The Not-So-Glamorous Side of Travel Vol. 2

There’s certainly a lot to love and appreciate about traveling the world, exploring new cultures, trying new foods, and making new friends. Travel certainly has its fair share of downsides, time sucks, and disappointments though, and today I’m going to share some of those experiences with you.

Click here to read Volume 1.

Aw Nuts
There it was, that familiar itchy feeling in the back of my throat, the first signal that I’ve just swallowed food that I am allergic to. For a while now, I’ve had a nut allergy, but the problem was, I didn’t know which nut it was. Pistachio? Almonds? Cashews? It remained a mystery because I never made it a priority to get an allergy test so I simply avoided all nuts except peanuts. Recently, I found out the hard way that the answer was cashews. When I ordered vegetarian spring rolls at a restaurant called Leaf in Boulder, Colorado, I didn’t read the menu close enough to notice that the spring rolls contained a cashew ricotta mix. After taking 2 bites, the itchy throat set on, and I started chugging water so my throat wouldn’t close up and my lips wouldn’t swell. After I told the waitress what happened, she kindly didn’t charge me for the spring rolls. Just 2 hours later, I threw up my entire lunch in the bathroom of my AirBNB and took the rest of the day off from exploring.

big horned sheep jasper national park

Couldn’t take a picture of the cop who pulled me over in Calgary, for obvious reasons, so here is a photo of a mama sheep and her baby crossing the road in Jasper National Park.

Let Off With a Warning
On my way back to the Calgary airport, I got pulled over for going 90 km/hr in a construction zone marked 50km/hr. The officer, in his sternest voice, informed me that I was going dangerously fast and that I was looking at a $474 fine (in Canadian dollars, as if that somehow eased the blow) and 2-3 points on my record. After I asked him how payment worked since I was driving a rental car and leaving the country that day, he kindly let me off the hook with only a warning and an exhausted plea to drive slower. That I did indeed, grateful for his mercy.

Emergency Room Visit - Austin, TX

Getting fluids pumped into my system after being dangerously dehydrated and fainting in Whole Foods.

A Visit to the Emergency Room
After an evening game of putt putt golf, my friends Anna, Brad, and I went to eat at a place called Tiff’s Treats, a dessert shop that serves cookie ice cream sandwiches. It was 11:30PM, and I knew sugar intake at that hour was a bad idea, but as a super foodie who looks for the best eats wherever I go, I agreed. It turns out my body didn’t handle it well at all. That night, I only got an hour of sleep and apparently, my body was dangerously dehydrated. I woke up feeling exhausted, without an appetite, light-headed, and with a bad case of diarrhea. Wait, it gets worse.

In my weakened state, I drove to the nearby Whole Foods (a poor decision in the light of day) to get some food in my system because I hadn’t eaten anything all day except water. When I got there, I ran for the bathroom because I could feel something coming up. I threw up the water I had been drinking and diarrhea-d once more. I lost so much fluid in such a short time that while I was waiting in line to get a smoothie, I started feeling dizzy and fainted. Next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground with people around me asking my name and age, a woman elevating my legs, and an ambulance on the way. I spent a few hours in the ER getting labs done, fluids pumped into me, and watching Spongebob because everything else on TV was too violent. After lots of questioning and a few rounds through the hallway to make sure I didn’t collapse again, I was sent on my way.

In your late twenties, you begin to learn that you’re not invincible and that you cannot in fact eat anything you want whenever you want.

Boot on the Car - Austin, TX

The warning that was taped to my car window.

Getting the Boot
I am a human GPS for locating bubble tea shops. For those not in the know, bubble tea aka boba is tea with tapioca bubbles at the bottom. Anyway, when I found Coco’s Café in Austin, I was sold. In the parking lot next to the building, I parked in a designated spot for customers going to the ramen shop next to Coco’s. All other vehicles would be towed, but I figured I’d run the risk because I’d only be 5 minutes so nobody would catch me. I was wrong. I walked away to get bubble tea, came back 3 minutes later, and there was a warning sign taped to the driver’s side window and a big yellow boot on my car. The guy writing up my ticket charged $135 to get the boot taken off and not be towed. It was an expensive lesson learned and my first time ever getting a boot on a car I owned or rented. Cheers to new experiences! For anyone wanting to check out Coco’s Café, parking is located in the back of the building.

Tell me some of your not-so-glamorous travel stories in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m impressed at how many times you’ve had crazy adventures like this. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me. Or, maybe I’ve just blocked it from my memory. 🙂

    1. And the crazy thing is that all this stuff happened within a month. The blips in travel used to really frustrate me, but now, I handle it more gracefully because it gives me a good story to tell. Do you have any stories of things going wrong while traveling?

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