On the whole, I’ve been a very fortunate traveller. However, I’m pretty cautious, so I like to think this helps keep me out of danger. Also: I’m not a big people person, so I’m almost never found in large groups which helps me avoid a shit ton of nonsense in addition to helping me keep my sanity. Score!
In saying that, I have had a countless stupid and some genuinely scary experiences on my travels, but they are greatly outnumbered by the awesome memories I have and friends (canine, obvs) I’ve made along the way. These are my most memorable experiences, so far*
*The situations mentioned are in no way indicative of the places I was in, or the people I met. They’re simply moments in time when I was genuinely dizzy, shocked or inappropriately amused.
I adored travelling in Mexico and was ecstatic to finally get the chance to travel to Chichen Itza and so many other fabulous Mayan sites while I was there. I also enjoyed the 5 star all inclusive resort I spent my days in, sipping cocktails in the intense heat and generally chilling out. I love animals and seeing new creatures, and have an intense fondness for the sweet little lizards that darted around my pool hut. I had mentioned this to one of the resort staff; a lovely man called Enrico and was thrilled when one day he came to me, excitedly nattering about a lizard that had strayed into the area and did I want to come have a look, Mrs Suzanne? SI, Enrico! Those little guys are so cute and my initial confusion at why he’d come to get me (as the lizards were literally everywhere), disappeared and off I trotted in Enrico’s wake.
‘My confusion soon turned to horror when it dawned on me that the creature I rounded the corner and poked my head beneath some low hanging bushes to see was NOT, in fact, a cute, harmless lizard, but a 10ft giant alligator type thing with huge chops and a really pissed expression’
He had indeed strayed in to our paradise – – possibly on the lookout for one of their signature cocktails- – and Enrico quickly informed me that the resort staff had to call the Monitor Monitor (I’m guessing, here… ). This did NOT sound like something that happened when you stumble upon a non-human munching lizard. This one looked like it could take on one of the larger American tourists and possibly still come back for dessert.
And so, as I stood next to Enrico, inwardly chastising myself for telling him I liked lizards and wondering how the HELL I could serupticiously take a photo without making it chase me as I realised that this would make a *really* good story. You know… If I survived long enough to tell it.
I case you’re wondering, the Monitor Monitor soon swooped in with his big net and swiftly removed aforementioned beastie, leaving me in need of several more cocktails and a lie down. During quiet moments at night, I often wonder how he’s doing…
Downtown Manhattan, NYC:
On my very first trip to NYC, I did what lots of tourists do and, when I needed to get to the port for a dinner cruise, I hailed a cab. I’d done this from Newark airport just the day before and it had been perfectly easy. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay this way. I got a cab no problem, but two minutes after I sat down, after giving the driver my directions, I heard Police sirens going off somewhere behind me. Now, this was NYC, so it’s not like I was that surprised by the noise. I was, however, alarmed AF when I realised that the sirens were right behind me and making noise for the sole purpose of getting my taxi to stop. I immediately regretted taking this tea sachets from the airport lunge and wondered if this was the result of me forgetting to out my phone on airplane mode for the flight from Edinburgh??
My driver, who was largely unruffled by the whole thing, eventually stopped and it turned out that, in addition to making a turn on red, his licence was also *slightly* dodgy. I believe he was eventually deported to Mexico. Or, if he wasn’t, he certainly will be now be now that Donald Trump’s in the White House. He wasn’t even Mexican.