Chile Group Post: Worst Travel Experience

So, we are doing another Chile Bloggers Group post— only this time it is not necessarily Chile specific.  The theme was something along the line of: travel stories.

Therefore, I have decided to share my worst travel experience ever. Ever.

Whenever I think worst anything, there are competing options.  Worst meal– well do I count the ones that made me sick or the ones that were most disappointing.  Worst outfit– does 80s clothes worn in the 80s count or should I go with my flannel grunge look.  Only on worst roommate ever and worst travel experience ever so I have no question in my mind.

To preface, let me say, besides this one night, the trip was great.  I was in Romania, with my then partner, Jason.   We had traveled and seen castles.  We has skied. Well, he skied. I fell. We had eaten donuts.

We were traveling between two cities in Romania (I have blocked which ones out of my mind.  Jason, do you remember? Angela, ask him!) and I had done the planning. Yes. I take full responsibility for this.  I had found an overnight train.  Perfect. One night less to pay housing, plus I sleep well sitting up. We got to the station, bought the tickets and were ready to go.

It was odd that people were congregating like cougars ready to jump as soon as the train arrived. It was weird how many men were there. It was Romania, so it was not weird that everyone was drinking.  It was weird that we had no assigned seats.  Still, I thought, ever optimistic, that Jason and I would have no problems getting our seats together.  Little did we know….

There were no seats. It was a 7 hour, overnight train, and there were no seats!

To make things worse (and I was already crying at this point), the train was jam packed. It seemed as though everyone was smoking. The person next to me was literally touching me he was so close. I sat on my backpack, on the gross gross floor, and wanted to cry.  Then, the man next to me, whipped it out and urinated. One the floor. Not next to me. But close enough. To see it. To smell it.

So, I sat there. Horrified. And cried. And nothing Jason could do, could make it better.

Except, I think that we did manage to steal seats at some point when the people who had known better and gotten on the car with seats and paid for those seats got up.  I think. Really. I have done my best to block out the worst travel experience and its specifics from my brain.

Here are the other bloggers (this will be updated as people post):

  • Kyle: A variety of hostle experience
  • Sara: What happens in Puerto Rico stays in Puerto Rico.
  • Aimee: Mumbai changed her perspective on life.
  • Heather: Discovered an interesting culture within a culture in the U.S. in a small town.
  • Renee: Her greatest hits in travel.
  • Shannon: A walk down memory lane back to when summer vacation was the only thing on a kid’s mind.

And months (Sept 09) after the fact, without having anything to do with this group, Eileen wrote a great post on the subject that you should read.


  1. OMG. That is AWFUL. That is the kind of nightmare I am hoping to avoid when we travel!!!!

    UGH. Pee on the floor. Just being around clean people in a small space gets to me, I can’t imagine being in such a closed dirty environment.

  2. OMG! HAha, sorry I couldn;t stop myself from laughing.
    But every traveler has that kind of story. The kind where we wish we could forget, but nontheless a great story to tell no matter how embarassing or terrible the experience it. It’s a story to tell that makes the trip worthwhile.

  3. That’s incredible that you sat on the floor literally in a sty. Wow. I can’t believe the guy started peeing right in front of you. No. Wait. Yes I can. I’ve seen that here.

  4. Wow, I think I would have a train phobia after that. My worst similar story is a 2 hour train ride back from Oxford, England where a guy who had a distinct body odor smell like some people do proceeded to take off his shoes and expose his nasty ungroomed toe nails and peeling feet and was using his finger to itch between his toes and then would bite his fingernails. There were no other seats to move to and I wanted to barf. Not only watching him but thinking about his feet being on the seat and wondering what had been on the seat I was sitting on- I got the heebie geebies. I couldn’t imagine something like this knowing I would be stuck for 7 hours. I think the worst I’ve ever heard is from a friend who was on a full plane where the man next to her decided to please himself in the middle of the night. I really can’t imagine what I would have done in that situation- I know my reaction would not be pretty though.

  5. GROOOOOOSS. I’m sorry that happened. It probably is best to keep blocking it out. hahaha. Yes trains can be the scenario for some interesting tales. 😉

  6. Ohhhhh wow! That is BAD. It sounded like you were in a cattle car or something. Or on the Santiago metro at hora peak for 7 hours.

    And Aimee…I almost barfed just reading the story of the feet guy. UGH!

  7. EEEeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww. Your story really got to me (and I have my own set of disgusting traveling experiences) but I don’t recall any as bad as this.

  8. Hey – I think my only memory of that night was you crouched on the floor crying…it was pitiful 😦 Where we going to Sighisoara or back from? I remember we caught the train in some god-awful industrial town. I don’t remember the name. Anyways, I thought of it more of a passing experience (not a pleasant one for sure) but an interesting footnote and a chance to see what many Romanians have to put up with on a daily basis. Of course, I didn’t see the penis come out…that must have been disturbing…but I do remember the aroma of urine, cigarette smoke, and suica wafting around. I think the packed rutierra rides to Chisinau from the village with my knees on my chest or standing under the hood were more uncomfortable, but obviously shorter.

  9. Jason– my other clear memory from that night was you unequivocally telling me that I was NEVER allowed to plan a vacation for us again. And, as history shows, I didn’t. You planned the trip around Eastern Europe and the camping in Oklahoma. And they both went off without me seeing any male genitalia peeing in front of me. Good job!

  10. It appears to me that you took a “personal” train (gypsie train) so you were wrong because YOU have done the planning.A lesson learn, for you and people who read this.

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