Whilst travel is often full of awesome experiences and life changing moments – when you travel, you also kind of set yourself up a fall. Someone once said “It’s not a proper trip until you’ve made a fool of yourself” and I absolutely agree with that. What kind of traveller would you even be if you didn’t muck up once in a while?
So here is a list of my worst muck-ups. Enjoy.
1. Food Poisoning before a flight.
If you were part of the Birmingham-group ski trip in 2010 (I think it was 2010?!) you’ll remember this. We had all decided (all 10 of us) to meet at Gatwick airport 6 hours before the flight (it was an early morning flight – so we were going to sit it out in the airport – because of stupid train timings I think). Anyway. I was one of the first people in the group to arrive and sat with Dan and Dani in a little coffee shop in the airport, waiting for the others.
And then it gets bad. I felt a little ill, so I stood up, walked about 10 ft, and just threw up everywhere. It was not good. In fact, I could pretty much put it down as one of the worst moments of my entire life. I could barely stand, never mind ask for help – but luckily Dani had already rushed over and begun helping me get out of the way. For the following 6 hours, whilst waiting for the flight, I was curled in a pathetic ball on a hospital bed behind the scenes of the airport.
I could barely walk, stand or talk for those hours and it was literally hell. I was determined not to miss the flight though, and managed to not only board the flight – but get our whole group skipped through all the queues too. I guess being sick pays off a little bit. But yeah.
The lesson I learnt? Don’t eat Ginster’s. Especially not before a flight.
2. Swollen feet in Singapore.
I have never had swollen feet before. Actually (if I’m being honest) I always thought people just made it up. Like it was an excuse for people to stroll about the plane cabin annoying people. I’ll even admit – when people bought those fancy swelling socks – I would laugh at them and say “Haha swollen feet isn’t real. You silly person.”
But let me tell you: THEY ARE REAL.
This year on our flight to New Zealand, we had a stopover in Singapore. Now, I’ve flown that route before and never had any issues. But this time it was all very different. I didn’t really notice during the flight (because who ever pays attention to their feet during a flight) – I was too busy watching The Avengers. It was when I got off the flight that I noticed. First of all, my shoes didn’t fit. That was my first sign. The second thing? MY FEET WERE TWICE THEIR NORMAL SIZE.
I spent our stopover sleeping with my feet propped up on about 3 pillows, trying to drain away my big swollen hobbit feet. Not fun.
Lesson Learnt? Swollen feet are real. Move about the cabin when the seatbelt sign is switched off.
3. Not finding your hotel.
Philippa knows what I’m on about here. When we visited Rome for a city break – we actually did pretty well finding a nice hotel online, that was cheap and pretty central. In fact – it seemed a little too good to be true. Which is probably why we began to panic when we couldn’t find the hotel easily. I think we both though (deep down) we’d fallen victim to some kind of hotel-con.
We were told it was within this block by a local – and yet I think we walked around the entire block twice before finally locating this little buzzer on a random door – which was our hotel. Lucky for us though – the hotel was gorgeous – just incredibly hidden away.
Lesson learnt? Always print off a map or have a smart phone. So finding it is easier.
4. Bad Burning
This one didn’t actually happen to me (although I have been burnt many times) but actually to my sister. When we visited Singapore for the first (when we were mere whippersnappers) I have this awful memory of my sister getting burnt. And I have this even more awful memory of her having to take a cold shower fully clothed, because it was too painful for the water to touch the skin directly. Not good.
Lesson learnt? WEAR SUNCREAM AND LOTS OF IT.
5. Getting Stranded.
If you’ve ever been stranded in an airport, you’ll know what I mean here. It’s pretty much awful.
Last year, my sister and I were due to fly out to Dubai to spend it with our Mum (who lives over there). Our flight was due to leave on the 22nd of December – which was also when London experienced it’s worse snowstorms of the last 30 years. When we arrived at the airport, we weren’t exactly optimistic anyway as hundreds of flights had already been turned away and been cancelled and the airport was full of sad and disappointed faces.
Our airline was still running though, and they checked our baggage and let us through customs into Duty Free. We had three hours to wait for our flight. During this time the snow outside kept falling, and more and more flights started dropping off the board. Not ours though, ours just got more and more delayed – which meant for about 8 hours we were in this awful state of limbo. We were kind of hopeful – because it hadn’t yet been called off. But at the same time we were stranded in Terminal 5 (rubbish), very tired and seeing more and more people around us getting sent home with cancelled flights. By the time our flight finally got called to board – we were the only flight load left in the terminal and all of us trudged over to the plane. I think at this point – we were still expecting something to go wrong. Maybe the plane would be frozen or something and we’d have to get back off it.
But we finally got off the ground – and the sense of relief was huge. Mainly because we know Mum wouldn’t be spending Christmas alone – which would’ve been horrible. Thank you British Airways for flying through the snow.
Lesson Learnt? Always have something to do in the airport. Incase you get stranded for 8+ hours.
6. Kids being sick on you.
This bad story actually turns into a good story. But bear with me. It starts off pretty gross.
On my flight home from Singapore in 2010, I was travelling on my own, which always run the awful risk of “what if I’m sat next to a really awful human” dilema. I was feeling pretty smug when I realised I was sat in the aisle seat of the middle section (YES, only one human to worry about!!) so I thought my chances of a bad human (by this I mean; annoying, arm rest hogger, loud snorer, frequent toilet visitor type human) was slimmer.
I was even more joyous when a quiet little Korean lady and her 4 year old child sat down in the two seats to the left of me. She sat the little boy in the seat to my left and he really was very small and very quiet, and everything was lovely.
UNTIL TAKE OFF.
As soon as the plane left the ground this kid basically turned into the worst kid ever. Have you seen Looper yet?
(If not – you should, it’s really good)
Well you know the crazy-ass possessed kid in Looper? Well that’s what he turned into.
This was a long flight. And this child for the next 2 hours proceeded to not only scream at an extremely painful frequency, but kick me too. At one point I offered him my teddy bear (yes – I always fly with my bear) to calm him down. He took one look at it and I thought he might rip it’s head off. So I quickly grabbed him back and stuffed him in my bag out of sight. Not the kid – the bear.
Then it got worse. We hit some turbulence.
Crazy-boy was sick. Everywhere. On me. On my bare feet.
By this point I was getting glances from all the other passengers that literally read, “You poor girl. You don’t deserve this. I feel your pain. I would swap, but I too hate the idea of being sick on. So I will just offer you a nice sympathetic glance in the hopes you understand”. I won’t lie, I started to cry a little bit of out of sheer self pity.
The air hostess quickly came over though, and helped get me cleaned up. She even gave the boy an evil glare too. Which was satisfying. Now I know it wasn’t his fault he was sick. But he didn’t have to aim it in my direction and he had been kicking me and yelling at me for 2 hours previous to the sick incident. Anyway, the end of the story goes like this… There were no economy seats left, so I got bumped up to premium economy.
Which was full of win. Even if I did smell of sick all the way home.