My Undisclosed Bad Travel Moments
We generally tend to only share our most amazing travel experiences and highlight the beautiful places we visit on social media making each escape look perfect. Far beyond that though, there is so much more that happens and which is rarely shared on our Instagram accounts, such as expecting to see a beautiful landscape which is then ruined by bad weather, or wanting to capture an iconic monument but desisting after a while due to the number of tourists.
Here’s a list of some of my bad travel moments which I have not yet openly shared on social media (which of course, in hindsight, are not that bad as things can always be worse …):
Fracturing my elbow before going to Mexico
This was rather annoying for me considering that I had planned to go scuba diving, paddle boarding and doing many other things but I still managed to get around and go snorkelling and swimming in cenotes with one arm – my adventurous side cannot be taken away that easily and thankfully I had a great friend with me who helped all the time…
Visiting the Trevi Fountain when it was under renovation
It’s always such a disappointment when you’re so excited about seeing a particular monument and for it then not to be in its normal form due to works… Especially when you see lots of people sharing beautiful pictures once it’s been perfectly renovated.
Going to Lake Como in the summer and having the worst weather conditions
I think it was really unlucky that on the weekend we went to Lake Come we had rain, thunder, strong winds and Como town was partially flooded. We managed to get a few light sunny spells but clearly this was not what we were expecting. There was no point in us packing a bikini really… We still enjoyed though our boat tours across the lake whilst visiting the charming towns.
Being followed in Morocco
Upon arriving in Tangier by boat from Spain we were followed by a Moroccan man who wanted us to pay him to be his guide. We kindly told him that we weren’t interested as we knew the city very well (which was a lie of course as it was our first time ever) but he just kept on following us whilst we were leaving the port and then even started to be rude to us when we ignored him.. We had to go into a shop for him to stop and after that everything was fine. The best thing to do in these kinds of situations is to just be cool and walk away. Don’t ever panic or show that you’re scared.
Missing the Northern Lights 3 nights in a row in Lapland
Sometimes we wish we could just control Mother Nature, especially when it comes to seeing the Northern Lights. It’s not that easy to catch this natural phenomenon as there are so many factors that need to be in your favour for you to see them clearly. We didn’t see them this year when we went to Kakslauttanen in Finland as it was too cloudy. Thankfully I had just about already seen them previously in Sweden but nothing like the amazing photos you see online.
Going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe on a very cloudy day
Sometimes you’re so desperate to do something or see a particular place that you don’t mind the weather however I was quite disappointed when I reached the top of the Arc de Triomphe and just about managed to see the Eiffel Tower due to the fog… Even so, the view was still beautiful and luckily for me I currently live in Paris so I can always go back up another day when it’s sunny.
Realising that the photos taken with my phone on several holidays are terrible
There is nothing worse than realising that your photos from a holiday are of really bad quality or even losing your camera and having no photos at all. For example, my photos from Marrakech, Budapest and Prague were taken with my phone and came out really badly. Back then I didn’t have a travel blog or IG account so I didn’t pay that much attention to the quality of my photos. I’m still doubting as to whether I should post them on my blog or not…
Being really ill in Brazil
Before our flight from Salvador to Natal, I ate a meat empanada at the airport that made me extremely ill upon arrival in Pipa for the next couple of days; Food poising can happen when you travel as our bodies are not used to the local foods so we just to be a bit more careful than usual. It’s also good to be prepared with the appropriate medicine just in case…
Missing out on the natural side of Cuba
I went to Cuba with a group of 30 people from university which a friend and I organised. We stayed a few nights in Havana and then stayed in an all-inclusive hotel in Varadero! With time, I now regret not adventuring out to visit more of this beautiful island but I guess it gives me a good reason to return someday! I was probably a bit too young and naive I guess…
Accidently skiing off a cliff
I have being skiing since I was little and have obviously had several accidents. A few years ago, I had the worst fall in the French Alps and thought that was the end of my days as I accidently skied over a cliff not seeing the boundary due to bad fog. I was so lucky to not even have a scratch or any fractures or sprains considering that I fell on my back and wasn’t wearing a helmet… I guess I was saved by my guardian angel. This hasn’t stopped me from skiing though as it’s something I love (I was actually back on my skies the next day after the fall…)
Flight getting cancelled due to bad weather
You can’t control the weather and sometimes the conditions are so bad that the airline company will decide that it’s safer to cancel the flight. This happened to us recently with our flight to Boa Vista which got cancelled because there was a sandstorm and visibility to land was very poor. This is such an annoying thing, especially when you’re going to a destination where there are only a couple of flights a week. On the bright side though, it’s better that way than to fly and have something bad happen… Plus even if we had gone there, we probably wouldn’t have had the best time if there was a big sandstorm going on!
Being disappointed by all meals in Prague
I don’t think I had the right recommendations when I went to Prague with my best friend as none of the meals we had were really that good a part from breakfast at our hotel! Despite the food, the city is beautiful and we manged to find some lovely cafes where we ate some delicious cakes and pastries.
Being pickpocketed in Madrid
When we travel we tend to be more laid back and let our guards down. This of course is a good thing but you always need to stay alert as there are usually pickpockets lingering around, especially in major cities such as Madid, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, etc. It happened to me twice in Madrid just after I moved there…
Experiencing an Airbnb nightmare
Last summer friends and I rented a villa in Ibiza and we were aware that the hosts were living there on the upper floor. That wasn’t an issue for us and everything seemed alright when we arrived. However, when we got back later in the evening they were having a party with lots of people smoking, drinking, and taking drugs…We couldn’t believe our eyes! We were not happy at all and tried to resolve the situation with the hosts but obviously they were on another planet at that time and didn’t care. The girl even had the nerve to come in our room at some stage saying weird things to us. I must say we were a bit afraid... It was too late to go elsewhere for the night so we just stayed there and left really early in the morning. Airbnb were very responsive about the situation and they reimbursed our stay and removed the villa from their website. I have used Airbnb in the past and never had any bad experiences so I guess this was just an unlucky occasion…
Not finding Leo’s star on the Walk of Fame
OK so you might not find this is that bad but when you go searching for your favourite actor’s star on the Walk of Fame in LA and just can’t find it you start to think you may have missed it due to the amount of people who are also frustratingly searching for theirs… I came to the conclusion that they’re probably just wasn’t Di Caprio’s star... Thankfully, I found Johnny Deep’s one and that brought a smile to my face.
As you can see, none of these experiences are really that bad but I think that it’s good to bring them up as no bad travel moment or experience should demotivate you from travelling or stop you from returning to a particular destination. I wanted to share my so-called “bad” experiences with you because it forms part of travelling and the more you travel the more you live a mixture of different experiences, both good and bad.
The most important thing is to embrace the good moments and to learn from the bad ones to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes or see how you can avoid them in the future. Like anything in life, you learn from your mistakes and nothing is ever perfect so don’t let the little hiccups ruin your travels and instead focus on the good things and enjoy the company of the person you’re travelling with or those you might meet on the road.
Do remember that most of the things that may happen when traveling can also happen to you at home so don’t be afraid or apprehensive about travelling anywhere in the world. As long as you’re smart and stay aware, everything should be OK. So get out there, embrace local cultures and have trust in the people you meet!
What's your worst travel moment or experience?