What do your friends love about you? Throughout life, I have generally been commended for two things. First, being non-judgemental (usually…). Second, not giving a shit. Generally, these two characteristics benefit me in addition to everyone around me. Yet, there are times it seems as though the laissez-faire attitude bites me in the ass. As they say, one man’s trash in another man’s treasure, so I share these moments that I should be slight embarrassed by in order to prevent you from doing the same damn thing.
1. Not Getting Vaccinations In Time
Well, I’ll actually have to update y’all on this one, since I’m currently on my flight to Ghana as I type. Going on this trip was pretty last minute; I was informed of the opportunity about a month before my flight. Which is today. Of course I knew I’d need a vaccine. I’m not an idiot!… But I am. Apparently you need to get the yellow fever vaccine 10 days prior to arrival or it’s not valid. My options were buying a new ticket for a week later or just showing up, feigning dumb, and offering a bribe.
We’ll see how it goes in 12 hours.
2. Showing Up At The Airport, Only To Discover I Didn’t Have a Ticket. Twice.
No shit, my heart belongs to Southwest Airlines! One particular trip to my parent’s house in Florida, as a sophomore in college, I had spent a little too much time at my parent’s house. (I’m sure they felt the same way LOL. Love y’all!) So I hastily booked an unbelievably (this is called foreshadowing, and it works in real life too 😂) cheap flight from Tampa to New Orleans. The next day, I waltz up to the southwest sky hub, enjoying the pleasant breeze, ready for gumbo and grits. “Confirmation number?” “Blahblahblah” *SHIT-EATING GRIN* “Hm… It looks like we don’t have a flight for you today Ms. Huntley. But you do have one next Thursday.”
What. The. Fuck. As my momma says, “They don’t call it dope for no reason.” How baked was I when I booked the flight?!
In my defense, it WAS summer break.
That pleasant breeze that brought me in quickly turned in whirlwind of teenaged fury as I fought back tears imagining another week without smoking bowls in my bed, cupcakes for breakfast, and getting ratchet at the world famous Tiger Land of LSU. Before I had the chance to calculate the cost of a new flight, or burst into tears, the Southwest angel says, “Oh, but don’t worry honey. I can get you on today’s flight, free of charge.”
My story ended wonderfully. Another airline, another day, could be a much different outcome! Double check that ish before you pay. Boss Bitch Tip: In the USA, you legally have 24 hours after purchase to cancel your flight free of charge.
But wait, there’s more!
The second time I made this mistake was during my incident with Stockholm Syndrome, (which I actually haven’t written about… Another story for another time…). After a few sober, costly, but memorable days in Stockholm, Paulius and I decided it was time to head for warmer weather. One morning, after checking Skyscanner, we settled on an unbelievably cheap (are we seeing a pattern yet?) ticket from Stockholm to Paris THAT NIGHT on the last flight out of Stockholm.
Giddy as can be, we roamed around the city all day, and dreamed of macrons and bubbly under the Eiffel Tower. Slightly buzzed, we hop on the Arlanda Tram (swear to G, the name is burnt into my memory), and arrive with over 100 lbs of luggage ready to take on the most romantic city in the world. As we get to the reservations desk, we’re informed there is NO reservation under our confirmation number. They say there are no more tickets. Since it was the last flight, we had to lick our wounds and take the tram ALL the way back into town. When I get wifi, I check my spam folder in my email and there it was, the cancelled reservation.
Apparently, SkySkanner.com had let me book the tickets, even though there were none available. Be wary of 3rd party airline reservations and ALWAYS double check your spam for important information!
3. Getting My Passport Snatched (and then returned)
I’ve written about this story in full, right here. But, in a nutshell, this is what happened. My last night in Rome with my best frand started out with over a dozen (no liee) tequila shots and ended with me verbally threatening the Roman Polizia in Spanish. Proudest moment? Nah. Lowest moment? Not even close.
4. Overpacking in Europe (sorry babe).
After my first tour in Europe, (uh, yeah, we do consider it a tour-Tour de Survival) I swore up and down I would NOT over-pack. Fast-forward to 2014. It was during our honeymoon-even-though-we-are-not-married extravaganza. I thought I was being helpful by packing a carry-on sized suitcase. Key word, thought. Unfortunately, this “carry-on size” was just a ploy created by T.J. Maxx, and my suitcase rang in at 60 lbs at the airport.
