Something happens to our brains when we travel. We lose our inhibitions. We try new foods. We get lost in dark alleyways. We turn the wrong corners and end up in the right places. We lose our luggage, and sometimes our passports.
Stuff happens. It reaaaalllly does. But we learn to embrace the unexpected and keep on going back for more. Just ask Mamamia‘s Clare and Jessie Stephens. With the help of our friends at Hotels.com, we sent our worst travellers in the office (or the world, according to Clare and Jessie themselves) on a surprise trip to Perth. Our self-titled “Travel Blazers” managed to get their lunch eaten by a seagull, stack it on a bike and catch the wrong ferry. Lucky they got selfies with quokkas, stayed at a nice hotel sorted out on the Hotels.com’s app, and had stories galore to tell.
Off the back of the twins’ trip, Mamamia put the call-out to you, on Instagram, to tell us the best/funniest/worst travel stories you’ve got. Oh, how the floodgates opened. We’ve selected the most brilliant nuggets that celebrate the wonder and weirdness of travel. Prepare for take-off…
Never come between a pregnant woman and her Vegemite.
@sweetannieau: “Hubby and I dropped my bestie off at Vancouver airport for her to fly back to AB while we proceeded to Las Vegas. [We] said our farewells, all was good, which was surprising since I was 20 weeks pregnant. As hubby and I went through customs something caught their attention. My jar of Vegemite! They STOLE it from me. I lost it. Full blown sobbing break down about my jar of Vegemite. I pretty much ran off, arms flailing, loud sobbing. It took us 15 mins to realise that in my tantrum I left my passport at customs. I sulked back and snatched it back like a crazy pregnant woman who just had her Vegemite stolen by the bad US customs people.”
Oops, wrong country.
@josiefray: “I got food poisoning on the first flight and was distracted by that the whole time. We arrived in La Paz at 3am and needed a taxi to take us to our hotel. The taxi service at the airport didn’t know of our hotel. We pointed to the hotel in our Lonely Planet guide for Bolivia. That was when a man interrupted us and told us we were in La Paz, Mexico! Not La Paz Bolivia. We had gone the whole way and not once realised. Ended up having a great time there with a funny story to boot!”
"I want to make the sex with you."
@_rebekahtaylor: "Whilst travelling in Egypt (being respectful and covering up in jumpers and trousers in the heat) we stepped out onto a street in Cairo for our first taste of the country. An Egyptian man approached me and starting mumbling '100 camels', I wondered what he was referring to. I asked him. He replied, 'I will give your family 100 camels for your hand in marriage'. We were shocked, but amused nonetheless. He then started saying something that was indeterminable. I thought I understood, but queried him. He said 'I want to make the sex with you'.
"I was appalled and thought what a great start in this country. We were looking for a pharmacy and almost turned around and returned our hotel. Another man then approached us asking if we required assistance. Dubiously I replied what we were looking for. He escorted us to the pharmacy. We were understandingly nervous. He then proceeded to take us to all the places we needed to go, refusing to take money for assistance. He spoke with us about how some men are trying to change the stereotype of men in Egypt and that he wanted nothing from us, other than to set the record straight. There is good everywhere."
"I slept through the Taj Mahal."
@anika08_:"I was on a two-month backpacking trip around Nepal, India and Sri Lanka with girlfriends. I was meant to be taking anti malarial medication (Doxycycline) throughout my stay in India. However, when I went to start the medication I mistakenly took Restavit (Doxylamine) every morning for seven days instead. Not realising I was taking sleeping tablets every morning instead of my anti malarial, I fumbled my way through my first seven days on India, hallucinating on train trips, falling asleep in tuk tuks, heart palpitations and more. I can barely remember the Taj Mahal. When I finally realised my medication error, I felt very very stupid (being a nurse myself!!) for confusing the two very similar drug names and for being asleep and drugged on sleeping tablets for half of my India trip!"
The curious case of the one-eyed cat.
@_janekatherine_: "We just got back from trekking in Nepal. In the morning my brother-in-law relayed what happened to him when he got back to his tent after taking his son to the put toilet - a one-eyed cat sitting on his sleeping bag with a pool of blood coming from his missing eye socket????????"
A flash in Phuket.
@jade_tovo: "Whilst waiting for our bags at the carousel at Phuket airport my friend @kate__gilbert saw her bag, goes 'oh there’s my bag!!', runs off to get it and as she is chasing her bag that was getting away from her, her PANTS fell down!!! Baring her gorgeous teal undies for all of Phuket International airport to see! LMAO!! By far the most memorable airport moment."
Paris, with a side of hacksaw.
@sophlux6: "Years ago on a very much-anticipated trip to Paris my now hubby and I locked our key inside our suitcase. We spent 1/2 a day wandering around Paris trying to find a hardware store to buy something to break the lock. We finally found a store - spent 30 mins trying to explain what we needed to the French speaking owner - we finally left and walked back to our hotel with a hacksaw. It didn’t work???? We just ended up cutting holes in the material and digging around inside until we found the key."
Trust the sweet old lady in Croatia.
@mrslp29: "My husband and I couldn’t find accommodation in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We found a lady who was renting out her room. It was hot, middle of summer. She showed us around her house, sat us in the kitchen and offered us a water out of her fridge. My husband took a sip and spat it back into his glass, he whispered to me 'she is trying to poison us, we need to get out of here'. She turned her back and we got up to leave, she caught us and asked 'where you going?'
"My husband said 'I don’t know what you are up to, but we are leaving'. She looked confused he said 'we know that isn’t water', she looked even more baffled and then had a sip herself. She quickly spat it out and couldn’t stop laughing. Her brother brewed his own alcohol and had given her some in a water bottle to try but she had forgotten about it and thought she was giving us water. We all had a good laugh and she turned out to be a lovely lady and we had a great stay."
Oh, travel. Without that weird side of wanderlust, we wouldn't have stories to tell. To keep your trips on track, visit hotels.com and find your next adventure.
What's your best, worst or funniest travel experience? Share with us below - maybe there's a future story in it!
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