Some people say they love travel, but actually, they hate traveling, and when you go through the oft-dehumanizing charade of modern air travel, you understand why. Tourism is fraught with excursions from one's comfort zone — commenters share memorable travel hurdles they had to maneuver in a recent online post.
1. A Saigon Monsoon Misadventure
Anyone who has been to Vietnam will attest to how fun riding motorbikes can be; the scooter is the go-to method for seeing the place. However, imagine getting caught in such a fierce downpour that you drive through a foot of tropical rainwater within half an hour. One tourist experienced this watery welcome on their first summer break there. The best advice is not to ride between May and November or brave the monsoon for the thrill.
2. A British Bank Card in the Deepest Mexico
One British commenter reflects on a summer backpacking tour of Mexico. The day he set off from one location, he forgot in his haste to withdraw cash before he left. Subsequently, his long-haul bus journey arrived at their destination, a remote mountain town. He frantically searched for an ATM, though no machine would recognize his credit card. Finally, in fading light, he realized in his drunken stupor the night before, he had withdrawn the cash and hidden it in his backpack.
3. An Unwanted Roman Bank Holiday
When my girlfriend was studying in Bari, Southern Italy, my flight to Rome coincided with an Italian omni-shambles. The bus and rail unions had staged a bank holiday weekend walk-out, leaving my rail connection from Rome in the toilet. I had to find a hotel for the night. Thankfully, I found a room, and hotels doubled their normal rates, with it being a bank holiday weekend in the capital. I ended up blowing my entire student budget on one hotel room. That day, I learned a valuable lesson: avoid Rome on bank holidays, or just avoid Rome altogether — either works for me.
4. A Weekend in Beijing
One misadventure features a dad booking a long weekend in Beijing to finally catch a glimpse of the Great Wall before leaving China for good. The journey from Shanghai in Zhejiang Province took off, and they flew for two hours before getting into Beijing air space when the captain received the order he must return, flying the passengers two hours back to Shanghai — and didn't give a reason. As expected, the passengers were in disbelief — even more so when, after a five-minute wait in Shanghai, they reboarded the flight and returned to Beijing, landing six hours later.
5. You Have Ebola, Got It?
Some people are well-traveled, but others live on a different plain from the rest of us, mere mortals. They find themselves in pockets of our world's most comfortable citizens only dream of — like a border crossing in remote Tanzania. One such adventurer was caught in the wrong place, detained at the crossing, and then forced to be quarantined in an ebola hospital. Here's the spoiler alert and kicker — they didn't have ebola.
6. A Mumbai Terror Attack
In 2006, over 200 innocent people lost their lives when terrorists bombed a series of trains in Mumbai, spreading horror and chaos. A backpacker remembers the day well — after being delayed, they missed one of the trains that exploded. Moreover, in the subsequent chaos, it took them four hours to get to their friend's place. Their friend feared the worst as all the cellphone service also went dead.
7. Work Trip Woes
One contributor recalls being a solo traveler for a work trip in a new country where they were unfamiliar. They fell ill the day before leaving, becoming so weak that even checking out had become impossible. Thankfully, the hotel staff were first-class humans, letting her recover before a free late check out — they even left soda water and crackers outside her door.
8. Paper Knickers
An Indian gentleman shared his amusing misfortune when he flew to England for the Christmas break once. The airline lost his suitcase, meaning he went to his accommodation with only his hand luggage and clothes. Worse still, it was December 24, and there would be no assistance for two more days. Hilariously, the airline offered to compensate with what the traveler describes as “paper knickers.”
9. Stranded in Thailand
The next anecdote contains some sweet yet expensive luck for a family traveling to Thailand from their base in mainland China for the Chinese New Year break. Three days before their journey back to the mainland, the pandemic officially began, with China shuttering its borders for the foreseeable future. They didn't know whether to laugh or cry; they would have to pay for the next few months living in Phuket; however, there are far worse places to be stranded than a tropical beach paradise.
10. The Human Mosquito Cushion
For some unknown reason, some people are more prone to mosquito attacks than others, which happened to one poor lady. Joining her family on a tropical beach holiday, she opened her bedroom doors for the fresh breeze and calming surf sounds. Sadly for her, the local mosquitos took this as an invitation for dinner, focusing all their appetites on her — and her alone. Nobody else in the villa had a bite.
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