Saturday, January 21st, 2017

My Worst Travel Moments of 2014

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You’ve got to take the good with the bad. And just because I’m on the road most of the time, it doesn’t mean I’m immune to bad times. Far from it. No matter how much you travel, it can often be challenging and stressful.

I really enjoy writing about the crappy times on the road — I think it’s important to show you the full range of travel, not just the pretty, Pinterest-worthy times. More importantly, I want you to realize that experiencing tough times does not mean you’re a failure at travel. There will be times when you’re lonely. There will be times when you’re frustrated. There will be times when you’ll be second-guessing your decision to be wherever you are.

It’s part of the travel experience, and once you hit a low point, recognize that it’s normal and okay to feel that way. Do what you need to do to lift your spirits. Skype your family. Spend an afternoon alone in your room watching YouTube videos. Sign up for a pub crawl at the nearest party hostel. Go for a long hike. Pick up a hot stranger. Then get back to having the adventure of a lifetime.

As amazing as 2014 was, I had a lot of moments I’d rather forget. Some of them darker than others.

You’ve already heard my best travel moments of 2014 — here are the worst ones!

New Mexico Rental Car

Rear-Ending a Car

I’m not going to divulge exactly where this incident took place (that photo is from New Mexico in 2008), but you can figure out from my travels that I rented cars in LOTS of places this year. Well, I rear-ended someone while driving one of those cars. Because I am a colossal idiot.

It was on the highway, but there was a lot of traffic and our collision was at a slow speed. I am extremely thankful that it wasn’t worse. There was definitely visible damage on my bumper but none on the car I hit, so they were happy to just go.

I dreaded returning the car to the rental company, wondering if they’d charge me $1000 or more for damage. I held my breath as they inspected it…

…and found no damage.

WHAT?!

I couldn’t believe it. You bet I returned the forms and got out of there as soon as humanly possible.

Kate on a Train in Sri Lanka

Getting My Wallet Stolen in Colombo

As much as I loved riding the trains in Sri Lanka, the ride from Hikkaduwa to Colombo was rough. I got my ass groped early on the ride (“HEY. MOTHERF*CKER. Do not touch me. Do not touch me EVER,” I yelled at him; he shrugged and kept moving down the aisle).

Then when we landed in Colombo, suddenly there was a surge of people getting on and nobody would move out of the way to let us off. I yelled, “Hey!” and tried to push through. Colombo wasn’t the train’s final stop, despite being the capital and largest city; I was afraid my friends and I would end up stuck.

So I pushed through like crazy, just trying to get off the train, not holding my purse tightly to me like I usually do. And as soon as I got off, I realized my purse felt lighter and it had been unzipped. My wallet was gone.

The good news is that I was prepared. I didn’t carry much cash in my wallet and I had a backup credit card hidden in my main luggage, along with some cash. After getting to the hotel, I made calls to cancel my credit cards — none had been used — and turned my backup card into a debit card. I was all set for money until I got home to my new cards.

In the grand scheme of things, I’d much rather lose my wallet than my phone, camera, passport, or computer.

There was one thing I’d do differently next time, though — I’d keep my second debit card as one of the backups. I had it with me in my main wallet because some of the ATMs in Sri Lanka were finicky and wouldn’t accept my regular debit card; I should have moved it to my secret hiding place as soon as I returned from the ATM.

San Francisco Best View

The Worst Jet Lag Ever in San Francisco

Flying from Asia to the Americas is always rough, but Hong Kong to San Francisco isn’t quite as bad — just an eight-hour difference.

Still, east to west tends to be rougher for me than west to east, and I ended up with the worst jet lag of my life. I was waking up at 4:00 AM every day and binge-watching the new season of House of Cards; I would then fall asleep in the middle of the day.

The worst part was when having dinner with some friends. My eyes kept fluttering shut, and I was convinced that Stamper was having dinner at the next table. Yes, I was so jet-lagged that I was mixing up House of Cards and real life.

Kate Mardi Gras

Hello, Head Lice!

I first pulled a bug out of my hair in San Francisco. Even though my scalp was getting itchier and itchier, I was in a great state of denial, telling myself that it was just dandruff, the bug was a random fluke, and all I needed was some heavy-duty Head and Shoulders.

