Our Top 3 Travel Nightmare Stories

Our Top 3 Travel Nightmare Stories

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.

Danielle in Sydney, Australia - 1 hour before the food poisoning hit - Exploring Alternatives

I was feeling fine just 1 hour before the food poisoning hit.

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.

This is the crazy farmer when he's about to make us help him steal hay from his neighbour - Exploring Alternatives

This is the crazy farmer when he’s about to make us help him steal hay from his neighbour.

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!

Take care,


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13 thoughts on “Our Top 3 Travel Nightmare Stories

  1. Nina Wolf

    I cannot believe you’ve just shared with the world that you shit your shorts!!! I would like to applaud you and pay respect to your honesty and bravery!!! Well done, Danielle! I loved reading about your travel nightmares and have laughed out loud several times, even though I have heard the stories before and am sure it wasn’t that funny at the time! Keep posting! Much love, Nina

    1. Danielle Post author

      haha thanks, Nina! I thought it would be cleansing to share my secrets with the internet. I also hope it will make short-shitting more acceptable in the future.

      1. Jonathan

        Health comes first well before norms and acceptable behaviour! The only way for a speedy recovery is to get the “shit” out of the body. Biology comes before sociology!
        It also happened to me at school at age 7, fortunately at the toilet. I phoned my mum and asked her to call the teacher. (I asusmed the teacher will not be cooperative, which turned to be correct). Then I went home after cleaning my pants and underwear with water and soup. Nothing to be askemed off! it is part of reality many people experienced! I couldn’t have done better than that, according to my mum.


  2. louise

    Haha what a terrific read! I also cannot believe you shared your horrible experience of food poisonning with us. Love Mat even more now ♡
    Your druken story with the passport reminded me of my first trip to the Caribbean. We got drunk upon our arrival, really drunk, and lost eachother. I ended up in the dance hall getting more free alcohol and my friend was looking for me all over the resort. Then, I tried to venture to my room, by myself, extremelly drunk on Mamahuanas. (Dominican mix) Somehow, I woke up naked in my room with a very angry roommate. I dont really remember the dance hall, and I dont remember finaly getting into the room. All Iremember is trying my key in alot of doors. When the roomie found me laying there naked, we fought out loud for at least an hour. Neighbours knocking on our door telling us to shut up, and then, the resort staff asking us to quiet down or we would be sent back to Canada. Lol let’s just say, the next day, when our friends arrived at the resort, my sunglasses did not leave my face and I had a puke hole on the beach and a headache the size of America.
    I went to bed early that night….

    1. Danielle Post author

      Louise this story is amazing! I think your puke hole idea is absolutely brilliant – it may come in handy one day hahaha!

      Are you sure you weren’t in Cuba when this happened? Sounds like you were pretty drunk so it could be! We had a crazy couple of girls in the room next to ours that had a screaming fight. Maybe I was just hearing you all the way from your room ;)

  3. Ryan Biddulph

    Danielle that’s nuts! So happy you’re here to share the stories with us because that farmer sounded homicidal, lol! Sorry about the food poisoning thing. I lost 20 pounds in Muhamma, India in about 10 days after suffering through giardia. It was insane; felt like I was going to puke for like 10 days, then I did, getting rid of like no food because I had nothing to release lol…..it was a horrifying experience so I know how that stomach stuff can be.

    I actually wrote a book – on Amazon and Selz – about 10 of my wildest travel experiences and how they help folks to become better bloggers. Your experiences would have made the list!

    Thanks for the fun read Danielle and keep on inspiring!


    1. Danielle Post author

      Thanks for reading, Ryan! I’m so sorry to hear about your giardia experience – you’re very brave to have survived 10 days!

      You wild travel book sounds amazing! Feel free to link to it here so that our readers can find it :)

      PS congrats on your wedding <3

  4. Kate

    Haha! I can’t believe I’ve just now found your blog… Amazing!
    I’ve been on the road in #vanlife for just two weeks now and have already managed to have my cat pee all over my pillow, back the van into a ditch and put battery fluid into my coolant system! It seems like things are all cool and fantastic and then something crazy happens! Live and learn?! Can’t wait for what the future holds!! :)

    1. Danielle Chabassol Post author

      Kate, that sounds like a crazy 2 weeks! Hope things calm down a bit soon…or maybe not? Sometimes what seems like the worst thing that could happen ends up being a great moment. Later. When it’s all done haha. Happy exploring :)

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