Sometimes travelling isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Bad, sad and embarrassing things can happen no matter where in the world you are but hopefully, you can look back and laugh. Here is my current list of travelling mishaps.
Monkeys - Bad, Drink-Scootering - Really Bad
I am only going to admit this once... I never used to travel with insurance. Naughty, I know. That soon changed after a trip with a girlfriend to Phuket. At a monkey show, I had the cutest, tiniest, big-eyed, hyper as hell monkey jumping around on my shoulder, which was all well and good until he bit me on the cheek. Asshat. Fortunately for me, he didn't draw blood and so I was pretty sure I hadn't contracted rabies. Did I mention his name was Lucky? Go figure.
A few days after that we got way too drunk at a little bar and when someone offered to teach me how to ride a scooter I jumped at the chance (nope, was not thinking clearly on that one). We went around the block three times and on the fourth time, I forgot how to use the brakes and bumped into a parked bike. Luckily (I suppose), it was my leg that hit the bike and the Thai lady who owned it was so sweet that she refused to accept the 1000 baht I was offering. She simply dusted off her bike and gave me a band-aid for my foot!
Two lessons. Drink driving is for idiots (what is it about being on holidays that sometimes makes you do things you would never do at home?!) and NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT INSURANCE.
P.S. This trip to Thailand was before I was aware of ethical tourism. I would never attend another monkey show, knowing what I know now.
Happy Birthday to Me.
For my 21st birthday, I headed off to Singapore with a friend. She had previously been living there with her parents for 5 years and we decided to go over so she could show me what Singapore had to offer. We stayed with her parents and we were having a brilliant time checking out the sights and eating all the food.
On the day of my actual birthday, they took us out to dinner for some sweet chilli crab. My friend and I decided to split the 1kg Sweet Chilli Crab that comes with tiny sweet buns to dip into the sauce. We start with the buns and sauce when she starts having an allergic reaction after the first bite. She's allergic to peanuts and on closer inspection we can see chopped peanuts ALL through the sauce. So she starts swilling beer to try and calm down the reaction so that we don't have to leave and I decide to tackle the crab on my own, I don't want to waste it after all.
An hour after I devoured the chili crab I was blowing out candles on my birthday cupcakes when I had an itchy little bump on my forehead. My friend is still dry reaching in the bathroom from her reaction and I'm lying on the bed under the air con with a wet towel on my face because we're thinking it's just a reaction to the heat. I start coughing up a lung, my entire body is covered in itchy bumps and my throat starts closing up and then I fall asleep. The next day it's obvious I'm allergic to shellfish which actually makes a lot of sense because sometimes my tongue would get itchy eating prawns but I never really thought about it.
It was a memorable birthday to say the least. I still eat shellfish (because it's bloody delicious), just not a kilo worth at a time.
Check, Re-Check and Check Again.
I don't have the best luck catching flights. If I'm early, the flights are delayed. If I leave at the right time I get stuck in traffic/realise I forgot my wallet halfway to the airport/my Dad's car breaks down.
When I was heading to South Africa for a month of volunteering my mum was a bit devastated. She hates it when any of her kids are away for any amount of time and she was a bit teary when saying goodbye. I, on the other hand, was pretty relaxed and ready for three flights and an awesome month on the other side of the world. So relaxed, that I didn't double check my flight time and ended up arriving at the airport just as the gates were closing. I missed my flight to Sydney which also meant I then missed my flight to Johannesburg and my flight to Capetown.
I went to the Qantas desk but they couldn't get me on any flights the same day. I had booked my flights through Flight Centre and after a call to them they began organising new flights. I called Corey to come back and grab me and when I went home my Mum was so thrilled, she thought I'd decided not to go. Uh, no. Only an extra $1000 dollars later and I was off to South Africa the next day. Don't be like me, check your flight times and then re-check them.
Cursed in Fiji
My first trip to Fiji as an adult was when I was 22. I was really excited to be heading back to my Mum's village in Labasa to see all my family and see where my mum grew up (my only other trip there was when I was only six). After an amazing stay in the village it was time to head home and as we were packing our bags I noticed a tiny little itchy bite on my finger. By the time we had flown to Nadi, our stop over before heading home, my body was completely covered in red, itchy spots. They were perfect circles and you couldn't see any 'bites' as such. When mum finally saw the extent of the marks, all over my limbs and body she tells me that she thinks I've been cursed.
Now, maybe you haven't heard this but in the Pacific Island's they are very religious and they also have their native beliefs involving curses and black magic. So, I'm covered in these spots out of nowhere and my mum thinks I've somehow been cursed and there is nothing I can do about so I did not sleep well that night. The next day we fly to Brisbane and when we land, I'm still itchy and still covered in spots, so mum thinks it's safe to assume I haven't been cursed because obviously it would have stopped once we were out of Fiji. OBVIOUSLY?!. I can't say I know exactly how curses work when international travel is involved but a trip to the doctor and a steroid injection later and they finally went away.
You Get What You Pay For
For our two week trip to Canada and San Francisco, we had to get new suitcases. By the time we realised we needed new suitcases, we had 2 days until our trip so we took off to The Reject Store (that is the actual store name) and picked up two different suitcase styles for $45 each.. what a bargain! I chose the slightly bigger suitcase because duh, I pack more things.
We landed in San Francisco on our way to Alberta and we had to grab our luggage to go through customs. My suitcase was a bit worse for wear when we took it off the carousel. You could tell that the lining had broken in 2 or 3 places. Nothing I could do about it then. When we finally got to Edmonton airport the suitcase that came off the carousel resembled more of a deflated pool toy than a suitcase. The handles were barely attached, the wheels were holding on by a thread and the hard case lining had been completely broken apart so that it no longer held any shape.
The faces of people looking at us holding that poor, sad little suitcase were actually hilarious. We had both packed pretty light so we just used Corey's suitcase for the rest of the trip.
Don't skimp on the essentials. We definitely need to invest in some good luggage.
Why Sleep is a Necessity
After an amazing wedding in the prairies and an awesome week in the Rocky Mountains, we were heading to San Francisco. On our last/only night in Edmonton, our friends took us out to a couple of bars for a couple of drinks. By the time we got home we had 1-2 hours sleep and then we had a 30-minute drive to the airport. We sleepily said our goodbyes and headed in to check our bag. They have those little computer check-ins so while I'm filling it out I get Corey to weigh our bag (see the above story as to why we only had one bag) so I can enter it into the computer. The options were something like <23kg, 23-30kg, >30kg. Corey comes back with a grim face.
"The bag weighs 45kg"
I press the >30kg option and hold my breath for the cost. $400 Canadian dollars. $400 CANADIAN DOLLARS for this tiny little suitcase. My sleepy brain is trying to think of what to do when Corey chimes in,
"We'll just have to throw some stuff out."
"Why don't you throw your shit out?" (did I mention the 1-2 hours sleep?)
My brain starts trying to think again. Our bag is 45kg, that means we have to get rid of 22kg. What the hell are we going to do? I tell Corey to go weigh the bag again and then he comes back with a sheepish grin,
"It only weighs 20kg, I had it on pounds before."
Let's just say we don't function well when we don't sleep well and I'm really glad we didn't just pay the $400 or throw out half our belongings for no reason because Corey would have still been in the dog box.
Tell me your stories
Surely I'm not the only one that gets into these situations?