Doing silly things is part of being human. Whether putting hair gel on our toothbrushes or shoes on the wrong feet, we’re all capable of little mistakes now and then. Some, however, are bigger than others – and if we make those mistakes while away from home, they can seem even worse.
An internet user asked, “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done (accidentally or unknowingly) while traveling?” These were some of the best answers given.
1. Disembarked a Train in the Middle of Nowhere
One answer came from someone who had backpacked through Italy with their friends as a 23-year-old. They were on a train on the way to Montepulciano when it came to a stop. The group of pals all got off the train, believing it to be their stop.
The reality was very different. It wasn’t a stop, and they’d exited the train in the middle of nowhere. It happened in the era before smartphones, so they had no way to contact anyone or google anything. They had to hike for hours along the track until they reached Montepulciano. By that point, one of the group had fallen over and sliced their knee open, which ultimately required surgery after becoming infected.
2. Gave Away $20 in Zimbabwe
While in Zimbabwe, one user said they wanted to buy an enormous pile of Zimbabwean dollars ($1 is currently around 322 Zimbabwean dollars). So he gave a man a $20 bill and asked him to exchange it. The man said he’d return with a bag full of Zimbabwean money.
The user’s wife told him, “You’re never going to see that guy again.” The user says she was right, as usual.
3. Lost a Passport in Marrakech
A lady responded, telling a tale from her solo travels as a lone young female. She was in Marrakech and contracted the norovirus. She was due to fly home the following morning, but her brain was foggy at the airport. She rushed to the toilet to vomit and left her passport on the seat she was sitting on. When she returned, it had gone.
The panic-stricken woman broke down and called her mother when a kind older lady pulled her aside and took her to the customer service desk. There, she found that an employee had taken her passport to the desk, and everything turned out fine. She felt “dumb” but was ultimately relieved.
4. Woke up in a Different Country
One user on the thread said they’d done a lot of stupid stuff while traveling in their twenties, but nothing was more ridiculous than getting so drunk they blacked out and waking up in another country. It was a tale they’d told online before, so they provided a link to a previous telling.
They’d been drinking whiskey in a Russian bar in Busan, South Korea. They were on a bench with their head in their backpack when they woke up. Everything was rocking, which suggested they were on a docked boat, which was the case. Everyone else had disembarked, so the poster headed onto dry land and noticed all the signs were Japanese. They were in Japan, and Japanese immigration wasn’t happy, but they allowed them to stay. After eight days of “bumming around,” the poster got a boat back to South Korea.
5. Thinking Fort Knox Was a Tourist Attraction
An American traveling around their home country described turning up at the Fort Knox military installation in Kentucky and expecting to be able to wander around the place.
In response, another user admitted to doing the same at the Pentagon.
6. Got Left Behind in Nepal
While traveling in Nepal, one user was on a bus when it stopped to allow people to use the bathroom. The user had to urinate for a long time, and the bus honked twice before leaving without them. Their backpack and passport were on the bus.
Fortunately, another passenger was left behind with them, and together, they managed to flag a passing car down and eventually caught up with the bus.
7. A Lift With a Drunk Thai Rocker
One poster told the story of being in Thailand and getting on the back of a motorcycle belonging to the drunk lead singer of a Thai rock band. The inebriated rocker drove so fast that the poster’s eyes were streaming. It was so bad that they had to ask the singer to stop and get a tuk-tuk instead.
Another user replied, reminiscing about getting lifts on motorcycles from equally-drunk Thai people while wearing flip-flops and no helmet when they were in Thailand. It must be an everyday thing!
8. Mingled With Anti-Tourist Protestors
Around 2016 or 2017 (they weren’t sure which), one user was in Barcelona with a few friends. They were wandering when they stumbled on a massive protest. After standing and watching for a while, engrossed by the spectacle, they tried to ask some of the crowd what they were protesting about.
It was a struggle, given the language barrier, but they found out that they were protesting about tourists, and the protest was entitled “Take Back Our City.”
9. Paid $300 for Seven Hours in a Hotel
While on vacation in Paris with friends, one user took a day trip to Brussels. On the way back, they got on the wrong train and ended up in Antwerp, and they had no luggage and nowhere to stay. A kind gentleman said he could get them a discount at the hotel he was staying at.
As it turns out, it was one of the most expensive hotels in Antwerp, and they ended up paying $300 for seven hours of sleep before getting up to get the first train back to Paris in the morning.
10. Put Petrol in a Diesel Rental Car
The user who posted this story didn’t mention where it happened, but they put regular petrol in a diesel car. The rental company hadn’t pointed out that the car was diesel when the user picked it up, which they blame for the error.
Someone asked what happened to the car, prompting the original poster to elaborate. It started breaking down, so they called for a tow. They immediately figured out the problem and took them to a garage. It was the middle of the night, and they had to wake the angry mechanic up. The car was drained of petrol, and the mechanic gave the user a gas can and directions to a petrol station a mile down the road. They had to walk there and back to put diesel in the car.
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