Travellers’ Night In: Travel Nightmares

Hmm yeah – well to be honest, more than I ever told my mother! To be honest I’m bit of a beginner with Twitter – but I noticed this regular Travellers’ (English spelling get over it) Night In where people respond to questions during a set time frame. I’m not sure whether I got the time zone right – 3:30-5pm EST Thursday – yeah I have no idea either. Anyway the questions were pretty cool. And because I’m not very good at sticking to the 140char twitter limit – here are my longer answers!

Q1 Biggest Travel Nightmare you’ve had?

I think it was the moment I realised that my partner might not get travel insurance for our next trip. I wrote about it here. Yup my worst travel nightmare was when I though I couldn’t travel.

Q2 Hotel/Hostel you’d consider a nightmare, why?

Oh I there has been some shockers, there was a cold and fairly deserted one at La Linea, Spain, which is on the other side of the border from Gibraltar – it was pretty weird. Bed bugs and other crawlies don’t really bother me – but deserted is scary. I also checked into a big hotel in India once, it didn’t feel right, but all I wanted was a bed after 24 hours on a bus. I should have listened to my instincts – I had to bar my door from the drunk night manager who wanted to be my “tour guide”.

Q3 Dreamiest Destination you’ve been to.

Hmmm tricky, several warm, tropical beaches spring to mind, but Halong Bay in the cold – was certainly quite surreal – it was like being inside a painting.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam, on a cold winter’s day

Q4 My trip is a nightmare when I forget …

Well frankly nothing that springs to mind! All you really need is your passport, money and cards. The rest of it is just optional. And no I’ve never left behind my money, passport or cards behind! I’d be pretty annoyed if I left my camera behind though!

Q5 Airline or Airport you consider a real nightmare ..

Well I’m sure many would talk about LAX or Heathrow. But for me this is easy, Lukla, Nepal  – wins hands down. From recent photos nothing much has changed – the airstrip has been sealed – but it still has a 20 degree slope to it, with a 1000ft drop off a the end if you’re not airborne by then … I flew out of there after my Everest base camp trek. Before the days of Google maps and Flickr, I didn’t know what the airport looked like, I walked into the village (the only option except flying) and it wasn’t until I spotted the distinct wind sock that I realised I was standing on the runway!

Plane arriving at Lukla, Nepal 1990

My flight arriving Lukla, Nepal, 1990

Q6 Adventurous experience which isn’t for the weak of heart.

Literally? Swimming with the whale sharks off Western Australia’s coast. Now don’t get me wrong – it was one of my best experiences in my life. But you really have to swim like hell to keep up with those big fish, and you are far out to sea so you need to be confident snorkling in the ocean deep. I never knew how hard it can be to see a boat when there is a bit of chop on the sea. Check out all the details over at Vi’s site: Swimming with Whale Sharks

Q7 My biggest nightmare would be travel RTW with …

An organised tour. Or a boat – I sailing around the world, I get very sea sick.

Q8 Trip that you were dreading that turned out great …

I wouldn’t say “dreading” – but  I was pretty nervous the first time I took my partner backpacking in Asia. He was 50 and had never travelled without reservations, and had never been to Asia. I turned out great though – he trusting me was pretty scary, but on the road it worked out just fine.

Q9 Scariest place you’ve ever slept.

Hmm, or not slept? The sleeper train to Aswan from Cairo was pretty scary, well more specifically the toilets were, and yes you can hang on 14 hours! Peru airport I was a bit nervous about, but the scary big security cards showed me a quiet “office” corner with carpet to sleep on.

Q10 Best tips to avoid travel nightmares.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. And its almost all small stuff. I travel light , not just with minimal luggage, but also with my attitude. I don’t expect every to go right all of the time. But pretty much everything is solvable given some patience. I must admit I do quite a lot to avoid 30+ hours on aeroplane nightmares these days – its called a “stop-over”.

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1 Comment

  1. Vi on May 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Didn’t know about this TNI events, may be will join next week.

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