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Travel isn’t only about the good times. Don’t be fooled by the perfect photos and smiling selfies — behind all the awesome times on social media are the times when you’re racing for a flight and terrified you’re about to miss it. The times when you’re sick as a dog and can barely drag yourself out of bed. The times when you’re lonely, missing good times at home. And the times when you’re frustrated at trying to order food that you end up at McDonald’s.
I like to write about those times every year because it’s a good reminder that travel is not a panacea to all of the issues in your life. If you have problems at home, the road could potentially make them worse. Some of my bad times?
In 2012, I got my credit cards hacked while in Portugal and Spain.
In 2013, I developed giant hives in Busan, South Korea, and it was nine months before they stopped popping up on a daily basis.
In 2014, I got head lice in New Orleans. Because clearly I am a small child.
In 2015, I got locked in a vestibule with a cockroach in Avola, Sicily, and had to call my Airbnb host to set me and my mom free.
And in 2016, I fell backwards and slammed my head on the bedpost in Passau, Germany, giving me my first concussion ever and necessitating a hospital visit in Munich.
2017 wasn’t one of my worst years, but plenty of shenanigans ensued along the way. Here are some of my bad times that I took with the good.
When a Piece of my Car Fell Off in Key Largo
For my second trip to the Keys this year, I was to fly into Miami and drive down to Key West before flying back. I picked up my rental car with no issues and drove through Miami for the umpteenth time that year.
Until the next day when I got to the drive-through Starbucks in Key Largo. Then I suddenly noticed a scraping noise everywhere I went.
As I pulled into a parking lot, looking for a good photography spot, a lady called out to me and pointed out that a piece of my car was dragging beneath the bumper. At that point I was about a mile from my guesthouse, so I decided to pop the plastic back into place as best I could and drive back.
It held, but soon enough it popped out again. I called the rental company. Their response? “We can get you a new car, but we’ll need to take you up to Miami and do it there.”
“I can’t come up to Miami,” I told them. “That’s three hours round-trip. I’m working. Why can’t you bring me a car?”
Turns out that was literally the only option.
After thinking about it carefully, I decided to tempt fate and borrow the guesthouse’s roll of duct tape. One of the guests insisted on helping me tape it up.
And wouldn’t you know — it held in place for two more hours, all the way to Key West.
I was terrified the whole drive, though. Never again!
The Chaotic Arrival in Russia
I’m glad I did the St. Peter Line Ferry to Russia, but I’m never doing it again. The main reason? It was completely disorganized and I had no idea what was going on. That didn’t compare to the arrival in Russia, though — it was utterly CHAOTIC upon arrival.
There were supposed to be lines at the arrival booth but everyone just swelled into a pile of lumps, pushing each other out of the way. Parents let their late arriving adult children cut ahead of others. I thought a fight would break out at one point.
And of course I ended up getting questioned for 20 minutes about my heavily worn passport filled with stamps. They were shocked that I planned to stay in Russia overnight. I had to point out that the ferry wa staying for two full days! At one point I didn’t think they were going to let me in at all.
And then I got in, and St. Petersburg was absolutely lovely…but I’m never coming by ferry again.
I will also say that my worst sleep of the year was on the St. Peter Line Ferry. Nothing like trying to sleep in what feels like an undersized twin bed as springs dig into your back and “Y.M.C.A.” blares from the nightclub right above your room…
Killing My Computer in Vail
After five years with one computer, I knew it was time to upgrade soon. Even so, I wasn’t ready for the decision to be made for me against my will.
While at my hotel in Vail, I lifted up the lid to the water bottle, forgetting that it had water in it, and it leapt out and splashed across my keyboard.
I freaked out. I turned it off, dried it out, let it evaporate. But 24 hours later, the top row of keys on the keyboard refused to work at all. And I couldn’t even get on my computer because it wouldn’t let me type my password.
The good news is that I was prepared for this and had the money saved up — even if I got it fixed, it was time for a new computer anyway. After consulting my friends in the Travel Blog Success group over which computer to get, I found a 13″ refurbished MacBook Pro and had it shipped to the Upper West Side store right away.
