Like many, I’m guilty of filtering my life on social media.
I mean everyone does it, and to be honest there’s no shame in it – I think it’s a good thing!
Goodness knows, I don’t want to be bombarded on social media with crappy photos from your day-to-day life. Please only loop me in on stunning holiday photos, cute new ZARA outfits and whatever interesting (totally ‘grammable) food you ate on the weekend.
(Notice, I didn’t say ‘baby pictures’. Notice again, I pointed this out to make it even clearer than not mentioning it at all.)
The point of THIS post, is that unfortunately travel is not always this carefree journey, full of incredible sunsets, refreshing cocktails, smooth flights and gorgeous resorts, as an Instagram feed might have you believe.
Things go wrong all the time.
People just choose not to share about the clouds that stopped them viewing the northern lights in Iceland, the infection they got from coral in Costa Rica, the non-stop rain in Thailand, or the Greek resort that didn’t look anything like the pictures online.
I’ve certainly had my fair share of travel problems, which is why I always buy travel insurance – I actually don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t. For example, here’s some of the travel problems I’ve faced…
Location: Las Vegas, NV. USA
Problem: Lost passport
I’ve actually mentioned before how I lost my passport in Vegas after a big (and I mean BIG) night out. Long story short, I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday and got completely carried away in the amazingness that is, Vegas. It was bound to happen really.
Luckily I had fate on my side, and it turned out the NZ Consulate was in Santa Monica – where we were already booked to spend the last few days of our holiday. This made getting an emergency passport a lot easier than it would have been, had I been in one of the other 49 states – or even just a different Californian city.
Lesson learnt: Never underestimate Vegas… and take an alternative ID on out at night.
Location: Auckland, NZ – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Problem: Missed flight
Yeah, I missed an international flight…whoops. What’s even more embarrassing is that I was working for a travel company at the time. Like, what an idiot.
What happened was my flight was scheduled to leave at like 1am, and so I knew in my mind I had to be at the airport around 11pm, but when working this out, I forgot to change the date in my head. So instead of getting to the airport at 11pm on say the 12th, I planned to get there at 11pm on the 13th…
Fortunately I worked this out the morning of the 13th – obviously too late to get my original flight, but not too late for the flight that was leaving at the time I’d had in my head all along. A few tears and several hundred dollars later and I was off to Vietnam – thanks insurance!
Lesson learnt: Always double check your itinerary and book travel insurance.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Problem: Phone pick-pocketed
Unfortunately pickpockets in Spain aren’t unusual. Actually I did pretty well, considering I was in Spain for a good 5 months before it happened – and it was bound to happen.
Finally on a night out celebrating a friends birthday, I forgot to constantly keep my hand on my bag (what should be compulsory habit for those in Spain). Nek minute: bag open, phone gone.
All connection to friends and family gone. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal – but at the time I was broke, new to Madrid, couldn’t speak Spanish and my phone was pretty much my life line – so it was rather shite for me. Luckily insurance saved me again, with a pay out a few weeks later, allowing me to buy a new phone.
Lesson learnt: I actually stopped taking my phone out at night in Madrid all together – advice I still recommend to friends visiting Spain. And I learnt the importance of backing up all contacts and photos to the almighty cloud.
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Problem: Bed bugs
I’ve written about my trip to Morocco before, it was awesome – BUT there were some things that were pretty average too. The worst part by far, being the bed bugs my friend and I picked up at a shitty riad.
What made these worse was the ‘soothing ointment’ I got for the bites was a fluorescent red colour. Meaning that in a lot of my Moroccan photos I look like I’ve come straight from a paintball fight.
Lesson learnt: The cheapest accommodation is cheap for a reason, and red bed bug ointment will stain white clothes.