Travel Horror Stories: Part 2
You have all heard of the horrors that could happen while traveling. I asked around for some stories, here are real stories that actually happened to people. I hope you enjoy!
To take a look at mine go here
1. Honeymoon in a Sandstorm
So far, we’ve been lucky with some pretty fantastic experiences, but when your life is on the road, you’re bound to encounter some treacherous weather conditions.
I think all of our – not necessarily negative – but just emotionally straining memories come from a few particular instances that stood out.
On our road trip honeymoon, we made the drive from New Mexico into Texas. A few minutes into our drive and we were already greeted with an opaque cloud of dust at our horizon.
It looked crazy and we couldn’t even understand what it was at first. We’ve both been in the Middle East and encountered some sand storms, but this was a stagnant fixture in the middle of the highway.
As we drove into it, our car was engulfed in the sand and we couldn’t see even an inch in front of us. It almost felt safer to drive with our eyes closed and just hope for the best.
I think in about ten minutes we were out of it, but it was a very looong ten minutes
2. Tropical Cyclone
My wife Becky is shivering uncontrollably and crying with fear.
The wind is so strong it is toppling trees, ripping apart buildings and sending furniture flying across our resort in Nadi, Fiji.
Tropical cyclone Winston feels almost apocalyptic up close.
We take a deep breath, count to three and make a dash for it.
It is only 50 metres from the restaurant to our room.
We run for our lives.
Driving rain pelts our bodies and the wind – reportedly up to 300kph – is close to knocking us of our feet.
We dodge debris, splash through ankle-high water and struggle up a flight of stairs.
The power of the storm is frightening but we make it to our door safely.
Fumbling, I turn the key and we burst into the room, drenched, exhausted and relieved.
Water is leaking from the ceiling onto the bed.
Crashing noises make us jump as the howling wind sends missiles into our roof.
Yet we feel safer than in the restaurant, where the large glass windows were close to breaking despite a makeshift barricade of overturned tables.
There is nothing we can do now except sit it out.
Becky shelters in the bathtub, believing it is the safest place to be, while I try to get some rest.
It is not easy to sleep.
I worry about the roof caving in or the windows shattering.
I think about our evacuation too.
Earlier in the day we escaped from Malolo Island, which is part of the Mamanuca group to the west of the Viti Levu mainland, on a small, six-person boat.
It was a scary ordeal.
The boat was thrown about by the rough seas, tipping wildly left and right and coming close to sending us overboard.
Waves sprayed warm salt water into our faces, stinging our eyes, and the boat repeatedly slammed into the sea with a bang as it rode the undulations of the water.
But in true Fijian style our captain seemed unfazed by the situation and – with a smile on his face – skilfully navigated us to safety.
I wake up at 6am to the sound of light rain.
The wind has subsided.
We tentatively head outside to investigate with our friend Mark, who also sheltered in our room overnight.
A 30ft tree is in the swimming pool.Car windows are smashed.
The thatched roof of a nearby hut is missing.
Fencing, beds, broken air conditioning units, guttering, light fittings, branches, tables and hundreds of coconuts lay strewn across the hotel site.
It is a scene of destruction.
But thankfully most of the damage is superficial.
The manager says there are no reports of any injuries and all of the main buildings are in tact.
She still says ‘bula’ (hello) jovially and asks us if we are ok.
The Fijian people have been amazing to us during our travels – incredibly warm and friendly.
It is likely to be a long and hard process of rebuilding.
But I’m confident the Fijians have the spirit and positivity to pull through.