You know what else I bought? A silicone keyboard protector. Now that lives on my keyboard 24/7 just in case another spill is in my future.
Almost Being Late Back to the Cruise in St. Maarten
(Yes, I’m using this photo for the third time in two weeks. I can’t write about St. Maarten without sharing this photo!)
I like to be early. I like to leave extra time. For me, one of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like I’m going to be late for a flight.
So when the bus dropped me in Maho Beach and I asked about return buses, an the locals said, “It comes when it comes,” I thought I would have to leave extra early to get back on time, just in case.
But then I decided to loosen up. See more of those amazing take-offs and landings before being forced to return to the ship.
Which seemed okay…until I got a cab and the roads were filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic.
St. Maarten, at least on the Dutch side, is basically one main road. If that road is stuck, everything is stuck. And when the ride that took 20 minutes on the way there took closer to an hour on the way back, as time clicked closer and closer to the time that THE CRUISE WAS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE, I began to full-out panic.
My passport was on board. What would I do?! How long would they hold the boat for me, just in case?! When the hell would I get my stuff back? Where would they even send it?! My blood pressure was through the roof.
It was just after the time when I got back on board. God, I was relieved to make it back on time. I practically kissed the crew.
I later found out there had been a regatta that day, hence the traffic. And everybody had been caught up in the same gridlock as us, though the tour groups to Maho Beach had left much earlier as a precaution.
Never again, NEVER AGAIN, am I cutting it that close.
When I Got Attacked by Russians Online
Definitely the worst tech headache this summer was when my site got attacked by Russian networks. And I wasn’t the only one — some of my blogging colleagues were hit as well. Just like the DNC!
Basically, they were sending tons of shitty traffic to my site, trying to overload it. This also temporarily halted my display income as the traffic was so low quality.
Basically, it took a LONG ASS TIME for it to be fixed. But I will give credit where it’s due — it was the team at Sucuri who finally figured out how to block the traffic. If you’re a blogger, I highly recommend their services. It just costs $9.99 per month.
Additionally, today my site is hosted with Performance Foundry. While I’ve used different hosting companies for different reasons over the years, I’m now glad to be with PF because They Can Handle The Bad Shit and I get to worry a lot less.
Not Knowing How to Start My Car in Oulu
I haven’t had a car since 2008, when I moved from Somerville to downtown Boston. Since then, the only times I drive are when I’m home visiting my parents or when I rent a car for a trip, so it always surprises me when I see new high-tech features in cars.
Some of them are great (I love the lumbar support button in my dad’s new car!). And some are bewildering. Like trying to turn it on in the first place when there isn’t even a slot for the key. How does that work?!
It was the morning after my all-night party at the World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu, Finland, and I had to pick up my rental car and drive five hours across the country to Kuopio and then Porosalmi.
It was hard enough finding the right place — the rental office wasn’t open that day, so I had to be driven to a different location. The rental car employee dropped me off at the car with the keys and left.
I loaded up the car. I adjusted the seat and mirrors. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the car. HOW?! There was a button, and it definitely turned things on, but it was quiet and didn’t seem to be working — isn’t this how hybrid cars were now?
After fifteen minutes, I was nearly in tears. Nothing was turning the car on.
Finally, an older woman came out of a nearby apartment building and I begged her to help me. She pointed out the obvious — I was supposed to step on the break while simultaneously pushing the ignition button. The engine roared to life.
“Kiitos. Thank you so much,” I told her. “You’ve saved me.”
“You’re from America?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. “New York.”
“My daughter lives in Houston.”
And just for the record, that’s the Finnish equivalent of a deep, intimate conversation. I love that introverted country.
Every Minute I Wasted on the Landmark Forum
Have you heard of the Landmark Forum? Google it and you’ll find people calling it a cult.
I haven’t written about the Landmark Forum in depth, and I’m still wrestling with whether I should write about it in detail. Maybe someday I will.