By the time I noticed more bugs in my hair in New Orleans, I had to face the truth — I was nearly 30 and had head lice. Thankfully, this is an issue easily solved: a trip to the pharmacy and a lice-killing shampoo, followed by a detangling come-through from root to tip (pro tip: leave a ton of conditioner on your ends while you do this!), a second shampoo and comb-through a week later, and I was lice-free.

Berlin Bear Brandenberg Gate

Losing Berlin Bear

Berlin Bear had been my tiny traveling companion for more than a year, and I loved taking photos of him around the world. I even dreamed of making his adventures into a kids’ book someday. Then while I was back in Berlin after more than a year of travel with him, he went missing while on a train to Potsdam.

I was a lot more upset than I thought I’d be. I just hope he was picked up by a kid and off to a new Berlin home.

French Quarter Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Without the Drinks

If there’s anything I learned in the past year, it’s there are certain experiences you shouldn’t do — or, more accurately, I shouldn’t do — with a travel partner who very rarely drinks. Mardi Gras is one of them. Yes, you can enjoy Mardi Gras without drinking if you want to, but things really aren’t balanced if you want to have a drink, your partner doesn’t want to drink at all, and you’re feeling sick with guilt to the point that you have to rehearse asking permission to have a drink in your mind, lest you appear like the resident drunk.

On Fat Tuesday, I had exactly one drink: a purple voodoo daiquiri on Bourbon Street. Which I really enjoyed — it tasted like Dimetapp! And I loved Dimetapp when I was a kid! But I still felt guilty and awful about it.

Had I gone to Mardi Gras with different friends, it would have been a very different experience. Dancing on tables, dancing in the street, singing, making tons of new friends, drinking tons of purple voodoo daiquiris. Like my trips to Vegas used to be. That’s how I really wanted to celebrate, and now I think I need to go back to enjoy Mardi Gras without the guilt trip.

Jetwing Era Beach Sri Lanka

Getting Sick in Sri Lanka

I knew I was going to get sick in Sri Lanka — the combination of little sleep due to jet lag, a packed schedule, a completely different climate, and late nights with friends was the recipe for a nasty cold. First the sniffles arrived, and I hunkered down, knowing it was going to get worse.

Well, within a six-hour time span, I had gone from light sniffles to feeling tired and achey to having a high fever and chills so violent I couldn’t stop shaking. As hot as it was outside, I wrapped myself in fleeces and blankets, my teeth chattering.

I experimented with natural remedies this time — a lot of raw garlic, honey, and an entire raw red onion — and they really did the trick. My mystery illness left as quickly as it arrived, and I was back to normal within a few days.

I’ve only had chills that bad once in my life before, and it was a full decade ago. Let’s hope I can avoid them for ten more years.

harlem-snow-gallery

Heat-Free NYC

When I arrived in New York in March, my sister’s apartment had no heat. There had been an explosion in her neighborhood the week before and all the apartment units had to have the heat turned off so they could check for gas issues. (It’s a good thing they did, because there was actually a leak in her apartment.)

But then they didn’t turn the heat back on. The building management kept coming up with reasons why they couldn’t. And this was March in New York — temperatures were below freezing most days. It was so bad, we were showering by microwaving bowls of water and splashing them on ourselves.

Altogether, the heat was out for a few weeks and wasn’t turned back on until the local news did a story on it. The building management was able to magically turn the heat back on just before the segment was broadcast, of course. But I was already out of New York by then and taking long showers at home in Massachusetts.

Mindil Beach Sunset Black and White

“You’re lucky we’re doing this for you.”

I won’t say where this took place, but I was working on a campaign this year and had a bit of an ugly confrontation. I was working with another blogger and we were presented with an issue that required us to pay money out of pocket for something that was supposed to be provided for us.

I know this sounds ambiguous; I don’t want to get into more detail than that. When we brought the issue up with the people responsible, their response was, “You’re lucky we’re doing this for you.”

That infuriated me.

As hard as I work, as many years as I’ve worked tirelessly building this audience, even the people hiring me to do paid work for them still think that I’m doing this for the travel perks. This is my job. I do it for the money because my student loan bills can’t be paid in the form of comped hotel rooms. And in most cases, travel bloggers are still grossly underpaid for the work they do, especially when it comes to content creation.

