nido we came across a portion of the dirt road where the opposite side of a two lane road had collapsed down a cliff into the sea. But the worse part was the ride back to Puerto Princessa, where the driver was driving so fast, one couple decided to wait at a rest area for the next company van. The van took such a pounding that the brakes failed. Luckily, it was on the flat portion of a hilly section and we coasted until we came to a stop. I’ve heard there are flights, now, from Puerto Princessa to El Nido so I won’t have to go through this again when I return.
The worse excursion, or tour, I’ve had was in Alaska. It was late July and we signed up for a horse riding tour through the mountains. It was supposed to be a great way to see wildlife and breathtaking views. Unfortunately, a storm had moved in the night before and a thick blanket of fog had remained over the Anchorage area the morning we were doing the horseback ride. The incredible views were buried in the fog and the only wildlife we saw was the horses we were riding. We did run into a massive male moose. In the fog, the moose was so large I thought the antlers was a figure of a man on a horse. It wouldn’t allow us to pass and took an aggressive stance, threatening to charge. We had to slowly turn the other way and then quickly gallop in the other direction.
My worse holiday was when we visited the Philippines in July. A tsunami hit the eastern portion of the islands and brought rain and gale-force winds that stirred up the ocean and made our channel crossing from Cebu to Bohol rough and almost impossible. A lot of excursion had to be cancelled. Midway through the holiday my father, who retired and lived in Cebu, passed away. The vacation had now turned into a time of mourning. The emotional experience had turned a light cold into pneumonia by the time I returned home. Wait, there’s more. On my way home, my flight from Cebu to Hong Kong had been delayed and I missed my connecting flight to Los Angeles. It was the last flight that day so I had to spend one night in Hong Kong.
My worse photo of myself had to be in the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Not only is it bad but my photographer, my sister, took several shots like this without even saying anything about my hat. Strong winds had distorted my hat. So, I may only have one good shot of myself in front of the hills.
We’ve all had those long flights on the red-eye with connecting flights at ridiculous hours. You know how it feels to be so tired and unable to focus and concentrate. So, imagine a long day of preparing for the trip and then having to take the red-eye. I was so tired that when I was in Miami to catch my connecting flight I accidentally walked into the women’s rest room. The men’s and women’s room shared a common hallway and then the women’s room was on the left and the men’s room on the right. I made a turn to the left and walked into the wrong room. I turned a corner and didn’t see any urinals and saw nothing but women. Luckily, the women didn’t scratch my eyes out. On my way out, I say the women’s sign on the door which was permanently open as I walked out and that’s why I missed the sign on my way in. Well, that’s my excuse.
Worse Airport Experience
On my way to Thailand, I was stopped for a private security search. I walked through the security line as I’ve done hundreds of time in LAX when a security dog followed me through the line. As I made through my way through the back and forth route, the dog wouldn’t divert its attention from me. So, I earned a full body pat-down and they turned my backpack inside out. The security guard said that the dog was probably attracted to the scent of my dog. Thanks Gunner.
The worse lifetime fail has to be the fact that I wasn’t born rich or able to win the lottery. I’ve had to save, struggle and scratch for every travel experience I’ve had. I’d be able to drink champagne at sunset at a five-star hotel and be able to travel comfortably in first class if I was rich.
We do what we can to avoid travel fails and mishaps but they occasionally happen. I always assume that something could go wrong on each trip and I have confidence in my logical judgement and will to succeed that I’ll be able to handle any situation. These situations eventually make us stronger and add to the incredible experience. It definitely helps us grow as a person.
What’s your travel fail or mishap?
If you have several, write about it and post the link in the comments so we can all read about it!