Sunday, 2 March 2014

My 5 Worst Travel Experiences So Far

Travel isn’t always hunky-dory. There is a dark side to it too. You have read my 9 travel mistakes. Today I am going to reveal to you some horrible experiences that I have had on my travels. Before I share anything, I’d like to acknowledge that even the bad experiences on our travels teach us something. Thus, nobody should chicken out from taking up an adventure just because there are chances of goof-ups or mishaps. Life is imperfect and so is travel.
  
So here they are, my worst travel experiences in no particular order -  

Language barrier in Kerala –


I couldn’t have comprehended the ‘language barrier’ thing better until I landed in Kerala. It was a badly turbulent 4 hour flight from Delhi to Cochin. I felt nauseated. By the time I landed in Cochin I was in a miserable state. I quickly hired a cab to get to my friend’s place. The cabby knew neither Hindi nor English. I just handed him a note that had my friend’s address on it. He kept blabbering something in his own language, but could barely understand what I was trying to tell him. My health had worsened by the time I sat in the cab. I wanted to puke, but couldn’t communicate to the cabby about it. I kept telling him to stop the cab, but only in vain. I had to open the moving cab’s door to be able to puke.

Well, even though it was such a bad experience, it is quite a funny memory in my mind now. It makes me wonder about the insane diversity we have here in India in terms of languages!

Cabby didn’t know the way to the airport –

This was probably one of the experiences that I shudder to even recall. I had to catch an early morning flight from Delhi to Coimbatore. I left home at around 4 am or so when it was still very dark. Although the airport wasn’t very far from my place, the driver unknowingly took the wrong route. Since the driver was quite na├»ve and even I had got confused, he stopped the cab to ask for directions from a couple of men loitering around a shop. The moment he stopped the cab and pulled down the window-pane I was horrified and I immediately told him to take a U-turn. The driver didn’t realise that it wasn’t wise to interact with strangers while there was a woman in his cab.

Fortunately, I reached the airport safely and in time. However, I learnt a lesson about being more cautious while travelling alone. It’s not wise to set out from home or reach somewhere in the wee hours.
       
Awful migraine in the desert –


Well, it was a lethal combination of both good and the bad. I had a great desert safari experience followed by cultural dance and dinner at the desert camping resort. I have a migraine problem, so this one wasn’t a surprise, but yes, I was infuriated because it happened to me on such a special trip. By the time we finished our desert safari and headed to the resort, I knew that my migraine was coming on. I was still being brave and was trying to enjoy everything that was happening. I freshened up and lay down for a while in one of the tents there. But migraine is such a bad evil that it doesn’t die down so easily. By the time dinner was ready, I had totally given up. I looked so listless that even my fellow travellers noticed it and beckoned me to join them at their table. It was a group of five or six foreigners who were together. One of the ladies from the group was a doctor who gave me a painkiller, which subdued the pain after a few hours. 

What I liked about this whole migraine in the desert experience was that I got help from my fellow travellers and that too from them who were not from my country! Even though it was a brief acquaintance, it made a huge difference to my expedition. Travel connects you to so many different people.  

Bad flight experience from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi –


It was a five and a half hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi, which was a terrible experience. First of all, the aircraft was so small that it seemed like we were stuffed in it. There was only one lavatory for the economy class, which was busy throughout the flight. People had to queue up to use it. The air-hostess was indifferent and unhelpful. The temperature in the flight was freezing cold. And it was a jerky landing in Delhi. Phew!

For this experience, I would just say, all is well that ends well.  
       
My camera got totally wet on the Matheran monsoon trek –


Monsoons are certainly not good for your camera! Yes, the rains may enhance the beauty of a place and bring a smile on your face, but they ruin your camera and how! My camera had got totally drenched while I was trekking through the forest in Matheran. When I came back home and tried using it again, it didn’t work. After that experience, I am kind of wary of using my camera in the rains again. 

It has taught me a very critical lesson about the camera usage. I think I was too cruel with my camera. I will be more geared up the next time I go on such a trip.

Now it’s your turn!

Tell me about YOUR worst travel experience so far? Did you learn anything from it?

40 comments:

  1. Nicely shared, Renuka. I did face language problem in Kerala too, but then I smiled & looked for another person who understood English & helped me with directions :) Experiences make us stronger & we learn :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know that you enjoyed it, Anita :) You were lucky to find someone who understood English! Yeah, experiences make us stronger. Very well put!

      Delete
  2. I lost me camera to rain also! In Bangkok, it started pouring and I couldn't protect it. It didn't work for days and then it came back to life but would start doing weird things. I have a new camera now and I panic at the sight of grey clouds when I'm out with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad to know that you have a new camera now! Yup, even I get scared when it starts raining suddenly!

      Delete
  3. Nice write up!

    The driver didn’t realise that it wasn’t wise to interact with strangers while there is a woman in his cab:
    Actually I hadn't thought about that either. I take that as a tip. Thanks ;)

    It makes me wonder about the insane diversity we have here in India in terms of languages!
    I remember visiting Kerala few years ago with my family. I mostly conversed in Kannada and luckily I had my aunt who knew broken Tamil to converse with people who didn't understand me. If I were you, I would learn atleast one South Indian language. Comes in handy for travelers like you. While English works mostly in densely populated towns/cities in India. Its a matter of serious concern for travelers in villages/not-so-well-known places. In Northern India, Hindi works but its a different scenario when it comes to South India.