It’s a personal development seminar. I ended up there because a friend who had done the Forum invited me to do it. It had changed her life and she thought it could change mine, too.
As the days passed (it was a four-day event), soon it became clear that this wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t having the breakthroughs that other people seemed to be having. The “big revelation” was a phrase you’d expect an emo kid to scrawl on his biology book when he was trying to be edgy.
But that wasn’t all.
What brought me over the edge was when the instructor told a story about how they welcomed a child molester to the Forum with open arms. And apparently when a young woman brought in the relative who sexually assaulted her repeatedly as a child, everyone was cheering because he had made this decision to change his life.
I immediately went up to the microphone and let loose. How could you let a child molester into a room full of sexual abuse survivors? Did they call the police? How could this possibly be framed as a good thing? Did they want his money so much that it didn’t matter that he was a child molester, sitting amongst them?
For the first time in three days, the instructor was caught off guard.
After I spoke, the Landmark Forum offered me a full refund of $695.
I think that says it all.
For the record, I don’t think the Landmark Forum is a cult. However, I do think that they use many techniques that cults use. They instill a belief that everyone who hasn’t gone through the Forum will never be as good or evolved as people who have gone through the Forum. Every minute is controlled with almost no downtime; you have assignments to do on your breaks and you work from 9 AM to 10 PM or later. All doubts that attendees express are swiftly countered and shut down by the instructor. They encourage you to recruit everyone you know to join the Forum. There are several other courses afterward that they encourage you to keep taking, all of which cost additional money.
And while they make it seem like everyone loves it, the people above in the photo attended my Forum and didn’t get anything out of it, either. The defining mood was, “What the hell did I just spend $695 on?” It felt amazing to confess to each other that we were creeped out by the whole thing.
So yeah. Besides the friend who recruited me, I have several other friends who have done the Forum in various cities and countries and it did work for them. And they’re all great people, smart people, educated people. But the more I think about it, the more I realize those people share a number of personality traits that I personally do not have.
So would I recommend it? No, I would not. But who knows? Maybe it would work for you. I wouldn’t recommend you spend $695 on as big a gamble as that, though. And if you go, for God’s sake, don’t welcome a pedophile with open arms.
The Weird Ass Table Next To Ours in the Hamptons
On a day trip to the Hamptons with my friends Beth and Colleen, we decided to get dinner at Almond in Bridgehampton. The food was fantastic (their lobster pasta was one of the best dishes I’ve had all year) but the experience was ruined by this odd experience with the table next to ours.
They were a bunch of gay guys our age, several drinks into their night. One of them turned to Beth and said something like, “Sorry our friends are drunk,” and Beth said something back like, “Oh, that’s fine with us.”
They MUST have misheard her, because there’s no other explanation for what happened next.
The men suddenly started glaring at us, saying rude things about us to each other. Then one leaned over and said, “You’re in town for the weekend? Oh, that’s CUUUUUTE. I live here.”
What the fuck?!
Here’s the thing: I felt afraid, and I think my friends may have felt the same way. We were frozen, looking at each other with giant faux smiles on our faces, afraid of what they would say if we said anything. And you might think that there was no reason to be afraid, that we were in the middle of a restaurant, that these guys were gay anyway and it couldn’t possibly lead to sexual assault. It wasn’t about sex — it was about power, just as all sexual harassment and assault is. These men thought we didn’t belong in their space and they wanted us to be afraid of them.
Every time we talked or laughed, the guys would swivel their heads in our direction, angry expressions on their faces. One guy even slammed his head on our table and pretended it was an accident.
The men left the restaurant when our entrees came and as soon as they were gone, we exploded. What was their problem? Why would you treat strangers like that? What did they think Beth had said? I still have no idea what happened all these months later.
A Day of Delay Hell in Charlotte
On the way back from Asheville, I had a layover in Charlotte. That two-hour layover turned into ten hours and counting. And it wasn’t an ordinary layover — there were thunderstorms in New York, so they kept delaying it by an hour, another hour, yet another hour, every hour, then canceling the flight, then delaying the rebooked flight. If I had known, I would have gone out into Charlotte to explore! Hell, I would have taken a later flight from Asheville!
