What happens when your travels don’t go to plan?

rainMuch as we all love to travel and explore the world around us, the odds are that the more we do it, the more likely we are to be exposed to the risk of something not going to plan. How many of us have had some unexpected bad luck while on holiday after planning the trip for months – lost baggage, missed planes or Delhi belly? So unfair isn’t it? After all that time spent searching for the perfect hotel, the best priced flights and planning which sights you want to see. Sadly it happens to us all, and no matter how much planning we do, sometimes it just can’t be prevented!

So what was your worst holiday memory? I know I’ve got a couple of crackers that I still can’t believe happened to me, you have to laugh about them after because some of them are just so ridiculous! Here are my worst holiday experiences:

  1. Waking up in the middle of our first night in Mauritius to find a man had broken in through the bedroom window and was stealing all my valuables while I slept. This one was really horrible and upsetting, it was awful to know he had been walking around me while I was asleep and to think of his grubby mitts on my sunglasses, camera, iPod and the rest. It was even worse because he had left me with just me A-level revision books and exam papers just before my January exams. Forced to revise on the beach, but hey, it got me my results! And we moved the next night so that made things a little better.
  2. On the same holiday, a week later, I woke up and must have been bitten by a weird bug or something but my skin had reacted and my eye had swollen up! It was gross and I could barely open one of my eyes, this was on Christmas Day when we were meeting loads of the family at the beach for a big dinner and as mentioned above, my sunglasses were nicked. Great, cheers Mr Burglar! Luckily I managed to get a replacement pair from a shop and kept my face covered. Thankfully the day got a bit better when I had lobster for Christmas dinner.
  3. When I went to Zakynthos, Greece, with my family, I was just swimming around in the sea when  I put my foot down, on a bloody sea urchin! I can’t even describe the pain to you, or how bloody difficult it was to swim back to shore and hobble up the beach. My mum staggered along trying to carry me but we kept falling over. Luckily, we were staying in apartments attached to a Greek family’s restaurant and one of the family were outside as we arrived back there. We had planned to visit the doctors but sat me down, removed any trace of the urchin and poured a liquid over my foot – I can’t remember what it was but my foot felt instantly less painful and within six hours looked almost normal! My hero.
  4. Morocco was easily the worst place I have ever been on holiday. Now I know this doesn’t apply to everyone and some people really love the country – I too love the idea of the country but the reality is somewhat different for my family, as is repeatedly the case in Muslim countries. I have found that on holidays to both Turkey and Morocco that the men just seem to have no respect for women and that both me, my sister and my mum are constantly the target for seriously unwanted attention as these men leer at us and even follow us down the street. I understand and respect their beliefs, so I was certainly not dressing inappropriately, but it just seems like my mixed race family attracts the wrong kind of attention. That many of these men can’t deal with my white English mother walking down the street with a Mauritian man and two mixed race children. I hope that in the future I can visit the country and see a different side to it, but at the moment it just makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable and unwelcome.
  5. Then there was the standard caravan holidays when I was a kid – I’ll always remember when we went away to stay in one and were stuck inside it all weekend listening to the wind and rain banging away on the outside. I could probably cope with this a bit better now, but when you’re just a kid you need to run around and tire yourself out all day. I love reading, but I even got bored of that when I had finished reading all my books halfway through the weekend! Amazingly, since then I have actually camped all over the country and have never had anything but perfect weather!

swag

Why not share your worst holiday memories by leaving me a comment below?

8 responses to “What happens when your travels don’t go to plan?

  1. I agree with you on #4 – both the experience and the fact I really want to like those areas as there is some incredible beauty.

    I’ve been to Egypt and I was with my friend who married an Egyptian, so no-one seemed to bother us when we were with locals. But the difference when it was just us two girls was unbelievable!

    But the worst was in Tunisia when I was called an ugly goat… I think I have the opposite problem to you, as I’m just very white! I stand out a lot abroad with red hair and see-through skin.

    I am afraid I have been put off going to other north African countries because of this but I really want to experience Morrocco. Should I just build a thick skin and understand (not quite appreciate) our differences in culture?