We did eventually come to an agreement, and things went smoothly for the rest of the campaign, but that confrontation was a bitter reminder that however much travel blogging grows as an industry, there will be people who don’t take our work seriously, even when they’re the ones hiring us.

Paris Marais

Missing the Train to Paris

The day before, I had moved my belongings out of our flat before confronting my fiancé about what I knew and breaking up with him. I then proceeded to cry and get sh*tfaced with my friends at a pub and crashed on my friend Dylan’s couch.

The next day, I was supposed to take the train to Paris for my thirtieth birthday. I left Dylan’s place for King’s Cross, but I ended up on an overground train that shut down, resulting in me missing my train by minutes. A one-way ticket on the next train would cost more than $150 and I couldn’t use my miles for a same-day ticket.

I went up to the Eurostar counter, knowing that my tickets were nonrefundable and nontransferable, just to see what they would say.

“Is there anything, anything that you can do?” I asked an agent named Irshaad as my voice wavered, a tear dripping off my eyelashes.

He softened. “What’s wrong?”

I burst into sobs and revealed everything. How I had left him yesterday. How it was my thirtieth birthday tomorrow. How I was supposed to go to Paris with him for my birthday, and how I had paid for everything, as usual, because if I didn’t pay for it, nobody would pay for it. How I didn’t even want to go to Paris in the first place, I really wanted to go to Santorini or San Sebastian, but I chose Paris because it was the easiest option for my fiancé. How I’d just cancel the trip altogether but my friends who owned a rental company had comped me a flat for a few days and I didn’t want to let them down.

Irshaad, an incredibly kind man, listened to my story, brought me water and tissues, and booked me a business class ticket on the next train. For free. With a meal. And he left his desk to walk me through security to the business class lounge. I hugged him at the end, still crying.

“I’ve been in your position before,” he told me before giving me parting advice, saying goodbye, and going back to his desk.

I was so shocked and touched by Irshaad’s kindness. I spent my time in the lounge writing a long message to his supervisor, telling him what an amazing employee he had.

Paris was awful. My 30th was the worst birthday I’ve ever had. And being a blogger, I had to lie and pretend I was having a great time so as not to appear a complete mess. But Irshaad was a gentle candle in the darkness of my life, and I’ll never forget him for that.

Helsinki

Getting Dive-Bombed by a Seagull in Helsinki

And to end on an amusing note, I was walking through Helsinki with my friend Sami and enjoying a large soft serve ice cream when all of a sudden, a giant seagull dive-bombed me from behind, knocking the ice cream off my cone.

I shrieked (I’m absolutely terrified of birds), and it was over in an instant, ice cream splattered all over my legs. But it got better. I turned around to find a crowd of Chinese tourists snapping photo after photo.

So if you ever go to China and find random pictures of me in albums from Helsinki, now you know why.

What was your worst travel moment of the year? Share away!

Comments

125 Responses to “My Worst Travel Moments of 2014”
  1. Most stand-out aspects of this post:

    1. I’m so sorry you had such a shitty 30th birthday! So glad the train guy was nice, but really. You need to do it up right for 31. (Thirty-one was harder for me that 30 for some reason. So make 31 epically good.)

    2. I will never understand people who make others feel guilty for drinking habits. I remember going out with someone once who told me she didn’t drink when I ordered mine. I said, “Okay!” and smiled, anticipating the arrival of my awesome craft cocktail. She was shocked I didn’t have more to say about it, but frankly, it’s none of my business. My husband drinks WAY less than I do and I love it because he’s always my DD. These things are fine as long as you’re with someone who realizes that you can make your own decisions and they can make theirs.

    3. Head lice??! I had that once as a kid. I still have nightmares. Now I’m going to be touching my head for the rest of the day.

  2. “You’re lucky we’re doing this for you.” Sounds very familiar. For me the internet is for the small scale to have their voice heard globally, yet the larger players try to shut the door on anyone or anything that they feel is a threat.
    I love travel and reading about travellers’ experiences but I get really annoyed when people/businesses behave in a negative way towards others.
    The answer is cooperation – everyone wins but we’re stuck with a mentality that it’s all about winning and beating others.
    Keep going Kate – love the down to earth writing! (hope you take that as the compliment its meant to be).

