Whether you’re heading near, or far, it’s no secret that travelling is awesome and can be a lot of fun. It can also boost your mood, increase your well being and generally make you a happier, more humble and well rounded person, but travel isn’t all sunshine, rainbows and Instagram worthy pictures. Most people tend to only share their happier and carefree side of their journeys, when we all know that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you find yourself in sticky situations, or just downright awkward as hell scenarios that literally have your scratching your head and thinking, “WTF?” I’ve listed a few of my most (recent) awkward travel moments for you to read and have a laugh at. Please don’t laugh at me TOO hard though, okay?
Missing a Connecting Flight Not Once, But Twice
My first solo trip abroad was to Norway and I had two connecting flights to catch before landing in Oslo; one in Montreal and the other in Zurich. Catching the connecting flight in Montreal was easy peasy, lemon squeezy, mainly because I had a two hour layover. The layover in Zurich though? Ya, that one was only 30 minutes and it was complete chaos. My flight to Zurich was full, so when we landed I had to get through a ton of travellers, motor through the airport, through security again and run to my gate. Well, I didn’t make it and being my first time travelling that far on my own, I was slightly freaking out that my luggage was on its way to Oslo without me and I’d have to pay for another flight. Panicked, I went to the connection flights desk to sort myself out and get myself on another flight to my destination, but there was a catch. I had to wait three hours for my next flight and make a stop in Copenhagen first. The kind airport staff gave me a voucher for breakfast while I waited. When the time came for me to catch my connecting flight to Copenhagen, a thick blanket of fog rolled in over the mountains, causing my flight to be delayed, yet again, by over 45 minutes. As I approached the staff at the gate and showed them my connecting time in Copenhagen, I meekly asked if I was going to make that flight to Oslo…he said no. Just a flat out, honest no. Feeling tired and defeated, I plopped down in my chair and just waited for the flight to board. After 45 minutes of waiting, the fog lifted and I was on my way to Copenhagen, only to visit the connection flights desk once again to get another flight to Oslo. Once it was my turn in line, I approached the staff member at the counter and stated that I missed my second connection flight to Oslo. The woman then said, “Oh yes, I have a flight to Oslo for you right here!” I sighed with relief and asked when the flight was boarding. “Ten minutes…Run,” she said. TEN MINUTES? RUN? I grabbed the boarding pass from her hand and thanked her as I was running away like a maniac towards the gate with my backpack bouncing all over the place, hair all over my face and delirious from the events that day. Once at the gate, I noticed that the doors were closed. This couldn’t be happening again, could it? There were two staff members at the gate still and when they asked who I was, they opened the doors and I ran on the flight, sat down as an overpowering heat came over me from all the running, I requested three glasses of water from the flight attendant. I was finally on my way to Norway and even though it sucks to miss flights, I was happy when I finally reached my destination…and so did my luggage!
Read more: The trip that opened my eyes to solo travel
Next Train Stop: Not Mine
My first night in Norway had me catching a midnight train to the city of Bergen, which would take about seven hours of travel time. Getting on the train, everything went smoothly. I had purchased my ticket in advance, booked my seat and made it to the station with enough time to spare. Things were looking good! I boarded the train en route to Bergen, and sat down in my seat, which was located next to a very nice man who had brought his bicycle on board with him. We chatted for a little bit about his bike route once he got to Bergen and then that was that. Not a word more was said. I couldn’t fall asleep, so I was looking around the train and noticed so many open seats that I could’ve moved to, but I stayed in my seat and slowly started to doze off. About five hours into the ride, the train came to a stop and I slowly opened my eyes to see where we were. I looked out the window and my eyes bolted open when I saw the station stop we were at. I quickly grabbed my backpack in a panick, hopped over the man beside me, knocking his knee in the process with my leg and jumped out of the train. It was just shy of 5am as I made my way into the little wooden station. I groggily looked at the schedule posted on the screen and pulled out my ticket. “SHIT,” I screamed. This wasn’t my stop tonight, this was where I was going to THE NEXT DAY! I turned around and ran back towards the train, which had its doors closed, so I slammed my hand against the emergency open button, hoping that the doors would open for me…and they did. The worst part about that situation? Facing the man I had just body slammed on my way out as I made my way back to my seat. Jet lag will make your brain do crazy shit. Talk about embarrassing. Ugh!
Read more: How to spend a day exploring Bergen, Norway
Third Wheeling On a Date in Munich
During my time travelling solo through Germany, Munich was my first stop for a few days. On my last night in Munich, I decided that I wanted to go have dinner and drinks at the infamous Hofbräuhaus. When I arrived, I made my way upstairs to the beer hall, sat down and waited to be served. Well, I waited and waited and waited. Finally, a server came up to me and mentioned that where I was sitting was reserved for a party. I was told to go back downstairs to the restaurant area and I’d be seated down there. Well, it was a packed house that night. The server told me to follow him as he tried to find me a table. After walking to the very back of the building, there was one seat available at a table, but it was with a couple on date. He asked them something in German and pointed at me. The couple shrugged their shoulders and the waiter told me to sit down. “Here!? Ummm, ok,” I reluctantly said. As I sat down, the waiter handed me a menu and I just gazed up at the couple as they snuggled and kissed each other while sipping their beers. Here I was, third wheeling on their date and unable to even have a conversation. To make matters worse, I’m more than certain the waiter had forgotten about me because I sat there for at least 40 minutes waiting on a drink and flipping through my photos from the day, just so I would have something to look at other than the kissing couple. It was so damn awkward after that amount of time that I looked at the couple, said I was sorry and just got up and walked my way out. I’m sure they were thinking it was about time that I left.
