Anyone who travels knows it is not always easy. After flying for a year, I am now very aware of how often flight delays can disrupt travel plans but it doesn’t end there. No matter how experienced of a traveler you are, you come to realize there is only so much in your control. Here is a few times my trips took a turn toward memory lane:
Monopoly Money (Chile-2017):
I recently went to Santiago, Chile and exchanged Euros to Chilean Pesos. Okay Pesos are naturally confusing to me because the bills are in thousands. Anyways at lunch day one me and my coworker thought we were overpaying our waitress by paying her 2600 Pesos. She looked at us funny and we told her to keep the change. Turns out it was actually 24000 Pesos. We were 32 US dollars short…Lesson learned, pay close attention to new currency so that you don’t embarrassingly underpay or get cheated money while overpaying.
Moscow Train Fiasco (Russia-2013):
A few years ago, while studying abroad I took a day trip to Moscow with students I had never met. The trip was great until we headed back to Saint Petersburg on an overnight train. All of us were in separate sleeper cars and while boarding mine I was denied. I rechecked my ticket and I had purchased it for the following night. Okay y’all, I had about 10 minutes before the departure and not a single person in the train station spoke English. No joke I ran around that train station screaming, “does anyone speak English” and no one even looked at me. After failing to talk to a ticket agent a man who spoke broken Russian and broken English helped me buy a ticket. Don’t worry it’s not over yet. After running back to my sleeper car and pulling out my ticket, all I have in my hand is the receipt. No joke the train is leaving in 1 minute. I have no friends, no English speakers, and no ticket. I ran back and forth down the boarding area and turn around to a man yelling out while waving my ticket. As the train began moving, I hopped on, traumatized and fell asleep crying in my not so private bed. Lesson learned, always double check tickets when purchasing in advance (date, time, city) especially when it is in foreign languages.
Revenge of the Camel (Morocco-2013)
One of the most memorable things I have ever done was a Camel Trek through the Sahara Desert while in Morocco for my 21st birthday. After leaving the desert with a sore booty (see photo above), it took a few hours to get back to Casablanca. On that drive I broke out into a 104 degree fever and chills that I did my best to keep to myself. Upon arriving at the ship students were running to cut the line claiming they were sick. At first I was agitated but eventually realized I was one of the sick ones and rushed to the front so that I could get to the ship doctor, which was lined from wall to wall with students from my trip. Rumor has it we were fed bad camel on our camel trek which led to close to forty students getting quarantined to our rooms for two days. Lesson learned, be careful when eating food, especially street food, from that point on I began carrying Pepto Bismol tablets to settle my stomach at any moment.
Driving in the sidewalk in Malmo (Sweden-2016):
My boyfriend and I were heading to dinner from the suburbs into the city of Malmo. To be honest, the streets are full of roundabouts, odd merging lanes and winding streets, but that doesn’t make this any better. While merging lanes my boyfriend drove right up into a walking path/bike trail without even blinking. Meanwhile I’m screaming who knows what at him. He slams on the breaks and we both die laughing realizing what just happened. Luckily no cars or police were anywhere near us and we continued on to dinner a little more cautious. Lesson learned, be extra alert when driving in other countries as streets and signs may look foreign and drivers are aggressive.
The Disapearing Backpack (South Africa-2013)
While heading out for a 3 day South Africa excursion with Adventure Capetown, my girlfriend and I were in charge of gathering everyone into the van. The pick up was in the middle of the night so everyone had already spent the night out at the clubs which made for a bit of chaos. When my girlfriend went to grab the last few people I was in charge of making sure the bags made it into the van. When we made it to our first stop we realized her bag was missing, somehow never made it in the van and was never found near the ship. Someone had stollen it. We ended up sharing everything that trip which was no big deal but she lost numerous things includeing clothes and makeup, and it was partially my fault. Lesson learned, keep an eye on your belongings when traveling. People are watching and waiting for you to get distracted and often even cause diversions in order to pick pocket.