  3. So sorry to hear you’re 30th (and paris) wasn’t the best… I hope that your year has started getting better in the love department. I know what you mean about being a blogger and not wanting to let everyone in on the truth right away.

    You got damn lucky on that fender bender though!! Good going 😀

  4. Anna says:

    My worst experience of the year was encountering a lot of Russia-hate while traveling in the Baltics this September. People turned outright hostile as soon as they learned where I was from, to the utter shock of my Irish traveling companion.

    • Lina says:

      After reading your post (and comments) about it, I’m actually not surprised. It’s all true about the USSR – the Baltic states value their pre-Soviet history much, much more for a valid reason.

      Katie, sorry for this offtopic

  5. Renuka says:

    It’s important to mention the worst travel moments along with the best ones – the challenges on the road make us better travelers. I, too, had some bad moments this year – fell sick, missed a train (just like you) and many other financial challenges, but it was all enriching in the long run.

  6. Lydia says:

    The part about Mario sounds kinda passive aggressive. “what I knew”…no one else would pay for it…more convenient for him. You gotta let these things go or at least explain them in full if your going to post about it. You wanted to marry the guy within a few months of knowing him, no one thought it was going to work out.

  7. Lydia says:

    That doesn’t really answer the question now does it? Denial is ugly.

  8. Ashley says:

    Even though you had some horrible experiences this year, it seems as though luck was still on your side- especially with the fender bender and stolen wallet. The story about Irshaad was so touching, and I was smiling as I was reading about his kind gesture.

  9. Okay, the train one totally made me want to cry. I swear, sometimes people are saints when we’re really bad off. I’m not even going to say anything about the lice, that sucks so bad. I’m totally lice-phobic. And if I lost my stuffed animal, I’d be very sad. I have a little camel named Einstein.

    I’d say my worst travel moments were being sick with a bad cold my last week at a paradise resort in the Philippines, followed by two sick days in a cold, rainy Osaka, and a long long long migraine flight back. Then my feet were swollen and in the airport I was getting huge bloody blisters. Then my flight was delayed, and then we got a flat tire going home. Lol. One of those things.

  10. Kate I know how you feel! Especially with the wallet. I just got my purse stolen feet away from me, which only thing important in it was my wallet and my passport. Still recovering from it! I never want to lose my wallet ever again…I hope you have a better 2015!!

  11. Jayne says:

    I had the same thing happen to me with the seagull. I wa sitting by the opera house in Sydney, when one came over my shoulder and ripped my sandwich from my hands. I shrieked, but at the same time all I could think of was the seagull saying mine, mine, mine.

  12. Miquel says:

    Although I’m sorry you had such a shitty 30th I love the story about the train. It is so amazing how in our darkest moments the smallest acts of kindness from complete strangers can lift us up.

  13. Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know that big travel bloggers are also real people with not-so-perfect travel experiences.

    So sorry to hear that your birthday was so terrible, but it’s nice to hear about the kindness and compassion some people have, and that you were lucky to have met someone like that in that situation.

    I’ll always remember on my 24th birthday, I missed my bus home from Busan in Korea and was so completely mixed up because I couldn’t understand anything. A man who spoke English helped me out and got me to the right bus. I spent 7 hours at a bus station, and then 4 hours on a bus, and had to work early the next morning. It was a pretty bad birthday, but luckily since then I’ve had nowhere to go but up!

  14. Thank you for sharing the “real” and not-so-great parts of travel, as well! I am so happy you found Irshaad when you really needed him; that was so nice of you to write to his supervisor. I always try to leave positive comments when an employee has been especially helpful; I feel like otherwise people only hear the bad stuff, and that’s no fun! (Kind of the opposite of most travel blogging, haha.)

  15. Ashley says:

    OMG Irshaad! You saint!

  16. Oh goodness. I’ll drink to you having a better 2015.

    Head lice- I taught Pre-K before I started blogging and let me tell you, those with the cleanest hair get it. I ended up not washing my hair for ages (Yay pretty head scarves) to stay critter free. I’m scratching just thinking about it.

    I feel that people can be so impossibly kind when we need them the most. For some reason it just makes me cry more. Sorry about the sh*tty birthday. Next year can only be better right?

    Also sorry about the haters in the comments, cowards hide behind keyboards.

