As therapeutic and exciting traveling can be, there are times when the journey can be rough.
Things happen and sometimes plans go wrong, especially when you can’t communicate because of language barriers or understand the customs.
The following traveling horror stories will make you cringe, laugh, or cry, but regardless of how you feel, don’t let them deter you from exploring the world:
Falsely Accused In Front Of Everyone
Flying from Asia in First Class (miles!!) when loudly accused by male flight attendant of “destroying the bathroom” (That’s not embarrassing). Turned out it was a young Korean guy. Dude then decided to argue with me about why he didn’t owe me an apology. (Where they do that at??) – Jamal Simmons
When asked which airline by a Twitter user, Simmons stated he wanted to keep the company anonymous because it was handled by the company.
Attacked By Neo-Nazis With Kids In Car
I was sitting behind the wheel of our Volvo station wagon, hubby riding shotgun, two kids buckled in back. We were waiting for a spot at Santa Monica Pier – Lot 2. It had always been lucky for us.
We finally noticed a group heading to their car, and luckily for us, they were going to be giving us their spot. (You know how those lots are: you hold at one end of the one-way aisle, another car waits at the other aisle … it’s orderly first come first served, self-serve parking.)
At some point, it becomes obvious that these people have gotten into their vehicle and are waving over the ‘potential parker’ from the other aisle. They were deliberately backing up towards my car so that only the ‘potentials’ could get into the newly vacated space.
Had I not put it in reverse and rolled back a few feet, they literally would have hit my car. Luckily, I’d reversed barely enough for them or the other car to access the impossibly tight space. It was infuriating. It was offensive. It was aggressive.
My husband had gotten so angry that he started yelling out his window at the “offensive parkers.” It was obvious to everyone that they were denying us the courtesy of ‘wait your turn, take your turn’ coastal parking lot etiquette.
I was still stunned, but the hubby was angry and verbal enough that he’d begun loudly arguing back at the vehicle now sitting in front of us.
The interloping vehicle, unable to approximate any type of parking in that spot from that angle, had given up, relinquished the spot and had pulled forward enough to block anyone from exiting our aisle; including the “offensive parkers.” There was still arguing going on between the hubby and the “offensives.” But it had become clear to everyone in the vicinity of the lot that this was an issue based on race.
I’m a black woman. My husband is white. The truckload of racist Nazis were appropriately Neo-Nazi white, but darker than my pale hubby.
One of the Nazis got out of his truck to stand in front of our car and argue the merits of ‘race mixing’ at my hubby. The hub got so angry that he threw his venti Starbucks on the back of the Nazi mobile. It was messy and made things worse.
At which point, the Nazi came to my window: the silent black driver, reached into the slightly open window, grabbed my head and pulled so hard that he smashed my head into my own driver’s side window and then pushed into the front windshield. It was an assault.
Pedestrians were rushing over, my kids were screaming, I was yelling, pulling away from the Nazi and frantically pushing the button so that his arm got trapped in the now closing window. It was a hot mess. It was violent. It was too close. It was horrible. And it gets worse.
The venti latte slinging hubby? Oh, he was crouched down in his seat, leaning away from me and the Nazi arm trapped in the window. No, he was not trying to help me at all, or even protectively shielding our kids; which really infuriated me.
I was trying to decide if we needed to drive over the Nazis because two more had gotten out of the car during the melee. I guess they were the cooler heads of the bunch, because they kicked and spit all over my Volvo as they pulled the head smashing Nazi back into the truck and they all took off.
Luckily, I’d gotten their license plate number, and good citizen pedestrians had also jotted down good descriptions including the make and model of the vehicle with accomplices. There were about four onlookers who accompanied us to the Santa Monica Police hut on the pier; all of us intent on filing charges.
The police knew the Nazis. They took the information, allowed all of us to pick out their mugshots, in which they just so happened to have on hand, because as the Santa Monica Police Officers stated:
“Oh, we know these guys; they do this sort of thing all of the time. They’re part of this racist group that we’ve been monitoring. No need to press charges just yet, we have our own way of handling them. It’s all part of a bigger investigation. We’ll get them for you, honey.”
They refused to let any of us press charges or file an incident report.
I’ve never been back to Santa Monica ever since, including driving through there for any reason. My mind put up a mental detour around that area for quite a while, and I’m from the south. And yes, I divorced him. -Anonymous
Not Realizing Your Barber Didn’t Finish Hair School
In Cape Verde, Mr. Barber is 65 years old and has been cutting hair for 52 years. Speaking very little English, he explains he didn’t finish school with a translation app.” – Alphonso Van Marsh