One of the best things about traveling is coming home to tell everyone about the crazy sh*t that happened on your trip. Mat and I have been particularly fortunate on our adventures, probably because our fears keep us out of trouble, but we’ve still had a handful of crises that we never want to live through again. For those of you who already know us, you’ve no doubt heard these stories a dozen times. If you’re a new friend, we’re excited to share our top 3 travel nightmare stories and how we coped with each one.
1. Mat’s passport is stolen from a bar in Rome at midnight; we’re both a bit drunk and we don’t speak Italian.
I’m a bit ashamed to say that the first thing I did was laugh hysterically and then crouch down in an alley for a quick pee. Once I got that out of the way, Mat tried to convince me that we should get some food and not worry about the passport. Instead of giving in to Mat’s cravings, I dragged him to visit 2 police stations to see if they could help us, which turned out to be a completely useless endeavour. Aside from the fact that we could barely communicate, the officers seemed more interested in dealing with the pretty ladies they had in their office than with our passport problem. When they told us to come back in the morning, I took matters into my own hands. We went back to our hostel, snuck behind the front desk and secretly used their computer and phone (remember that time before WiFi existed?). We somehow managed to contact a passport office in Canada and filed a stolen passport report.
The worst part about having Mat’s passport stolen turned out to be the 3-days we spent waiting around and running errands to prove Mat’s identity, get new photos, and scrounge up the money to pay for the new passport.
2. I am unexpectedly and violently stricken with food poisoning in downtown Sydney and can’t make it back to our hostel.
15 minutes after feeling a pain that I thought was a menstrual cramp, I found myself crying and violently throwing up under the bridge near Circular Quay. I was getting sick was right between a popular tourist area and the downtown business district, right at 5pm. Needless to say, I was getting a lot of looks from passersby who thought I was a drunken lunatic. When we thought I was done sharing my lunch with the world, we hopped on a bus to get back to our hostel. Unfortunately we had to get off the bus after only a few blocks because my hands had cramped up into little fists and I also had to be sick several more times. Realizing that I was seriously ill, Mat snuck me into the second floor bathroom at the Hilton (they wouldn’t let me use their bathroom when he asked the first time), and left me for what felt like hours so that he could find a place for us to sleep that was affordable and within walking distance.
I am so thankful that Mat was there to take care of me and to find a place where I could be sick in private because less than half an hour after we got into the hotel, I shit my shorts. Yes, you read that correctly. It was humiliating. Imagine if it had happened on the street? I don’t even know what we would have done because no one wants to get involved with that kind of mess!
3. We arrive at a small farm in the South of France to do a week of volunteer work, only to discover that the farmer is a perverted, violent, alcoholic maniac.
I’ve always wanted to be a farmer so I like to incorporate a little bit of WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) into my trips when I can. I’ve had close to a dozen incredible WWOOFing experiences, but on my first trip with Mat, my luck finally ran out.
The farmer was drunk when he picked us up from the train station in the middle of the night, but we thought it was maybe just a French thing and ignored it. The next morning, we woke up in the middle of nowhere and spent the day being horrified when he punched his dog in the face, made us steal hay bales from his neighbour, yelled at us all day long and tried to convince me several times that I’d be better off sunbathing topless instead of working in the field.
When Mat and I finally had a moment alone, we quickly agreed that we had to escape. We found out that the farmer was going to run an errand the next morning and knew it was our chance to leave. We packed our bags that night and took off as soon as we could the next morning. We hitchhiked into town and then walked for 4 hours to get to the nearest train station and didn’t feel safe until we were miles away.
That’s it! I’ve just shared our worst/most embarrassing travel stories with you – now it’s your turn to share! I want to hear your travel horror stories!