  17. thelugage says:

    Wow. Your story about Irshaad really touched me. ..like, seriously lol. It’s incredibly amazing the way some people can enter your life for just a second and yet leave you with a memory that last a lifetime. I’m glad he was there just when you needed him 😀

  18. Laryssa says:

    Firstly– I am SO sorry. These are major, major blows.

    But can I just commend your professionalism?!
    I’ve read your posts all year, and had NO idea this was happening behind the scenes.
    Travel bloggers that complain frequently make me nuts…but this right here is the way to do it. Respect x1000. You’re a rockstar, Kate.

    • Thank you so much, Laryssa. When your blog is your life, it’s often difficult to know just how much you should share. I’m glad I was able to strike a good balance this year. This summer was SO hard, you have no idea!

  19. Emily says:

    I love following your adventures Kate! As a wanderlust at heart, reading about your adventures inspires me to pack a bag, throw caution to the wind and book a flight with reckless abandon!! How you write reflects the anticipation, emotions, and experiences perfectly and it feels like i am right there experiencing these wonderful places too!

    Good times would not be so great without the bad times, and i appreciate you sharing them with us; I feel it gives people a sense that you are human too! I wish you a wonderful ending to 2014 and I can’t wait to see and hear about what you will do with the new year!! Cheers!!

  20. Kate, Of all the travel bloggers out there, you are the only one I CONTINUALLY come back to reading. Your posts are so real and honest and you have a knack for telling a STORY, not just sharing tips and hacks like many other bloggers do. I really admire that about you. Your writing is relatable and always interesting.

    Sounds like your year was not your best, but I hope 2015 is much better for you. 😀

  21. PS: I’m glad you enjoyed my Ron Swanson references the other day on Facebook 😀

  22. Michelle says:

    Ah these stink! We had a really bad hotel stay that ruined a part of one of our trips. I was being cheap and booked a cheap hotel since it was just a stop along our trip. The hotel room had blood stains on the floor! 🙁

  23. Rob says:

    Well, as years go that wasn’t so bad. Except for the breakup, of course. That sucks. Been there.

    Oddly, while not in the context of a breakup, I hated my 30th birthday. I was living in Sweden and had an awesome life, but turning thirty freaked me out. I felt like my life was over, etc.. etc…

    Of course, it wasn’t and life continued to be awesome. If I hadn’t *known* that I was turning 30 (why is that magic?) it would have been a normal birthday. And life would have continued to be great without any pointless stress….

    Anyway.. I’m sure 2015 will have some challenges, but you’ll deal with them with your usual aplomb.

    🙂

  24. Wowza those sound awful. Mine was missing a flight in Florida to get back to LA. I literally ran through the airport to reach the gate at least 10 minutes prior to take-off but they’d closed it early. The man working the gate was incredibly unhelpful and it just sent me into a bad mood so I started crying like a spoiled child. Luckily, my missed connection was the fault of the airline, so I was comped a hotel stay and given meal vouchers. But I was still pretty grumpy about it!

    Thanks for this round-up!

  25. Shivya Nath says:

    Love your honesty always, Kate. Reading (and probably writing) about your worst moments could feel like it’s been a tough year, but your best travel moments sounds like it’s been a more awesome year than many others will have had 🙂 The way you take it in your stride inspires me.

  26. NZ Muse says:

    Irshaad sounds like a gem. What a lovely soul.

    I’m sorry you had such a lame birthday. I didn’t do much travel this year so no travel disasters, but I was sick on my birthday and it was a total write off.

    This post also made me think of the recent New Girl episode, LAXmas, if you’ve seen it!

  27. Andrew says:

    SNAP! – i had my wallet lifted on a train in Colombo too, in 2013! Freaky. The only time I’ve ever been pick pocketed in my life! I understand about Berlin Bear too… sometimes things like that can have a deep effect on you. He’s like a little mascot and very important!
    great idea for a post too. Travel has its highs, but it’s lows are always there too.

  28. Ruth Higgin says:

    My worst travel moment this year was falling down wooden steps near Cains Queensland, passing out, making my son think I was dead, coming too as the ambulance arrived. Felt battered and bruised for a few days.
    Sorry to hear about your 30th birthday, I don’t remember mine. It is so depressing to think I will be 60 next February, life is really so short and I still feel I have a lot of travelling to do while fit. Australia again in Jan. 2015, year after Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos if my husband can be persuaded!
    Enjoy what ever comes your way next year.