    Poor you on #1-3! Not nice x

    • I’m sorry to hear that you too have had this experience Anna, it really doesn’t feel very nice does it? You poor thing being called an ugly goat – how random! haha It is difficult and I’m sure that we are both having very similar experiences despite the difference in skin colour. It does make me wonder if these locals have any awareness of the way they are making people feel. I know that it is not everyone there, but once you have experienced it a few times, you start to feel uncomfortable which perhaps make you avoid certain areas of the country.
      I definitely think it is a gender thing, as you can see from your experience in Egypt – perhaps something to do with the way they view women, and I guess in a lot of Muslim countries it might seem bizarre still to them to see women walking around without being entirely covered up.
      In some ways I’m glad not to be alone in experiencing this, but I’m sad that it has put you off visiting these countries – I like to think that in the future I will grow a thicker skin and attempt another trip, perhaps to Marrakesh which might be more multicultural and accepting, but in the meantime, four holidays of feeling uncomfortable have put me off bothering. I’m always of the belief that I shouldn’t put myself in circumstances where I feel uncomfortable (not least avoid paying for the privilege) but I will at the same time always give something a try. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right part of the countries yet! Was it recently that you travelled to these countries? I wonder if things might have improved since I went to Morocco a few years ago.. xxx

      • I think because it was so random, it made me laugh, which stopped me from getting too angry! I went to both in 2012. I went to Dahab in Egypt, which was more tolerant of Westerners than Tunisia I think. We were restricted to our resort more in Tunisia (in Hammamet) and it was clear the locals weren’t as used to us. Half of me feels I invaded their space so I should expect being treated that way, half of me thinks it just isn’t right… It’s a shame as I’d just like to get on with everyone really :-p

      • Sorry for the late reply – only just saw this comment! Great point though – this is something that perhaps I should take into account a bit more. I guess the way that travel has opened up the world to us means that some communities are going to feel invaded and that this might be met with resentment or unease when we are walking around their home towns, whether we are well behaved or not – we are just different. I’m the same as you, I just want to experience everything and make friends along the way, hopefully we won’t end up in a situation like this again! 🙂

  2. I really love your blog Lucy, and we’re so similar I think we’d get on well! I am complete festival fiend and also LOVE This Festival Feeling! Sorry to hear about your holiday misfortunes 😦

    Efia @ effytalkslife.blogspot.com

    • Thanks Efia, such a lovely comment 🙂 Ahh I’m sure we would if you’re a festival chick! Have you got any planned for this summer? If you like writing and festivals, you’d be more than welcome to become one of our writers and you’d be able to get free tickets to one in exchange! Let me know if you’re interested xx

  3. Hahaha oh dear, I’m sorry about all your stuff getting stolen! I’ve had a few…

    1) On a school trip to go skiing two german boys were banging on our hostel room window threatening to throw a brick through it and come beat us up. We had to get out of our room at like 1 in the morning and go to our teachers room (who was half naked and in bed). Cringe.

    2) When I went to Bulgaria a few years ago with my boyfriend and a few friends on the last day I ate this massive gross kebab thing and was really ill. My boyfriend was too and I almost fainted in the hotel lobby.

    3) On the same holiday one of the girls who came with us just decided not to do anything. She didn’t come out in the night and if she did she went home early and most of the time just sat in her room crying. I don’t even know.

    4) One family holiday to one of the canary islands I got so badly sunburnt I couldn’t wear a bra for a week. I’m ginger with fair skin so it was expected…

    I’m sure there’s lots more! Hahah xx

    • Thanks hun – was pretty crappy but definitely didn’t let is ruin my holiday! Aww you poor thing, food poisoning is the worst and sunburn. I’m lucky with my skin tone I’ve only burnt once – it must be so difficult having lighter skin and being so much more careful! How random is the first one – but ewww about the teacher (you’d never get that image out of your head when in lessons would you?!) 3 is just odd – some people are just so strange, but I’m sure she had her reasons! haha I always think that these are great because you always end up really laughing about them after and remembering the holiday – not great at the time, but I always made sure they didn’t ruin the whole trip. haha thanks for sharing – made me laugh! xx

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