Friday, December 3, 2010

Lonely Planet BlogSherpa Carnival: Regrettable Trips

From getting sick to getting lost to getting stuck, travel sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Following a group look at favorite places around the world, I asked my fellow Lonely Planet bloggers to describe their most regrettable trips, those travel experiences that are memorable, but not necessarily in a good way. While some took the opportunity to warn others about places they should strike from their itineraries, others reflected on how even the most nightmarish trips can have some benefits – if only leaving the traveler with a good story to tell. My own “worst place” – a straggly town on the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border – ended up being an awful lot of fun.

A Small Trip With a Big Impact
Wanderlust spurred Vago Damitio of Vagobond to take what ended up being the most regrettable trip of his life, but he didn’t end up getting far. Fed up with his hometown, he decided to enlist in the Marines and see the world. Things didn’t work out quite as the recruiter promised.

Frustration in China
Looking back on her trip to China from the vantage point of a beautiful beach, Barbara Ann Weibel of Hole In The Donut Travels can see the value in her experience, but at the time it was pure hell: unscrupulous taxi drivers, umbrella jabs to the forehead, “vegetarian” dishes full of pork, flooded hotel rooms, and rejected credit cards. Her confidence took a beating, but this intrepid traveler eventually got her groove back.

Struck Ill in Indonesia
Illness is a common theme of bad travel experiences, but while most people suffer through some bouts of what we always called “Montezuma’s revenge,” Simi Bhagwandass of See Simi Travel Blog contracted dengue fever while sleeping deep in the jungle in an Indonesian national park. One of the 61 mosquito bites she got on her ankles alone led to three feverish weeks from which she’s thankfully recovered.

Heinous Hen Parties in Majorca
For the stag and hen parties dressed like Borat and naughty nurses, the Majorcan beach resort of Magaluf is paradise; for writer Vibeke Montero of Photito's Blog, it was just the opposite. She wrote about his trip earlier this year, but says: “I hate that place enough to spread the word twice.”

A Chilly Dip in the Mediterranean
The story submitted by Erin of La Tortuga Viajera reminded me of all the times in San Francisco that I’d watch tourists shiver in their shorts and just-purchased Alcatraz sweaters, obviously unaware before their trip that California is not always warm. Used to the temperate waters of Thailand, the cold-weather-hating Erin planned a Mediterranean diving trip in November and ended up “submerged under ten meters of freezing cold, murky water while I got sloshed around like I was in the laundry cycle.” The hotel filled with tacky animal figurines was just the icing on the cake.

What was the most regrettable trip you ever took?

Participants in the LonelyPlanet BlogSherpa program host periodic “blog carnivals” on various travel-related themes. The last one, hosted by La Tortuga Viajera, looked at unique customs around the world; next up, a Christmas-themed carnival from Inside the Travel Lab.


vago said...

ugghhh....even thinking about it makes me shudder. The only good thing is that I never had to kill someone or go to an actual warzone...

Great carnival. Actually all the trips sound pretty awful...especially the hen party. lol.


Sita Dass said...

Well Done!

The Turkish Life said...

Thanks for your comments and your contributions!