Charlotte is not the greatest airport in which to be stranded. Less healthy food, far less bookstores, yet a lot more fast food. If you end up stranded there…yeah, good luck with that.
I was supposed to be home by 4:00 PM but I didn’t get home until 1:30 AM. Worst transit day of the year.
Finding Out I Had to Move
On the last day of November, hours before I was to fly to Vegas, my landlady told me that she was selling the building and I had to move.
This was the last thing I wanted to hear. I adore my apartment and wanted to continue living there for at least another year or two. Plus, not only is moving in New York annoying and expensive, but it’s even tougher for self-employed people. New York tenants have a lot of rights, so to counter that, they make it difficult for people to rent in the first place. For example, you need to prove income of 40 times the monthly rent in a year. And even if you make that much, a lot of landlords are skittish about renting to self-employed people.
I was so nervous, I didn’t eat or sleep for a week. I got stress headaches. I had no appetite. I couldn’t do anything at the gym.
That said, I was able to remedy the situation quickly. I set up apartment viewing appointments within an hour of the news. I applied for the second apartment I saw. And thankfully, after a lot of work and sleepless nights and sending every proof of income that I had, I was accepted into a new apartment extremely close to where I live now.
The new place is great. It’s not a brownstone anymore (now that I know how easily brownstones can be sold out from under you, I’m a bit over brownstone living), but it’s a much bigger, gut-renovated apartment with tons of closet space and a separate kitchen. Moving day is January 15, and I can’t wait to share my new place with you.
A Sexually Harassing Driver in St. Kitts
Picture this: you get off your cruise ship in St. Kitts for the day. You decide to eschew a shore excursion and instead hire a driver for the day. This will give you a chance to explore and take all the photos you need without having to confirm to a schedule.
So you step into the driver’s van. And before he’s even left the parking lot, he’s leaning out the window and yelling sexual things at a woman walking by. She ignored him. I practically had flames bursting out of my ears.
“But it’s the Caribbean.”
It’s not just the Caribbean. It’s fucking everywhere.
THE RAINDROP CAKE WAS A LIE
I know a lot of New York/Instagram/Buzzfeed food trends are overblown, but nothing was as bad as the raindrop cake, which I sampled at Smorgasburg in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I had been seeing this for weeks: it was a clear orb, yet something that you ate like a cake.
Beth and I decided to try them: one clear, one purple. We each forked over eight dollars, hoping that this would be worth it.
We sampled them. And…they were essentially plain sugary gelatin.
I felt like an idiot. How had I built this dish up so much in my mind? Did I really think it would be as cool as the Instagrams and Buzzfeed articles claimed? HOW FAR HAD MY MIND GONE IN THE NAME OF EATING TRENDY FOOD?
There is so much good food at Smorgasburg. I especially recommend the fries from Bolivian Llama Party. But make sure you avoid the raindrop cake.
51 thoughts on “My Worst Travel Moments of 2017”
I met someone this year who does Landmark Forum and it helped him. After the conversation and Googling it I saw too many cult references and decided it wasn’t for me. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Folks, if you have 695 dollars to spare and you have issues, you should see a lawyer or a philosopher.
(Hint: I am both.)
Truthfully, Dave, I initially kept quiet. And you know I don’t usually keep quiet when someone pressures me to keep quiet in the face of injustice. Why did I keep quiet this time? I didn’t want to make my friend upset.
So, what changed? This month I read a memoir about growing up in Scientology and there are SO many similarities between how Scientology and Landmark operate. It made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t live with myself if I could have prevented someone from falling into that group. It was time to tell the truth.
And I have paid the price. Since this post went live, I’ve now been more or less declared the Landmark equivalent of what Scientologists call a Suppressive Person! Three of my friends who have done the Landmark Forum have told me they can’t be my friend anymore because of this post! Just like Scientology, Landmark people are okay if you’re not into it, but they cut off your relationship if you speak out badly about it.
