With the good also comes the bad, and although I’d like to forget about some of this stuff completely, here are some of my worst travel moments of 2014:
Getting ripped off in Rome
Let me be blunt: I hate Rome. Sure, it’s a staple city with some must-see attractions. But I say if you can get in and out in just a few hours, you’re better off.
I know a lot of people will agree with me, and others won’t. That’s fine. Why don’t I like Rome? Aside from the Coliseum, Rome is like any other big city. Nothing special. I almost don’t even feel like I’m in Italy. The streets are dirty, the crowds are overwhelming, and a lot of the people are rude. More specifically, the unlicensed cab drivers–which frequently blend in with the legitimate ones–want nothing more than to rip off unsuspecting tourists. Sadly, I was a victim of the bill switch scam when I visited, which is when a driver pretends you gave him a much smaller bill than you actually did and demands you pay the “full fare.” In the end, you pay double or triple the amount–not to mention they turn off their meters off halfway through the journey and demand a ridiculous amount of money.
I realize this was my fault and I’m usually alert of such things, including conniving taxi drivers (they’re in a lot of cities, not just Rome). But boy, the problem is extremely widespread in Rome, more so than any other place I’ve ever visited.
The heat in India
We purposely traveled to India during its hottest month, May, to increase our chances of seeing tigers at Ranthambore National Park. Well, we were successful and saw quite a few, but this also meant enduring this miserable heat for the rest of our trip. With the exception of the evenings, the average temperature throughout our India trip was a steady and dreadful 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so hot that I was getting fevers. I wasn’t sick because I had no other symptoms and they’d go away at night. Seriously though, India in May makes me believe that spontaneous combustion might just be possible.
Driving in Fethiye
Driving in other countries, especially in Europe, is a lot different from driving in the United States. Winding mountain roads without guardrails are the norm, and I’d been on some scary drives before.
Or so I thought.
Nothing could ever prepare me for the awful and dangerous drive that is the mountain roads of Fethiye. To be more specific, I was heading toward the Lissiya Hotel, and as gorgeous as it was, I’m not sure I’d recommend anyone stay there because of how scary the drive was. In particular, the extremely thin, unpaved, and uphill portion that comes right before you arrive at the hotel is the icing on the cake. The most terrifying part of all was when our car fishtailed right near an edge with a steep and deadly drop.
My experience with Royal Caribbean
Over the summer, I took a nine-night cruise and while the destinations were absolutely amazing, the cruise itself was awful. I dreaded getting back on the boat each day.
I’m surprised because I’ve cruised with RC before, but they were shorter cruises that left out of Miami. Maybe it’s just a whole new ballgame when it comes to European cruises, but the entire experience from the beginning was awful. The “entertainment” for nine days was horrendously boring (I think they did it on purpose so that you’d spend money drinking yourself silly), many of their male staff members were pretty creepy, all of the food was disgusting, and they screwed up so many things. Screwed up our dinner reservations, screwed up our bills, screwed up laundry, and the list goes on.
Are there any travel nightmares from this year that you’d like to forget?