Worst Moments of the first year of travels

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We talked about the best moments last week, and now we’re talking about the worst ones. It all happens, life is about a balance of the good and the bad, so we couldn’t expect it to be all dreamy, could we? Bear the non-related photos because we never take photos of our worst moments.

– the list is in chronological order-

1) The outside toilet

It wouldn’t have been a problem if it wasn’t so cold and rainy. Need to pee? Sure! Grab the raincoat, the gumboots, a jacket, a beanie and a torch. Seriously. It was bad. Thankfully we didn’t get our periods there. It happened in Dunedin.

2) Rats

Well, this one couldn’t be nice, could it? OK, they weren’t rats. They were mice. But so freaking many of them. We killed basically one rat per day for 2 weeks. Not my kind of fun.

weta cave wellington nz

This was actually fun, but well…

3) Houses that aren’t what we were expecting

Of course, this can be both ways. We’ve had some incredible houses, so great that we didn’t want to leave, and we’ve had some houses that we didn’t even want to enter. When this happens, and it did twice, we notify the owner as soon as we arrive and we decide within the first few hours if we’re gonna stay or not. Sometimes the problem only arrives later – and this often has to do with the internet. It’s pretty bad to argue with an owner because of mice but when we have to argue about the internet, things go really bad. I mean, the owner almost always think that we use too much or that we did something with the modem. We haven’t had problems like this nowadays because we’ve learned to only book if the internet is unlimited and the house is good enough.

4) Gudetama Café fiasco

We’ve lined for 20 minutes just to eat at this cute and overpriced café in Japan. We weren’t even hungry, we just wanted to see it. Coral ordered a hot chocolate only. As soon as it arrived, she poured it all over herself. She screamed, we screamed, the waitress screamed and it was just awful. That was one of the only days we left home without a change of clothes for her. Angelo had to buy another set of clothes for her and, guess what? There was no one freaking store selling kids clothes in that creepy mall. It took him 40 minutes to buy and it took me 1 hour to calm her down. Her belly was a tiny bit red, but nothing major. We were able to do some more sightseeing and by the time we arrived home, it wasn’t even red anymore. But neither of us was able to eat one bite of the food.

bad decor

OK, the seating arrangement in this house was one of the worst ever. See Melissa’s legs there – she was on a plastic stool and she was the only one who could watch TV if we ever turned that on

5) Zombies

That was creepy. We weren’t expecting it to be so real, but man… It was in Universal Studios Japan, it was Halloween and they basically ruined our night. Seriously. They were EVERYWHERE. It was fun, though. Someday, when the kids are older, I want to do it again. But we had to leave at 8 because the kids were in tears. And they had nightmares for a month.

6) Hospital visits

We’ve visited a few times: João’s broken arm at the beginning; when Melissa closed the car door on her hand and we thought she’d broken a finger; when Angelo’s neck pain wouldn’t ease; when Angelo woke up with a terrible pain in his leg; and when I fell head down and had to go to the hospital to check it out. Horrible things, but when the hospital hears you’re paying cash, they see you very quick. Thanks to our Travel Insurance.

7) The night at the airport in Chile. 

It has a whole post just for it. I’m not even gonna say it.

8) Altitude sickness

We thought, honestly, that we’d feel bad for a couple of days – one week tops – and be able to explore all that La Paz had to offer but… Turns out we felt bad forever. Even on our last days, a 30-minute walk would kill us all. It was bad. Funny thing is that we didn’t feel it in Uyuni.

9) Taxis

We’ve had some crazy taxi drivers along the way, but I’m not even gonna talk about them. When we were leaving Bolivia (ah, thinking about it, it was AFTER our anniversary, but I’m gonna put it here anyway), we had to leave the house at 5:30 am to arrive at the airport 2 hours before our flight. We asked for a taxi on the phone the night before. The taxi arrived. We all entered it, our bags in the trunk and left. If you don’t know, La Paz is a bowl-shaped city. The taxi HAD to go all the way up to get to the airport but this taxi couldn’t. It tried and almost arrived at the top of the hill but almost is not good enough. Angelo even said he could get off and walk to the top. But no. The driver decided (twice) to go down backward. It was horrifying. We thought we’d die in a car crash or not ever arrive at the airport. But we did. In that cab.

iga ueno japan temple

Well, with a bit of faith and knowledge, we can avoid most of them in the future

10) The blood

On the only time we went to Valparaíso (Chile), we’d just gotten off the train and there were people talking hurriedly but we didn’t think anything of it. Until we saw many red stains on the floor. I honestly thought that someone was having some red popsicle and it was melting all over – even if it should’ve been a huge popsicle. Then Angelo heard that someone was shot. Well, that was just terrifying. I spent the rest of the day scared.

11) The downside of traveling light – bonus

We all see stuff we really want, but when the kids ask for something (and even when they have the money to buy it themselves) and we have to say NO because it doesn’t fit in the bag,… I always feel awful. It’s even worse when we see it’s super important to them. Luckily, when we can, we buy and send to our PO box or we trade something we’re carrying for the really wanted stuff. Their choice, though, always.

Those were our worst moments. Thinking about them now, some of them were really funny and they’re all memories and lessons we’ve learned. What was your worst moment of travel? Let us know in the comments!

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