    Travel connects you to so many different people:
    Couldn't agree more. I think that's the best way to meet new people belonging to entirely different walks of life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vineeth :) I appreciate you mentioned about learning a little bit of South Indian language - I knew someone will catch me there! :) Actually, I am a staunch Hindi loyalist. I believe all the regional language speaking people should know a bit of Hindi.

      Delete
    2. Oh, that is too much to ask for, from each individual in our country. In fact, its practically impossible IMO. With democracy and all, every spoken language in India is in fact a national language! That being said, its always wise for a traveler to learn a few words of a language that is widely spoken in the place that you've planned to visit. Get the local translation done with the help of internet before you visit them. Translation for words like "Left", "Right", "Straight", "Platform", "Delay", "Morning", "Afternoon", "Evening" and some numbers from one to ten atleast. Learning these could be quite overwhelming at first but once you get a hang of it, you'll embrace it.

      I hope that wasn't instense :)

      Delete
    3. Appreciate it! Frankly, I don't mind learning a new language and I have no complains about the diversity also. It's just that it is insane! If a north Indian travels in South India, it's just like any English speaking fellow traveling in Switzerland or France, where they are stern about communicating in their own language.

      Delete
  4. Love that you don't just blog about your travel highlights - it's not always rainbows and butterflies! I super agree that you should try to avoid traveling in the middle of the night when solo. Great advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Silvia :) Glad to know you enjoyed it. Yeah, traveling in the wee hours is not advisable.

      Delete
  5. This is what I love about travelling - the are good and bad experiences! On one hand, I'm sorry to read about your flight difficulties and I can feel the pain. On the other hand, it would be extremely boring if everything always went according to our plan. Am I right? :) P.S. I have when the flight is delayed and there is not much space on board!!!!! WRRRR!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Yeah, that's true. A little hitch makes the travel experience more interesting!

      Delete
  6. I think mine has to be our boat nearly going over in a storm off the coast of Thailand. It was 13 years ago but it was so terrifying I still remember really clearly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it does sound terrifying! Travel is enjoyable, yet lethal.

      Delete
  7. Travel is a huge gunny bag full of wonderful memories and forgettable experiences. It is a beautiful blend of both that makes it exciting. Nice post, Renuka.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Niranjan :) That's very well put by you!

      Delete
  8. Travel does have its ups and downs and the trick is to continue...a wet camera though for me would be scary although i usually bring backup because that would be the worst scenario for me on the trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, the trick is to continue!

      Delete
  9. Sounds like you've had some rough experiences. The thing is, most of this could happen to people who do not travel at all, so as you say it certainly shouldn't put anyone off travelling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, nothing can put anyone off travelling! Even the bad experiences on our travels teach us something.

      Delete
  10. I am new to your blog. I have to commend you on travelling solo. You are doing an awesome job with your blog. You have inspired to travel...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks and welcome to my blog, Ratna :) I am glad you enjoyed the post and are inspired to travel.

      Delete
  11. What a nice read. Renuka - interesting.. I think bad weather when u are on a plane or being stuck at a transfer airport for hours or daaaaays is on top of my list...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eli :) Yeah, that's true. Getting stuck somewhere due to bad weather is one of the worst scenarios.

      Delete
  12. Having misadventures is part and parcel that comes along with travelling. I love such misadventures, honestly! I have a dozen of such experiences which I take as learnings for the future, and secretly wish for some of them to happen again to me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh...you secretly wish for them to happen again! Misadventures definitely teach us a lot and also add a bit of twist in the tale. :)

      Delete
  13. Oh .. that kerala incident was the worst i think.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow! i loved reading the post. My travel disaster was when i boarded a fully packed train to Rajasthan. It was an horrifying experience to catch a train that had stopped just for a minute at the station. My husband and i caught hold of the handle of the train's door with our bodies and luggage half hanging out in air. The train was moving and we were hanging out in fear. I didn't even look back, it was so scary to imagine. And all this happened in a pre-booked train!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds awful, Anjum! I know that happens with the trains in India.

      Delete
  15. great read! never would I of even thought the diversity was so huge. Nor would I of been wise enough to tell the guy to do a u-turn in the cab. I would of just felt safe in the cab. Glad I read this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Misadventures are part of travel. No matter how hard you try, a little goof-up here and there does happen. But I guess, it's worthwhile as long as you return home safe.

      Delete
  16. It's funny, I just visited Kerala last December, and as a Maharashtrian I expected huge language problems - but there was nothing of the sort. I guess we got lucky in Cochin, which is more than I can say for all my trips to Chennai. Down South, you've got to speak their language, or run the risk of losing your way.
    I've been to Matheran many times and had more unexpected-rain-accidents than I can count, but the place is always still worth the problems.
    My worst travel experience was recently when a friend and I almost (but not quite) lost a rental two-wheeler in Goa, through little fault of our own, and she had a complete panic attack - we did find it, but it was crazy while the search lasted!
    Love your post, because for all the bad experiences, you seem to have enjoyed yourself. I do think that the good and the bad together make a memorable experience. Also, I agree, all is well that ends well. Can I just say: I'm officially in love with your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Priya for stopping by and dropping a valuable comment. :) Welcome to my blog! Your experiences sound interesting too, especially the two-wheeler one. :) Travel is fun in any and every way!

      Delete
  17. If you speak Tamil you could understand Malayalam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But where did I mention that I speak Tamil?

      Delete
  18. Problems are part of traveling , all is well that ends well.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great read Renuka.

    I was once detained at my home airport after the customs officials discovered a bottle of alcohol in my luggage. It took thirteen disconcerting months to conclude my case, but I learned my lesson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh...that must have been so frustrating!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...