A bunch of Atlantic readers in this discussion group are exchanging their travel horror stories. (If you’d like to sharing your own, please send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.) A short anecdote from the group:
I caught bronchitis when I was in Germany for a business trip. Spent the plane ride home sitting next to a strange drunk man who kept talking at me. Intolerable Cruelty starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones was the in-flight movie. I wanted to die.
Another reader shares that sentiment:
I was stuck in the snowbound Omaha airport with a three year old, a chihuahua, and a small carryon bag, for TWO DAYS. That was the ninth circle of hell. I wanted to die.
This next reader nearly did, for real:
Peace Corps: On a bus in Guatemala. A group of three teens in MS-13 [a notorious gang] decide to rob our bus. Being the only American on the bus and having just gone to the bank, I took all the money I had hidden in my bra and put it in my pocket ready to be robbed. People would get shot if they tried to run, so I prepared to give everything and pulled my passport out of its hiding spot in my bag so I made sure they knew they were getting it.
Then some dude decided to John Wayne and open fire on these robbers, which resulted in a firefight on a very crowded bus. I had actually been the next passenger to be robbed, so the perp standing next to me was actively shooting. I dove under the seat and stayed there until literally everyone else had gotten off the bus.
Bonus trip: I got a lightly armored security escort back to the embassy.
This reader’s experience is much more relatable:
I travel for work, so I have A LOT of these stories. I have two that beat out all of the other minor upsets though: