Traveling can be a wonderful, world-expanding experience.
But sometimes, it can be tough.
A lot can go really really wrong, especially when you're in a place where you don't speak the language or understand the culture.
via: ShutterstockWas in Cambodia, group of men trying to mug me. Spot a police officer very close by. I look at him for help, he proceeds to also demand for my money. At the time it was a bit of a prickly situation but today it makes me laugh just thinking about how I felt when I finally understood the cop was also trying to rob me. –nomadicfrog
via: ShutterstockWife and I dined out at a remote town in Italy. Wife decided to take a shortcut out of parking lot and ended up in a ditch. The only chef and waiter came out to help. Chef ended up twisting ankle badly. Waiter brought his car and tied a rope to mine to pull it out. His bumper ripped off. All the while we were communicating through gestures because I didn't speak Italian and they English. –portajohnjackoff
via: ShutterstockI was in Berlin when it was a divided city. To go from West Berlin to East Berlin I, as a US citizen, went through Checkpoint Charlie. Some friends and I were meeting in East Berlin for dinner one night. We were traveling separately. The thing to realize is that once you were on East Berlin soil, you were on your own. If there were any problems, I was told to seek help from the Russian occupiers. (The Cold War was still real, so this was just surreal) We were to have limited to no contact with the East German military or police. So, I get through Checkpoint Charlie and walk into East German soil. I stopped at their checkpoint - it was like a little horse stall where you stood and had the Easy German military look at your passport. I handed it over. He looked at it, said something in German. I said I didn't speak German. He began accusing me of being a spy. I was escorted out of the "stall" and into a very plain holding room with a bench running the length of the room. That's all that was there. I remained standing. It was January and really cold. I wondered what my friends would do when I didn't show up as planned. About 30 minutes later, two soldiers came into the room, handed me my passport, and let me go. I drank a lot that night. –Terpsichorus
via: ShutterstockMy drink was spiked in Prague. Came to 2 hours later, walking down a road on the edge of the city. Got back to my hostel a further 2 hours later, because I had no idea where I was. Still had my money/phone/keys, so it makes me think the drink was for someone else. –StuHardy
via: ShutterstockWe were crossing the border from Malaysia to Thailand over a bridge. As we were making our way across no man's land, this local looking guy ran out of nowhere in his underpants chased by 2 guys. He got to the Malaysian side and a soldier put his hand up to say he couldn't go through. He did a U-turn, dodged the 2 guys chasing him and ran to the Thai side. Again, a soldier put up his hand to stop him. He did another U-turn, dodged the guys, tried to jump on a scooter, but as he was taking off, they pulled him off the scooter. He got away from them again but was stuck on the bridge with no way out. We got to the Thai side, checked into Thailand and to this day, still wonder how the hell he ended up almost naked, in no man's land, with 2 pissed off guys after him. –KuriTokyo
via: ShutterstockGot stuck in Sydney. Gigantic cluster of a day. Took the rail to the airport 3 hours early to go back to US. Went to check in and realized my passport was back in the hotel. In attempt to still make flight, took a luxury cab back to hotel. Got it, and sped back. Expensive. Got back to airport, ran in, but still missed flight. Went to reschedule/reorder tickets for next available, realized my wallet was missing. Now no cash. Ran back to cab, but was already gone. Tried to call company but my world phone was running out of minutes and charge—with no credit cards or cash to recharge. Was my birthday. Ultimately was able to reach my wife who arranged a stay at nearby hostel and rescheduled flight the next day. Cabby ended up showing back up at the airport much later that day, and I asked if I could search cab. I ended up finding wallet in between the seat cushions. Crazy. Day. –Kenitzka
via: ShutterstockMy family and I took a 16 day trip across Europe a few years ago. We were supposed to get on the 11 am train to Paris from Munich that morning, but we all had gotten up early and decided to take the 9 am train instead. Found out later there was an incident with an armed gunman on the train we were initially planning on taking. –RollingOwl
via: ShutterstockWhen I was 18 I went travelling around Europe by myself, one of the things I wanted to do was visit the beaches at Normandy and because I love band of brothers I decided to stay in Carentan. While I was there I got a train/bus to the American military cemetery and spent a few hours there and at Omaha beach and then went back to catch my bus, I somehow however managed to miss the last bus by about 10 minutes and with it being a Sunday everything was closed early. So I was stuck in Normandy 20ish miles from my B and B, my phone battery was nearly dead and so I had to make a decision between trying to find an English speaking taxi firm or to use it for maps. My stupid 18-year-old self decided it’d be better to walk it, 6 hours and a few sketchy looking French villages later I got back to my room and stuck my mouth under the tap in my bathroom because to top it all off I had no food or water with me at the time. –Pentonvile
via: ShutterstockI had my wallet/ID stolen in Ireland while roughly 5 hours away from where all my other stuff was. By the time I was able to get back to my hotel and cancel my cards, the thief had already spent 1200 dollars. –PleaseFightMeIRL
via: ShutterstockOn a family cruise from US to Mexico to help my aunt get over her husband just dying. We all went snorkeling at the first port stop and my aunt's best friends husband had a heart attack while snorkeling. We had to leave these two elderly widows behind in Mexico to make it back to the ship before it left us. Rest of the trip sucked. –salamancas
