8 Travel Bloggers Share Their Craziest Travel Stories (Part 1)
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, chances are you’ve found yourself in some pretty uncomfortable or hilarious situations. If you haven’t – consider yourself lucky! However, one thing is for sure – they always end up making some pretty great stories. I’ve personally been lost on the rugged streets of small-town Costa Rica, almost stranded at a gas station in Bali when we thought our motorbike broke down, and have run into a Scottish friend in Barcelona who I hadn’t seen in 7 years since we first met in Costa Rica. There was also that time I was stranded in the cow country and drove through the night with 3 complete strangers. Travel will test you and help create some of the most memorable experiences. Because of this, I have asked fellow travel bloggers to share their craziest travel stories. From a full frontal massage along the Silk Road to getting completely lost in the Balkans, each of these stories are highly entertaining.
I received so many great, lengthy entries that I’ve decided to split these stories into 2 parts! Stay tuned for part 2 next week.
Travel Bloggers Share Their Craziest Travel Stories:
Molesting, Thieving Masseur in Uzbekistan by Lisa of TheHotFlashPacker
Location: Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Four years ago, I was traveling the Silk Road from east to west. I was especially enjoying the architecture and friendly people in Uzbekistan. Bukhara was the home to a hammam, or Turkish bath, that got good reviews in the guidebooks. It’s only open to local men in the day, but after 6pm open to tourists of both genders so I set up an appointment for a massage and steam at 6:00. At 6:00, I discovered that it was only me and the masseur – an extremely hot Uzbeki man that was half my age who spoke no English. I put my stuff in a locker provided by the hammam and then went for my steam. The massage seemed normal at first. I was wearing a one-piece swimsuit and was lying on my front so he took the straps down so he could massage my shoulders. He only uttered one English word: “strong”. Then he had me turn around on my back and started massaging from my feet up, getting dangerously close to my private parts. He then started massaging my upper half and as I was laying there, he pulled my swimsuit top down and started a full-on massage of my breasts! I didn’t know what to do so I just laid there until it finished. At this point, it was time for another steam so I sat in the hot, humid air. It was getting really hot and I finally had enough so I tried to tell him I was done but found myself locked inside the hamman! Eventually he came back to do the final body wash and it was over. As I followed him out of the hamman, he removed the only clothing he wore and soaking wet towel so I got a full view of his naked backside. I went to the locker to get my things and he had me sit in the common room for some tea. I went to my wallet to count out the payment. The currency in Uzbekistan is absurd – about $20 worth was about an inch thick of bills. I counted out the money for the massage and had exactly enough to pay the massage with a couple loose bills to spare. I knew this was impossible because I had just traded some money at a shop just an hour earlier. I counted again and then handed all the money to the masseur. As I walked back to the hotel I realized he had stolen my money while I was locked in the steam room but he was smart enough to leave enough for the massage so I wouldn’t call the police.
Using the Sun for Direction in Bulgaria by Cherene of Wandering Redhead
Location: Rila Mountains & Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Most recently, I was traveling solo and driving around Bulgaria. I was visiting Rila Monastery in the mountains when I dropped and broke my phone, plus my map and navigation system! I was supposed to hike the 7 Rila Lakes that day and drive to Plovdiv the day after. I was panicked because I had no map and the mountain hotel had terrible wifi. And nobody spoke English. I sort of knew the general direction I needed to go and was determined not to let this mishap ruin my plans. I managed to drive myself to the place for the hike and then back to hotel. Whew! I literally used the position of the sun in the sky to figure out my direction. The next day, I tried to drive to Plovdiv and got lost in the mountains. I found a gas station and, of course, they didn’t sell maps. Luckily a random man in the store heard me asking and offered to show me the way to the highway! I eventually made it to Plovdiv despite all the signs being in Cyrillic. I really thought I may have a heart attack several times on this journey. If it wasn’t for some good luck and kind people I may be living as a goat herder in the mountains of Bulgaria right now!
Pickpocket Disaster in India by Tania of Azure Sky Follows
Location: New Delhi, India
In 2012, I went along with my extended family on our annual trip within the country. The destination was New Delhi, the capital of India. Delhi is infamous for its notorious activities and we were well aware of it. We were seven people including a child. On the evening of the day we arrived, we decided to visit the Red Fort. Red Fort was just one metro-railway station away from our hotel. Instead of hiring a private car, we chose to travel in metro railway due to its proximity. In that 5 minutes ride we were robbed off all our purses and cash stuffed in pockets. Pickpockets did a clean job silently. We realized we had been robbed while boarding down the train. Because we created a scene, the Delhi police threatened to put us in jail. So we returned to the hotel with zero money and threat from police. The cash in the suitcase in our hotel room was all that we were left with.
Dinner with a Stranger in Sicily by Kasey of Babies with Backpacks
Location: Between Cefalu and Enna in Sicily, Italy
“It says we’ve arrived at our destination,” my father informs me as he squints at Google maps on my phone. “It says we walk a couple minutes from here.”
Great news, given that my fuel gauge had been on empty for kilometer after kilometer as we silently and not-so-silently begged my minivan to make it to gas station we’d seen on the map. The car had done what we asked it to do, but now – sitting behind the wheel of my van with my mom, dad and two young children in tow – I had just one question. Where the hell was the gas?
The answer, we eventually learned, was “nowhere near here.” At least, not within 15 kilometers.
With few options, we decided to knock on the door of the farm and to ask the farmer – Pino! – for information, crossing our fingers that he wasn’t the murdering sort. Turns out he was quite the opposite, and an hour later we were feasting on homemade pasta, cheese, roasted peppers and tomato salad from his garden, bread, rabbit and wine, all while we waited on his son to arrive with some gas.
A mere three hours later, we were on the road again with our stomachs and gas tank full and our faith in the goodness of people overflowing.
I hope you enjoyed reading these crazy travel stories!
Have you had anything crazy or completely unusual happen to you on your travels? Let us know in the comments!