  29. Head lice is one of my worst fears. I’m itching my head just thinking about it. Both my younger sisters got it when we were kids, but luckily I never did. I love that you are so honest in your posts. So may travel bloggers just show the good things, but like life in general, there are ups and downs. We all just hope the ups outweigh the downs! Here’s to a new year! 🙂

  30. Lindsey says:

    This is why you’re my favourite, Kate!

    If it makes you feel any better, my now-husband and I spent a miserable Christmas Day in Honduras a couple of years ago. I had the squirts and he came out of the bathroom screaming that there was something moving inside of his mozzie bites…he had botfly! We killed the maggots by painting nail polish over their breathing holes and then had to squeeze them out like an ultimate pimple!

    We met someone on the road who told us about Type 1 and Type 2 Fun and all of this reminds me. Type 1 fun is all like, oh I’m having so much fun. Type 2 fun is when the situation is so, so awful that you know you’ll have fun telling people about it later! Keep it up, hon!

  31. Kelly says:

    I love how you always share the good and bad about travel instead of sugarcoating everything!

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t have the best time around your 30th birthday. Hopefully things are all up from here!

    Also, I can relate to the seagull story. I’ll never forget when I was younger and I was eating an ice-cream and a seagull flew down, grabbed it straight out of my hands and flew off with it haha!

    Looking forward to reading about your travels in 2015! All the best x

  32. Aw, I’m sad about your bear! I’m such a suck for inanimate objects that also happen to be cute.
    I had a friend who got head lice in SE Asia and her friends picked out each one for her one by one with tweezers. Nice friends, hey!

  33. Sarah says:

    I have to admit, I was curious as to the cause of your break up (because I’m nosy), but I had thought with your original post it seemed like it was some variant of ‘once we weren’t focused on the year long trip, we realized our long term goals were compatible’ or something significant but benign. I’m sad to hear that that clearly wasn’t the case! And having to deal with that just days before the first real getting-older-milestone birthday must have been awful!

  34. Edna says:

    You know, I’ll be back in Paris in February — if you want to pop by and hang out with all the best bartenders in Paris, let me know…

  35. I remember how upset you were about the Berlin Bear. I’m sorry. 🙁 And head-lice. Ughhhhhh! I’m so sorry that your 30th birthday was not as it should be, but you can always celebrate it again next year as once you’re 30, you’re always “30” LOL!

    My worst travel moment this year is taking my husband to Asia for the 1st time and he getting ill in Thailand. We also went to Indonesia and by the time we got there, he spent the rest of the holiday in bed, and now isn’t a fan of Bali. 🙁 Thank goodness, I had organised a house so that he had all the comforts of a resort. Oh, and on our way home, we missed all our flights, 5-star hotel, VIP service in Qatar and had to go to Korea instead! It’s a long story but I’ll be writing all about it on my blog next week LOL!

  36. De'Jav says:

    Seems like you had some bad experience. Looking from the outside in some of them all you can do is laugh. I must say though getting robbed and being prepared probably made that experience a little better.

  37. Karyn Jane says:

    Reading between the lines here and understanding just a little bit of how horrible a year this has been for you. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that.

    My worst travel moment this year was…not travelling! We had our whole massive trip to the States planned and had to shelve it because I was out of work for longer than expected. Still waiting on a refund from Airbnb too which sucks. 🙁

  38. Oh no! Those experiences sound awful! (Though admittedly I had to giggle at the seagull.) But your birthday and everything surrounding it sounds terrible. Thank goodness for kind individuals. And thank you for the reminder that sometimes, it’s ok to be a bit miserable.

    Hope 2015 is amazing for you!

  39. Rachel says:

    Wow Kate, I’m sorry to hear about your birthday experiences- like you said, we never would have known from your posts at the time! As always, I love hearing about the challenges and low points in your life of travel as well as the highs. Thanks for letting us in on these aspects of your life. (And yeah, I’ve had a similar experience with seagulls in Florida, but it involved a hot dog.)