In my defense (another familiar tale in this girl’s world) I didn’t expect him to carry it. The whole time. You might be thinking, “Bitch, get a suitcase with wheels.” And my response is, “Bitch, have you ever been to Europe?!” Stairs. Bricks. Cobblestone. Brick bridges. Elevators- HA! Jokes.
It’s not my fault I have a man’s man. Watching him lug my shit up as many as 10 flights of stairs in the Mediterranean summer was painful. But carrying it would be much worst. Boss bitch tip: never bring more than a carry-on. You can buy what you need when you get there.
5. Getting A Terrible Airbnb Rating.
FML. This is a little bit embarrassing because I’m generally pretty aware of when I’m being offensive. Which feels like all the time BUT ANYWAYS….
Our first AirBnB rating was, no joke, 2 stars. WHATTHEFACK. But we didn’t steal anything! But we didn’t defecate in the bed! But-but-but-buttttttt- we totally deserved it.
What did we do wrong? A few things.
- We showed up late. In my defense (I gotta get over defending myself, huh?) we thought we’d be arriving much earlier, but I ended up having to check my bag on the last leg of my flight. She had been waiting for over an hour.
- We slept in both beds. When we rented the room, it was listed as a 3-bed place. I was a little surprised to find out that the renter locked off one of the bedrooms, while the other two were out in the open studio. So we *ahem* rendezvoused in the two open beds. In retrospect, it would probably be ideal to only mess up one bed for the owner to clean up after.
- We didn’t give a proper cleaning. In all honesty, I can’t tell you how the apartment was left. We had a 6 a.m. flight after four days of partying in AMSTERDAM. Did we throw away food? Yes. Did we wipe down the counters? Probably not. Assholes.
My advice? Treat it like you would a good friends place. Not a best friend though, that will lead to low ratings, as I have mentioned.
6. Almost Getting Arrested in Chicago.
Whether it’s at age 14 or 41, I can pretty much guarantee you will smoke de herbs at least once in your life. Heed my advice on this one- just because it’s permitted, doesn’t mean it’s welcome! Case in point, Chicago, New Year’s Eve, age 22.
The funniest part of the whole story is the last thing my mum said to me before I got on the flight, “Be nice and don’t get arrested!”
It was myself, three bad bitches, and one boyfriend. As we prepare for the night out in our GORGEOUS 3-bedroom suite, it came as a group necessity to smoke a blunt. It’s decriminalized in Chicago. We’ll be totally fine, right? WRONG.
About 3/4 through the blunt, an alarming *BANG BANG BANG* came from the door. Mind you, not only are we almost a blunt deep, we had been slamming whiskey since about 8 a.m that morning. So I really don’t think much of it when I peak over my shoulder and notice it’s a hotel worker. We’ll put it out- no big deal, right?
Less than a minute after we say goodbye to the hotel employee, a much more furious BANGBANGBANGBANG followed by, “Chicago PD, OPEN UP!” Fuckersssss. We scramble, trying to flush what we can down the toilet. BANGBANGBANGBANG as the last of the adderal swirls down the porcelain teammate.
WHOOSH! A few cops swarm in, screaming, “What else do you have up here?!” (umm, nothing, it’s swirling down the pipes of Chicago). We all stood by, jaws on the floor, as they proceeded to flip all of our beds over and search the room.
Finally, being the brilliant lawyer I am *eye-roll*, I say, “Isn’t weed decriminalized here?”
I’ll spare you the exasperated response from the cop, but one very good point she (Yes, she. Ms. Officer, Ms. Officer, know ya wish ya name was Mizzus Carter, huh?) made was the fact that we were NOT on our own private property. What we didn’t realize was that the hotel was so old that while we were sitting on the central A/C unit blowing down, the weed smoke was wafting into every single hotel on our floor. She recommended we use some type of perfume from then on out.
We didn’t get arrested. But I did get a $250 charge for smoking in the room.
