Emma mentioned the Travel Link Up, which is this brilliant thing that a load of people do each month, where there’s a specific topic chosen and then everyone writes a blog post about it, and then they all go and comment on each other’s posts, and it’s basically a big travel-related blog love-in.
I’ve been meaning to participate for aaaages but I’m rubbish at getting my act together and doing it.
But this month, it’s about fucking things up, and we all know that’s one of my fortes. So, here goes.
Things I’ve been Stupid About While Travelling, By Scar
1. Amsterdam, 2013
This was the first time I ever went abroad. I know! Ridiculous. I didn’t have a passport until four years ago, but I’d recently started working for myself, and one of my clients wanted to send me to Amsterdam, so I’d gone and got myself a passport and managed to book a flight, and headed off.
I was at DFRWS, a digital forensics research conference. It was my first time there, but they’re a really good bunch of people and things always get quite interesting.
By interesting, I mean we almost always seem to end up drunk on a boat.
Amsterdam was no exception. We were on a barge somewhere in the city, far away from where I was staying. The Forensics Rodeo was happening, which is where we all have to down shots while we’re trying to solve a (fake) case, and then whoever manages to (a) stay standing and (b) solve the case at the end of the night wins.
Yes, my job is really fucking cool.
At 2am I decided I was done. The winning team hadn’t yet been announced, the world was looking increasingly fuzzy, and I wanted to get some sleep before the next morning.
So I wandered off the barge and up some steps, and down the street, and then I thought… where the fuck am I? How do I order a cab in Amsterdam? Are there night buses here?
I was completely, 100% unprepared for wandering through the city at night. Somehow I managed to navigate back to the place I was staying without even the help of public transport, but by the time I got there it was about 4am and I was soaking wet (from the rain, I didn’t fall in a canal or anything).
Lesson learned: Check your route home before you go out in a foreign country.
2. South Carolina, 2014
Not to be outdone, South Carolina’s ocean decided to try to kill me.
I still don’t know exactly what happened.
I’d spent one of my days off work swimming in the sea. I’d been having a great time. I saw that they were starting to pack up the beach chairs, one of which I’d hired, so I went and grabbed my stuff and started to walk back to the motel.
I thought my leg felt a bit funny. Vaguely sore? And I couldn’t seem to walk normally. But whatever, I thought, I’m sure it’s fine.
A couple of people yelled at me on the way home “Hey! Are you OK?!” but I ignored them, thinking they were drunk. As I walked past the front of the motel, the people in the pool stopped playing ball and turned and stared. I wondered what was wrong.
I got into my motel room, went into the bathroom, peeled off my board shorts, looked down… and saw a puddle of blood spreading across the floor.
At which point I remembered I hadn’t booked travel insurance for this trip.
There was a lot of blood. Luckily I’m not squeamish. I managed to clean myself off a bit, but it was still bleeding. I wrapped some towels around my leg and tied them as tightly as I could, cleaned the blood from the floor, then turned to pick up my shorts… and started laughing.
The shorts had originally been white and light blue. Now they were soaked in blood on both sides. I looked like I’d been bitten by a shark or something. No wonder people had been staring.
I couldn’t really do much about it and I didn’t want to try to go to A&E, American healthcare being notoriously pricey, so instead I put a load of towels out on the bed and lay there bleeding for the next 24 hours, until it was time to go to the airport.
Let me tell you, a nine-hour flight with a leg that’s still intermittently bleeding? Not so fun.
Lesson learned: Travel insurance. EVERY TIME.
3. Überlingen, 2017
In a few weeks’ time I am going to Germany for work. I decided to be sensible and book my flights and hotel early, so last week I booked through Lufthansa (who, incidentally, have the worst customer service of any airline I’ve ever tried to book with), and I used my schoolgirl German to book myself into a B&B.
Last night I was on the phone to Caitlin. We were discussing plans for meeting up and hanging out, and I mentioned that I’m singing in a concert on the 24th of March (which y’all should come to, by the way!).
I could feel my voice slowing down gradually as I neared the end of the sentence, though.
“Our next concert is on… the… 24th… of… March?” I told her.
“Wait. That’s the day after the conference ends in Germany.
Wait. I think I booked to fly back the day after the concert.”
And so I pulled up the email with my flight confirmation, and yes, that is exactly what I have done, Class-A idiot that I am.
I can’t miss the concert, so I’m going to have to change the flights, but I always book the cheapest option because I’m stingy, and I don’t think I have the ability to change the booking. So that might be several hundred pounds down the drain.
Both Germany and the concert had better be fucking excellent.
Lesson learned: Double-check your calendar before you book a trip abroad
So, that’s my idiocy for this month (hopefully finished now…).
Joining the link-up
The rules (taken from Emma’s blog): As ever, there are no rules – all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s always a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!
Go on, make me feel better about being stupid.