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 naïve 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?