7. The Time I Should’ve Gotten Kicked Out of a Hostel With April
One theme that runs rampant at A Tipsy Gypsy Life is traveling without expectations. For example, we didn’t expect the city of Venice to shut down at 8 p.m. We didn’t expect the markets to close as well. We definitely didn’t expect to down two bottles of vino rioja each without anything in our stomachs.
The third to last thing I remember was April facetiming her dad, YES HER FKING FATHER, and his response being, “You seem a little sick. You should probably go to bed.” Translated, “Bitch, you wasted. Have some dignity and sleep it off.”
But we didn’t.
The second to last thing I recall is April hanging out of our 4th floor hostel window, titties out, screaming for attention. Literally shirtless, torso out of the window, shaking them money-makers. Mind you, this girl doesn’t even flash during Mardi Gras. It was a shit-show.
The last thing I remember is April and I showing two girls from Wisconsin how to catch the wall, also known as “Express Yourself.” Yeah. Exactly. Oh, don’t know what that is? It’s essentially doing a handstand against the wall whilst simultaneously thrusting about. It’s wayyy cooler than it sounds. Or is it? You tell me!
What happened between these three memories is a mixture of accidentally blurry recollections and repression. It ended with both of the beds in our private room getting broken, toe smudges on the wall, and an argument with a hateful Yankee. Very glad HostelWorld doesn’t have user ratings.
8. Walked Out On a Check… Or We Were Robbed.
A true friend is one who never ever ever makes you drink alone, right? April is that friend. And Rome is one of those charming towns that calls for red wine all damn day. By 3 in the afternoon, you are expected to be a little buzzed. Ever the over-achievers, April and I were SLAMMED long before then on a fateful June afternoon. We were laughing, doing lemon shots, swimming in pasta for what seemed like hours.
Honestly, I have no idea WTF happened, but this is what I remember.
- I excuse myself to the bathroom located downstairs.
- I walk back upstairs.
- April is gone. In Rome.
- I frantically run out of the restaurant.
- THANK GOD I spot her about 10 yards down the road, sitting on the corner, with three men standing over her.
- I SPRINT over to her, thinking something is wrong.
- These three men claim they are from the restaurant and we didn’t pay.
- April is SWEARING up and down that she left the Euros on the table.
- If there is one thing this girl doesn’t do, it’s be cheap. There is no WAY in hell she would’ve intentionally dined and dashed. Or me!
- We didn’t speak Italian, and they didn’t speak English.
- We screamed at each other until a crowd gathered.
- Broke down and paid them (possibly an additional) 40 euros.
Truly, I pray that I was actually right, because I was LIVID over this. May or may not have been making a scene claiming that my military family would swoop down and MAKE THEM PAY FOR THEIR TOM FOOLERY. Lolz. Hopefully I never accidentally stumble into that restaurant again.
9. We Went To The Wrong Airport.
Flash back to July 2015. My main squeeze, referred to as Titty, (yes, that is her nickname derived from the original nickname TT) and I were about to leave Bangkok for an easy, simple flight to Chiang Mai, right?
We squeeze into the cab, an hour and 30 minutes before departure. We should arrive just-in-time, about 35 minutes before. Well, well, well, we actually got there 35 minutes until take off, pure brilliance. Titty has all of her belongings in tow. Seriously. She sold all of what she could, kept what she couldn’t live without, and traveled the world. Read all of her adventures right here.
We scan the departure board.
Weird. Don’t see ours up there. Maybe we got it wrong.
Weird. They don’t even HAVE flights to Chiang Mai with AirAsia today.
Titty whips her little beautiful head around, and screeches, “We’re at the wrong airport!”
It’s on like Donkey Kong, the massive comeback of plastic choker necklaces (didn’t ya’ll have those as kids?!), and everything else in-between. We made it on time, after paying a cabby nearly double fare to allegedly speed through the speedlight tickets. I’ve gone into a little detail here on the matter. We ended up making our flight, drenched in sweat and broke as a joke.
Boss Bitch Tip: Always double check the airport location. Totally worth it.
Honestly, I’m sure there are more hidden deep in my repressed memory. But now it’s your turn! What’s the biggest rookie mistake you have made while traveling?