What a mess. I should have spoken out months ago.
Oh man, I had the same rental car experience in Norway! I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn the damn thing on!
So glad I’m not alone on that!
Thank you for the warning about the cruise to Sankt Petersburg!
I’ll take the train – just like Lenin.
Oh, no. Moving can be a real hustle especially if you have to move fast and unexpectedly.
Besides that, I feel like my year, compare to yours, is just AWESOME 🙂
I was wondering the same when I was on Sint Maarten on a cruise stop: what would happen if I missed the boat? On my two cruises, the boat always left on time exactly, although I don’t know if they knew that everybody was on board.
I was also pissed that the cruise line doesn’t even give you the passport when you leave for the island. Particularly because as an EU citizen, I could settle on Saint Martin and stay as long as I wanted, or even if just for the day, see a doctor for free or other funny stuff.
Oh, on my cruise we had access to our passports the whole time — I just left mine in my cabin because we didn’t need them for disembarkation.
Thanks for pointing out that sexual harassment is not OK anywhere in the world, even where some people think it’s “part of the culture”.
I have sometimes been accused of measuring Latin America, for example, by European standards, to which I usually reply: “No, I am measuring it by 21st century standards.” Some things are wrong even if the majority doesn’t see them as wrong.
Absolutely Andreas! I rescued a friend from her abusive boyfriend and she went back to him. It is seen as a right of passage for latinos to be machistas.
I feel your pain on the delay hell! I had the exact same experience trying to fly to New York a few years ago. Also, your rental car experiences sound so stressful! I’m too scared to drive abroad haha
For what it’s worth, I found driving in Finland and Puglia far less stressful than the Florida Keys. That highway is insane.
OMG the raindrop cake! I thought it was super weird and definitely not worth $8 either haha
You understand my pain!
I ended up being taken by water ambulance to the hospital in Venice. Very thankful for my Spanish language. We were able to understand mostly everything even though Italian is quite different
Hey Kate, Congratulations on another year well done.
1. I had the same car problem in Philly. People there are not so introverted.
2 Train from Moscow to St. Pete is quite worthwhile.
Stay safe, have fun! Best to you in 2018!
Thank you, Rona! Hoping to take that train ride myself someday — and hopefully all the way across Siberia!
Man you’ve had some crazy experiences! I’ve had a couple similar. In 2017: smacked my head on a steel rod in our hotel room in Copenhagen and got my first concussion; In Russia didn’t think I’d get in…or out. Got separated from my friend in Estonia and couldn’t find her for nearly an hour. A lot of others are coming to mind…I’ve never thought about them like this before. Do you find that people appreciate the “real side” of travel?
YES. People LOVE the real side of travel. The most popular comment I get from readers is “You’re so honest!” so I always try to share the bad with the good. It’s important to help people plan trips that are realistic.
‘So sorry to hear about your troubles Kate. I can’t believe that you had so many, in a single year!
I’ve never heard of the Landmark, but then I live in Germany, anything in that vein would be considered a cult, so very happy that you spoke up. What is wrong with people!
I’ve been thinking of taking the ferry to St. Petersburg since 2015, cos as a British person, the visa to Russia is outrageous, and the visa-free ferry thing sounds like too good an opportunity to pass up! However, I remember reading your post when it first came out, and it sounds slightly hellish. Do you think an upgrade in sleeping arrangements might make it passable as sadly, even though I would prefer the Estonian owned ferries, it seems that the only way to get to Russia via the sea from Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia is sadly, reserved by the St. Peter Line ferry!
You know…I don’t think “hellish” is the word I’d use. Uncomfortable, yes, but brief. Worth doing once in your life, but not more than once!
Right you are! Once it is!
Haha, I laughed pretty hard about the raindrop cake…hate when trends are all hype!
The raindrop cake does sound awful, ha!