3. Six Men and Machine Guns
My parents have a timeshare in Cancun, Mexico so it is a place that we have returned to for over 20 years. About 15 years ago, before it was feasible to do internet research while abroad, my dad and I had enough of lying on the beach and wanted some adventure. We considered Cuba, but didn’t want to break the law and the next closest interesting place was Belize. I had seen beautiful pictures in travel magazines, so we went in search of seeing those pics in real life. Fortunately in our time there we have come to know a local, Daniel, who serves as our driver if we want to leave the Cancun area. Daniel life doesn’t take him far from the Cancun area and he did not know anything about Belize. The only city he had heard of was Belize City, so that is where we headed. My whole family at the time, my mom and dad, my husband and myself, my brother and his 2-year old son, set off in a van with Daniel headed off to what we thought looked like this…
Borrowed from Borrowed from The Daily Adventures of Me article>Caye Caulker Belize: Photo from Flickr F. Ermert
If only we would have had the internet, we could have seen this before we set off-
Belize City does not exactly top the list of tourist destinations in Belize. In fact, many visitors choose to bypass the country’s only major urban area. This may be because the country’s main attractions are natural and nautical, rendering superfluous a prolonged visit to its only metropolis. An additional explanation is that the city has a bad reputation for poverty and crime. …
from Lonely Planet
The drive to the border was about four hours through the Mexico countryside. Since my nephew’s mother was not with us we were detained at the Belize border. We were told that we had to wait for el jefe (the boss) to return the next day, so spent the night in Chetumal, where I ate some of the best carne asada in my memory. In the morning my father had to give the man well over the normal amount of money so that we would be allowed into Belize. When we arrived in Belize city this is what we got…
Borrowed from The Daily Adventures of Me article> Belize City Harbor: Photo from Flickr SarahTz
In reality, it was a very unique city to visit in part due to its British colonial history. It is full of European expats and Creole people who contribute to its unique food and architecture. But it has nothing in common with the Belize Peninsula which is where people travel to visit the coral reefs. At Belize City, the Belize River dumps muddy water into the ocean, darkening and browning it so that it does not resemble the clear water that we anticipated. It is really busy and crowded. We found the people friendly and happy to talk to us.
On our way back to Mexico, on a back road, we were forced to pull over by six men with machine guns. They were not police officers, but Daniel informed us later, were drug dealers who were expecting a drop off from a similar van to the one we were driving in. We were lucky that it ended well and we drove on.
4.The Dark Side of Traveling
Fez is the second largest city in Morocco with over 1 million inhabitants. The biggest old town, Fès el-Bali, is a labyrinth of 9000 narrow alleyways surrounded by medieval walls.
I’m surprised how many travellers advise getting lost in La Medina (old city). I wouldn’t. Especially if you’re a girl, and if you’re claustrophobic.
My stressful experience left me wanting to get out of Fez ASAP. In fact, it’s the only place in the world that I never want to go back to again.
Get me out of Fez!
Witnessing kids dangling a poor guy over a huge ledge made me do a double take. An old man threatening a child with a knife in broad daylight was scary. But I felt terrified when a Moroccan man started shouting and chasing my friend and I through the maze of the city centre.
It all began when we arrived in La Medina. A man called Youssef approached our Petite taxi and insisted that he could show us the way to our hostel. I thought he worked there, so naturally we accepted. I should’ve been suspicious when he persistently offered to give us a tour of the city. Anyway, we declined and made it into our hostel, Dar Lalla Kenza.
I thought that was the last we’d see of our good friend Youssef…
After recovering from a stomach bug in the foetal position in the dorm, I was excited to see the big city. Ten minutes later after witnessing the knife fiasco, we were lost. A 10 year old kid could tell because he offered to take us to the main plaza. Although we were a bit hesitant to accept, we didn’t really have any other choice. His friends soon joined and led us through the winding streets of the maze.
All of a sudden, Youssef, appeared out of nowhere.
Getting chased through the old town
He started viciously spitting Arabic words at the 10 year old, clearly arguing that we were his “prize”. I later realised that even children are used to con tourists. Youssef repeatedly asked us where we were going. He turned livid when we said we just wanted to be left alone. That’s when we started power walking, then broke into a light jog. The kid was trying to help us get away, but Youssef followed us. I honestly felt he was going to start attacking us, or the kid. Luckily he just screamed a lot of swear words at us, and finally took off.