  40. Wow, you certainly had some rough moments this year! My recent travels brought with them a lot of shitty luck, including but not limited to: having my DSLR stolen and getting a serious bedbug infestation at a hostel in Panama City. I have been paranoid about the bugs ever since…that one really scarred me! But 2015 is bound to be better for both of us…onward and upward! xox

  41. Jessie R says:

    Thank you for sharing all aspects of travel It’s what has kept me coming back since 2010! I have really enjoyed seeing how much your travel style has changed over the last few years. Best wishes for 2015 being a better year 🙂 Stay true to you, that’s what we like to see.

  42. stephanie says:

    Bad travel moments are absolutely horrible, I always feel that I have to experience the very worst life has to offer to appreciate the best of life when I experience it 🙂

  43. annajones says:

    I feel really sorry for you…. my worst experience is stolen travel bag in Soho. London (with passport, money, travellers cheque and most important thing is my dairy). I feel helpless and blank. But local people and a travel planning company help me a lot. thanks to them.

  44. Well, here’s to your 31st birthday being a heck of a lot better than your 30th! My milestone birthdays have wound up to be disasters, too – both my 18th and 21st sucked. You really should come over and visit Taiwan at some point, you’d love it here and I can take you to eat ALL THE STREET FOOD and we can drink ALL THE MOJITOS at my fave bar.

    And there are no seagulls to dive bomb you, and wallet thieves are unlikely. I left mine on top of a washing machine in the laundromat earlier and it was still in tact when I realised it wasn’t in my pocket and I sprinted back to retrieve it, of course while wearing shoes that aren’t meant for sprinting.

  45. Renee says:

    Hi Kate, I went through a similar break up this year and I feel you 🙁 I hope I can ask you something I am struggling a little with. I similarly felt instant connection to my guy, really similar we wanted to get married right away and felt it was right! Can I ask you how you feel about this experience now? I am doubting myself as I move on, I do not know how to think back about this feeling. Thank you.

    • Something I’ve been told a few times is that you made the decision that was best for you at the time with the information you had then. It’s been a small comfort, but I agree, it’s really difficult coming to terms with everything. Months later, I’m furious with myself more than anything else; I should never have dated him, much less got engaged to him. The weekend I met him, his then-girlfriend went back to the hotel for the night and he made out with another girl in front of everyone under the guise of “I’ll never see these people again.” How did I not see it?!?!

  46. Oh my! Awesome experiences, thanks for sharing!
    I think I had many bad moments while traveling or after traveling.
    Asia was great this year..had nice times hopping from Singapore to Cambodia to Thailand..they kept me for abit at the Cambodia entry and exit while tge westerners whizzed by: I think they may have felt I wanted to Stay in their country, probably they don’t see too many African visitors. A week after I got back from Asia, I came down with fever and tonsillitis, but at least I was home.
    I was delayed at Rijeka, and had to pay a fine, as per Ryanair policies, I ran out of cash and had maxed out cards…had to call my ex to pay for me..
    Got scammed in Athens.

  47. And I missed the flight to Budapest and had to change the itinerary and go to Croatia instead, as well missed the Singapore to Amsterdam flight, was expensive getting a one way ticket shortly after..

  48. UGH… these type of experiences are THE worst. Thank goodness for kind people working in customer services, like Irshaad!

  49. Bob says:

    This is why I don’t like to travel for too long a time – a downer when travelling is so much worse than a downer at home, where you have the safety of your home, friends and family to turn to. When travelling you are so exposed to any stroke of bad fortune, so well done for keeping it up!
    And stop being afraid of birds, they are only little flying dinosaurs after all.

  50. Katie says:

    Sorry you have had such a rough year Kate! You definitely couldn’t tell from your posts that there were so many things going wrong. You have also had some amazing times this year too from reading your previous post so I am glad it wasn’t all bad! I had a run of bad luck when travelling through Central and South America last year including my passport, credit and debit cards being stolen, just before Christmas so I was stuck in Guatemala for 3 weeks waiting for a new passport and a couple of thousand pounds were charged to my cards, altitude sickness doing the Inca trail, broken toe in the Amazon, multiple road blocking strikes including being stuck for 10 days in a small town in Colombia, food poisoning while travelling through the San Blas Islands (with no toilets), money being stolen out of our room – all in the space of about 5 months! Great stories now but at the time it felt like everything was against me. Here’s to a year of amazing travels with the good outweighing the bad next year 🙂

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