Just a note on your wording regarding pedophilia – it is a psychiatric disorder and does not equal child sexual abuse. In fact, not even half of child offenders are pedophilic according to a number of studies. I love how you have been writing about racism, sexism etc. so it would be great to see you also carefully handle mental disorders and distinguish between, in this case, pedophiles and people (including pedophiles, of course) who have actually committed a crime.
You’re right that there is a difference between child molesters and pedophiles — though at this point in time, most of the world has not evolved to acknowledge so-called “good pedophiles” who have the urges but would never act on them or harm a child. I expect that to change in the next decade or so.
I’ve had that problem with cars too! Certainly some “fun” adventures you’ve had this year, but at least you’re safe, healthy and have a place to live sorted! 🙂 Thanks, as always, for speaking up about the important things, too.
The Crisis with ‘The Hamptons’. Overall, it IS about Politics…(its their or yours – no matter if it is individval or group), I have same problem too…It does happen in here UK too ! It is always ‘power’ and ‘control’, no matter what this ‘here or their’ are for….I didnt realise until then… I was heavily discrimination by having an education, esp Social Science and Psychology so I had to drop out to ‘ease’ the society becuase I realise this is about ‘social stigma’….it is not about you or I.. it is alway about society or organisation, they are ‘grabbling’ for… (I got fined three time due to my driving and I didnt know until then – this is about Council and Capitalism… That got me an attention to realise.
Can we talk about these hives you had for almost a year? I had a similar experience when I was young visiting family in Syria. After a zillion doctor visits and lab test, it turned out to be some crazy delayed IgE immune response from parasite. It just went away one day. I’ve never knew anyone else who had it. Sounds similar to what you had. Sorry to be talking about embarrassing medical problems in your comment section! LOL Always enjoy your trials and tribulations. Glad you got out of that cult with your money and sanity!
Wow. Perhaps we had the same thing! Either way, today I’m sure to always travel with antihistamines in case it happens again.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s crazy to see how many things can happen when travelling, all adds to the experience though!
Daniel & Niki, Wanderlust Us x
Omg what experiences. Some of them sound horrible especially St Kitts and you’re right. It is everywhere. I’ve had some rough moments too in 2017, I was pulled out of a canyon in the Canadian Rockies by emergency services, it was really scary but hey here I am. Do you think that the experiences were character building? I’ve never really understood that phrase.
Well, I definitely think that hard times make you a stronger person! That’s a big part of where character comes from.
Can’t think of any particularly terrible travel moments from 2017 but then I didn’t travel all that much. I had to fly on American Airlines/Air Europa transatlantically from France/Spain respectively to NYC and unfortunately neither airline had individual entertainment screens for each passenger which made for a super loooong flight but that’s what you get when you pay cheap flights. So an inconvenience but nothing traumatizing. I don’t sleep on planes in general and I’m a terrible flyer so I’m hugely a huge, disgusting, sleep deprived mess whenever I get to my destination (if it involves different time zones) and I have to go straight to sleep or I cannot function.
As for moving, congrats on beating the NYC moving rat race! I apartment searched for 3 straight months from August to October and nearly lost my mind. Lots of tears were involved. I wasn’t being forced to move like you but I really had to do it for my own sake. I ended up in Brooklyn which is so not where I envisioned myself living but it’s all for the best. And moving itself was actually pretty stress free when I used Bin-It and then hired cheap Chinatown movers on my sister’s recommendation. Good luck with the move!
Same exact problem with my rental car when I landed in Vancouver at midnight. Once they taught me how to start it, I drove off and then it started to rain. My tired eastern time zone body in the middle of the night… couldn’t figure out the wipers and got lost. There were tears!
I’m a newish follower and am headed out on a year long (longer maybe? shorter maybe?) trip next month. I want to thank you for suggesting a keyboard cover! I recently had to replace the motherboard on my Mac since I spilled something on it and I’m not sure why I didn’t think to get a cover before, but I’ve ordered one now so that hopefully it’ll stay safe on the road. Thanks so much!
I’m so glad to hear that! Hope it protect you!