The creepiest part was when we spotted Youssef again sitting at the same cafe later on. Thankfully, he didn’t follow us back to the hostel…
Of course, Fes wasn’t all bad.
There are tons of beautiful riads and hostels in the old city.
Dar Lalla Kenza
Chilling on the roof of our hostel was the only peaceful escape from the chaos below.
The skyline reveals hundreds of uneven column buildings cluttered with satellite dishes. You can hear calls of Allahu Akbar (God is greater) echoing from Mosques. And at sunset, the horizon gives way to the mountains beyond the city.
Omáár, who worked in the hostel, played Pink Floyd all night and made us an incredible breakfast on the roof.
Fez was definitely an experience, although it was one that opened my eyes to the dangers of travelling. I don’t want to deter people from going to Morocco. In fact, the opposite. Even though this post sheds some light on the dark side of travelling, it was completely worth it to see the beautiful side.
5. Never Fly Standby
As a kid growing up, my dad worked for one of the major airlines. That meant flight perks! The only downside was we had to fly standby. After getting married, those perks ended. I could still use them but my husband and kids would need to purchase a ticket. That’s just not a good way to travel with young kids. This last fall, my Mom offered to take my Sister and me to New Orleans for a Girls weekend. Everything was amazing. We even got upgraded to Business Class. We had a great vacation. That was until we tried to get home.
My mom said that the last flight of the day looked the best. We got to the airport and found that we couldn’t get on. We had to stay an extra night. My Dad said, “Go to Atlanta first thing in the morning. They have flights leaving every hour back home.” We barely got on the flight. Once arriving in Atlanta, we found that all flights were over sold. They were even asking for volunteers to go on a later flight. Ok, this strategy is not going to work and now we are stuck in Atlanta. The gate agents told us if we flew to Cincinnati, there were 25 open seats on that plane to Minneapolis. It was risky because there were only two flights home. We were getting nowhere in Atlanta, so we had to try it. We immediately changed the reservations and ran off to the next terminal.
When our reservations got changed, we were no longer grouped together. My mom somehow got separated. She got her ticket to Cincinnati while my sister and I were still waiting in line. She was about to board when we reminded her we haven’t gotten a ticket yet. She almost left us in Atlanta without knowing if we would get on the plane! After some discussion, we convinced to her wait to board until we got tickets too. According to the monitors, there would be open seats. Then we started to overhear chatter about the plane weighing too much. There were still a few people ahead of us in line. The gate agent said they could only let one more person. There was three of us waiting still. After letting the other standby passenger on, they finally said my sister and I could board. As we were walking down the gateway, the person in front of us was getting into a disagreement with the flight attended. She didn’t want to check her bag at the gate. We kept walking right past them. I was only concerned about getting on that flight so I could get home to my kids that were anxiously waiting for us. The gate agent came running down the gateway telling the other woman she can’t get on the plane. It was overweight! My Mom, sister and I took our seats and tried to blend in as much as possible. As the doors shut, we all breathed a big sigh of relief. We were getting to Cincinnati. At least we were heading closer to home now.
Once we landed, we received boarding passes right away. We were going to make it home! It only took visiting 2 extra states and 4 different airports. That was when my mom admitted that she never even looked at the flights to see if there was room. She made the decision that we would go the trip regardless of how full the flights were. If I would have known, I would have purchased a ticket for myself. We can laugh about it now, but at the time all I could think about how disappointed my little girl would be getting off the school bus and not have her mommy waiting for her.
Jenn Singer is a travel writer for DayTripper28.com, a Minnesota Travel blog that explores different Minnesota destinations. She doesn’t believe that a Vacation should require you to use up your precious Vacation time from work. As a Minnesota native, her passion for exploring has led her to try all kinds of new things. As someone that takes 30+ Day Trips a year, she is always up for an adventure.
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