Read more: How to spend 48 hours in Munich
Shower Problems in Killarney
When my friend and I travelled to Ireland together last year, one of our stops was staying in a guesthouse in Killarney. After a long, hot day of travelling, we decided that it would be best to have our showers the night before, since we had an early train to catch the next day. I told my friend that she could go first when all of a sudden I hear, “TOSH!! I can’t shut the shower off!” “What do you mean you can’t shut the shower off,” I chimed back. My friend then came out of the bathroom saying that she couldn’t turn the handle of the shower. I immediately thought, ok, I might be able to crank it off, but to no avail was this thing budging. It was stuck on full blast and starting to really heat up the room and water was starting to go everywhere. I tried again and again to get the shower handle to budge, but it wasn’t working. What were we going to do? We couldn’t just leave the shower running all night. I tried emailing and calling the people that owned the B&B, but no luck. Nobody could be reached and nobody was at the B&B. At this point, I was getting really pissed off because nobody was around to help. I then heard the front door of the B&B open and I quickly stuck my head over the banister upstairs and peered down below and saw that an older couple had arrived back from a night out. I yelled down to them and told them our situation. The man and woman awkwardly came into our room to help as my friend sat there in her towel with the shower running full blast. The man went into the washroom and tried his best to dislodge the handle, but even he couldn’t do it. Things were getting ridiculous now. After 25 minutes of trying, another guy came back to the B&B and he was about our age I’m guessing. I asked him if he could help us out and now he was in our room along with the older married couple and that damn running shower. It was a full blown party of five now! After reefing on the handle for a good five minutes, he finally got the shower to stop! It was a miracle! We said our heartfelt thank yous, said goodnight and ended our night trying to air out our sauna of a room. Good times.
Read more: A journey to the Green Isle
Jewellery Hostage Situation in Cork
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I tend to ALWAYS leave my rings in a public bathroom after washing my hands. It’s just something I’ve always done. I’ll chalk it up to not wearing a lot of accessories most days when I’m at home. Well, the day we arrived in Cork, Ireland was no exception. We arrived to our hotel fairly early, so we still had about an hour before our room would be ready for us. We were about to head out for a bite to eat and a drink after storing our luggage, when I had to use the washroom. I headed down the stairs of the hotel to use the public washroom and once I was done, we headed out. When we came back to the hotel and put our things away, I realized that my ring was nowhere to be found. Oops, I did it again! I went down to the washroom to get my ring and when I noticed that it wasn’t there, I went to the front desk and asked if anyone returned my silver ring with the big black stone. “Yes,” the woman said, “a lady found your ring downstairs and brought it to the desk.” I sighed with relief and said thank you, but there was a catch. “Oh, don’t thank me yet,” she said as she pushed a piece of paper my way. “The woman still has your ring and says that if you want it back, to call her at this number.” I cocked my eyebrow and couldn’t contain the WTF facial expression that was slowly making its way across my face. I asked the woman at the front desk if she could dial the number, since I didn’t have an international calling plan on my phone. Once I got the thief on the phone, she wanted me to come to the next town over to meet her. Ya, I don’t think so! I thanked her for leaving her number and told her that the ring meant a lot to me and I was travelling from Canada and wanted the ring back. She then proceeded to tell me that it was a nice ring and she wanted to keep it, but I couldn’t get it back until she came back into Cork two hours from that time. She then said that she would drop it off at the front desk of the hotel for me, so I said that was fine and hung up. Two hours went by and when I went to the front desk again, the woman mentioned that the lady didn’t want to give the ring back, but after talking her out of running away with it, she left it for me after all!
Getting Attacked By a Marmoset in South Africa
It was bright and early on our first full day volunteering at Daktari Bush School in South Africa when I made my way down to the Lapa (the eating area) to make myself a strong coffee. There was only two of us up at this point, and we happen to notice a cute marmoset jumping around and curiously staring at us. Someone in the kitchen gave us some little dried fruit snacks to give him, but of course, I end up eating one to myself before realizing they were for the monkey, not us. Oops! It was early, give me a break! What started off as feeding the cute little bugger, turned into a mischievous attack. Picture the movie Gremlins, in the famous scene when Gizmo eats after midnight and turns into a havoc wreaking disaster, well that was the marmoset when I ran out of snacks for him. He then jumped onto my shoulder and dug his little claws right into my neck then went right for my jugular with his sharp little razor teeth! “Get him off me!! Rip him off!!” I remember screaming. When he finally loosened his grip, I realized I was bleeding. Not a lot, but enough to see that I was bit by a little monkey. All this excitement and it wasn’t even 6:30am yet. Go figure. Once I cleaned up and disinfected the area with the help of my trusty first-aid kit, I was good to go. The photo below is literally taken RIGHT before he launched onto my neck.
Read more: I left my heart in South Africa
Awkward scenarios are unavoidable and will inevitably happen while you travel. The only way you can deal with them is to laugh it off and remember that all experiences, good or bad, are part of the adventure and not to mention, make for some hilarious stories to tell your family and friends when you return home.
What are some of your strangest and most awkward travel stories? Share them with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear some really good ones! xo