A crazy cool year! Your comments on the Landmark Forum were an interesting read. I did the Forum in my early 20s back in the late 90s and loved it! I don’t know what it is like today, when I did it there was no pressure to get others into it or anything like that. It was pure personal development for me and I credit it for setting me up well in my adult life. I guess it’s not for everyone but you are the first person I have come across that didn’t enjoy it. In saying that, I haven’t talked to anyone who has done it recently and it may have changed a lot since I did it many years ago. Each to their own. Love reading your blogs, keep up the great work!
Really! That’s interesting. Yes, when I joined the first evening seminar and several hours of the Forum were devoted to trying to get as many people in your life to do it as well! Before they even did anything! One guy stood up and said, “The only thing you’ve been talking about so far is how to get other people to enroll in the Forum,” and he was shot down. Thanks for reading!
My friend, my son and I took a cruise in April on the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship. We were supposed to go to Cozumel but the ship had a problem. We were promised 1/2 off the cruise and 1/2 off our next cruise if we stayed onboard. We booked a cruise for 2018, still being promised the 1/2 off. Yesterday, I was going to pay the remaining portion of the cruise and was told we don’t get 1/2 off. Customer service was awful. I spoke with 3 different people who seemed unknowledgeable and didn’t care that Carnival had completely lied to us. We had to pay $150 to cancel the cruise. They wouldn’t even waive the fee. As for the ship itself it was horribly outdated, the pool was too small and the food not very good. We will never go on another Carnival cruise.
That sounds terrible! And a lesson in getting absolutely EVERYTHING in writing. 🙁 I’m sorry that happened to you.
What a great post! I’m from Finland and I couldn’t stop laughing on your “deep conversation” you had in here haha. For me the worst travel moment was in Poland last summer. We were on a roadtrip around Europa and so far everything has been nice and smooth but in Poland we faced a huge issue. Our navigating system told us to drive through a small town there but the highway was not open – instead there was a tractor and like 6 feet tall hole where the highway should continue. Well, we made a u-turn and tried couple other roads. All closed.
We were lost for like an hour there and the fact we don’t speak any local language didn’t help. Also, after going around for a while we figured that our SUV was probably much more expensive than the houses in that town so we kind of didn’t feel like stopping and asking for help. Finally, we found our way out and back to highway but it took like two additional ours compared to our original schedule.
Btw I’ve always dreamed of moving to NYC and I had no clue about how much your income should be just to get an apartment. That’s insane. In Finland they just check that you have paid your bills on time earlier and that’s all you need to prove.
I’m so glad that a Finn read and appreciated that!
What a nightmare in Poland!
Some of them sound terribly unfortunate. However, I always look at it as… if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t have experienced it 😉 Hope 2018 brings to you some great, positive stuff!
I LOVE your transparency! You have definitely had some crazy experiences, but I love that you are able to talk about them, learn from them, know what you like and don’t like. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from travel it’s to expect the unexpected. Things almost never go exactly as planned, and that’s okay! Ya just roll with the punches!
Omg what an amazing experience. It looks somewhere horrible especially St Kitts and you’re right. I’ve had some rough moments too in 2015, I was pulled out of a canyon in the Canadian Rockies by emergency services, it was really scary but hey here I am.
That sounds terrifying!!
2017 for me was a year of travel interruptus – we started by having cut short a Central America trip arriving back in the UK on Chrstmas Day 2016 because of a family illness. Fast forward to September and we flew back from Uzbekistan for another family illness. Both of our family members died, but with my mother in law we were lucky enough to have nearly three weeks with her at the end. They were filled with joy and laughter. My learning from 2017 more so than ever is that we have but one life, and it’s very short. Don’t put anything off and DEFINITELY buy travel insurance.
Oh, Sarah. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m glad you were able to have that special time with your mother-in-law.
Omg what a year! That landmark forum sounds ridiculous, and I’d love to know what the breakthrough phrase was hahaha.
“Life is meaningless and empty.” Seriously.