via: ShutterstockMy father and I were backpacking around Australia signing up for various work exchange programs to travel on the cheap. One ended up going sideways and the lady who was hosting us came home drunk and angry. She started to get into a confrontation with my dad while swinging a foot long meat cleaver. Things got so heated that we both started backing away to the front door, which was locked so I donkey kicked the thing open. We ran down the stairs grabbed our backpacks which thankfully were not unpacked, and we ran out to the street. Unfortunately, this lady lived 30 mins from everything including neighbors, and it was about 1130 at night. Me and my dad ended up hiking to an area with more people and hitched a ride to the nearest town. I feel bad about kicking the door, but my hands were full with trying to grab our personal items off the table as we were quickly backing up. –-AyeO-
via: ShutterstockMy friend, who had most of my papers, and I got separated when we landed in New York and spend hours in the airport looking for each other. –NotAllAltmer
via: ShutterstockMy husband and I took a two-month road trip throughout Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany for our honeymoon, a trip made possible by a Garmin GPS. Somewhere in a gorgeous little town in the Loire Valley, France, GPS tells us to turn down "road". We do, but immediately it looks weird - tree encroaching very close to our little Fiat, and a very tiny asphalt road that gives way to dirt. I voice my concerns and tell him to back up because there was no turning around. He says we are fine and continues. A few seconds later the road narrows further, and crumbles into the river - thank god he was paying attention. We back up and circle around to find our way via another route. On the parallel street, we end up seeing the terminal end of "road", which is actually a pedestrian walking path with steps at the end. For most people, this wouldn't be so scary, but my husband is one determined fucker and I thought he was going to cowboy that s**t. –Apatheticforcredit
via: ShutterstockLocals tried to plant drugs on me for the cops to catch. I was in Thailand, on an island with not many foreigners compared to the big ones. We were just chilling at a beach bar when the server sees the Canadian flag on my bag and starts a convo about weed being legalized. We chat for a bit and he seems cool. 5 min later he comes back and puts a bag of weed in my hands and says "have fun; the police doesn't care here". I don't smoke so I handed it back to him after a bit, not thinking further. Then some foreigners who live in Thailand came up to me and told me that this stuff happens a lot in the region. The police gives bounties for bar staff for catching drug users and they end up planting the drug themselves, then calling the police. Could have gone to Thai prison where I probably would not have enjoyed my stay. Now I have this fear that people plant stuff on me, especially if I travel into a place like Singapore where smuggling = execution. –friedrice1212
via: ShutterstockGot lost in the rainforest in Puerto Rico in 2011. I had just graduated undergrad, and my roommate and I took a week-long trip to Puerto Rico to celebrate. One day, we decided to hike through the rainforest. They had several trails and signs that told you about the local wildlife. Well, we apparently got off the marked trail and started following a different one (it didn't have signs or markings or anything like that, but it was a well-worn path.) After about 4 miles in, we decided maybe we should turn back since we hadn't seen a sign in an over an hour, and we were getting hot and thirsty. We finally found the official trail again and came out of the forest about a mile (somehow) from our entry point, but thankfully near a cantina where we could get some water. Once we were refreshed, we started the walk down to our car, when the bottom dropped out of the sky. We finally made it back to the car drenched, tired, but, satisfied with the adventure. –GundamMaker
via: ShutterstockWent to Vegas for my 21st birthday a few years back. My former friend and I drove from Northern California so it was an 8-hour drive. Being young and reckless, our main goal was to get laid. The last night I hooked up with a girl and afterward, I hit my friend up to see where he's at. He tells me he is on the way home. WTF! Come back, how far are you? He said he is only 20 minutes out. I told him I have no more cash to go home/book a flight (21-year-old college student). I texted him and said he needs to come back or else I am stranded. He does not respond. At this point, I am just fucked. Stuck in another state with no money. I am fully drunk at this point walking the streets of Vegas at 2 am when I hear someone calling my name. My childhood friend was also in Vegas. We kicked it, drank some more, and he booked me a flight home. I paid him back the week after. –DaddyStopItHurts
via: ShutterstockHad a tripped planed from US --> London --> Prague --> Munich. Everyone told us to book our train from Prague to Munich beforehand. No big deal, we went to the bahn website before we left, sort of struggled through the website. Got our physical tickets in the mail, continue on our journey. The thing was we didn't know that the tickets were 100% in German, which neither of us spoke. It comes to our last morning in Prague. We head to the Central Train Station, try to find our departure area. Start to panic when we don't see anything that represents anything on our ticket. Can't find the platform we need to be at, only 15 minutes before we're supposed to leave, we really start to panic. We finally found out that we booked a BUS, not a train. So we ran up to the street, see other people standing around and they spoke English. Got to Munich safe and sound! –Weft_
via: ShutterstockMy husband and I went on a cruise with absolutely no belongings. We flew from Denver to Miami, where the cruise left from, and the airline lost our luggage. We left on the cruise anyways. The cruise line let us dig through the lost and found for clothes to wear- especially for clothes that fit the dining room’s dress code. The pictures from that cruise are funny because I am wearing clothes that were completely not my style that I’d never normally wear. Like a bright red ball gown and a teeny tiny bikini. We got our luggage delivered to our home at 3 am about 5 months later. –mnhaverland Shre this with the world travelers in your life!