What Was Your Scariest Travel Experience

What Was Your Scariest Travel Experience

What Was Your Scariest Travel Experience

Mark Bibby Jackson, who made Travel Begins, has been to more than 60 countries in the last 25 years. He answers some of the questions you ask most often about traveling. I’m tempted to answer by telling you how many tourists I saw in Cha Am, Thailand, were wearing socks and sandals simultaneously. That was scary! It’s not hard to answer the question. In 1994, I went trekking in Nepal and climbed the Annapurna Sanctuary. Early in May, the hiking season was over, and warm weather had caused a few avalanches. We would sometimes hear the sound of a helicopter flying above. It was either taking someone to Pokhara for emergency medical care or, worse, bringing back the body of a failed climber who had to be found more than once.

On the fourth day of our climb, an avalanche blocked the path, and there was a very steep drop below. My Gortex-lined boots were great at keeping water out and letting my feet breathe, but they weren’t as good at gripping the ground. I had no choice but to keep sliding across the ice without looking down. I finally made it to the other side, but my relief was short-lived when I realized I’d have to return the same way in a few days.

The next two nights, I tried to forget about the avalanche by taking in the stunning views of the Annapurna range from the base camp. But no matter how much rum I drank, the truth of the path I had to take stay in the back of my mind. Maybe it was gone when I got back? Read Poon Hill Trek Without the Poon to find out what happened to Mark when he returned to Nepal.

No miracle thawing happened. I was about to walk 100 meters to safety when I saw a big shape approaching me. I finally found four porters crossing the avalanche in their flip-flops. Each was carrying a large basket with an overweight traveler from North America who never stopped complaining. I’d never seen a Nepalese person look as nervous as the four people carrying this heavy object. Whether or not the woman was using this method of transportation routinely, I didn’t stick around to find out. But in some way, it made me want to do something. If they can do it, so can I, and I won’t whine about it.

Overall, the trip is one of my favorite travel memories, and I’m still in contact with some of the people I met there. The avalanche in Nepal was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve driven through Ecuadorian roadblocks while tear gas was used to disperse protesters and walked through the backstreets of Bogota. The day before, someone was stabbed, warned not to drink the water at a Rio beach, and met Australia’s tenth most dangerous snake.

What’s the scariest travel memory?

People try to come up with the scariest costumes and ideas every year for events like Mexico’s Day of the Dead or the better-known Halloween. Some of the things that travelers may face are the scariest things in the world. Like many, I’ve had bad travel experiences, and here are my three scariest travel experiences. 

It is the most recent thing that scared me, so it’s the first thing that comes to mind. After a great but tiring five-week trip through Portugal, the Canary and Azores islands, and Spain, I made it to Seville, my second-to-last stop, before leaving from Barcelona. That was the scary part when I couldn’t find my bag on the luggage carousel. I had a bad time with Vueling Airlines when I flew from Lanzarote to Barcelona and then to Seville, so I booked another 90-euro flight with them.

For some strange reason, the Seville airport also had EU and non-EU bags. I looked everywhere in both places for my checked bag, but I couldn’t find it.  Due to my late arrival, the last city bus from the airport left at 12:30 AM. Before I could fill out my lost baggage form, I had to wait patiently for an older man who took a long time to finish. After missing the city bus by five minutes, I took a taxi to the city center for 25 euros after waiting an hour to split the fare with other passengers. After calling the airport’s premium number several times, I had to wait almost 48 hours to get my bag at my pension. It was so scary that I only decided to bring carry-on luggage.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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