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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

For some the thrill of travelling is seeing the sights for others, it’s the people and experiences you meet and have on the way. Whether you’re a holiday travellers or a full-time one, there will always be surprises along the way, good one and bad ones.

The good

India: 2006 - 2007

Let’s start this off with the good, because in the end, they always outweigh the bad, don’t they? Throughout yesterday’s Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT) session, so many answered it was the unexpected kindness of strangers that always surprised them. Whether it’s something as little as ice cream or as incredible as flying the plan on your own, these are some pretty amazing surprises to have while travelling.

Q1. What’s been the best surprise you’ve had on your travels?

@TravelProducer: China was wonderful surprise and I was “surprised” at how sweet & friendly the people were there.

@TravelBlggr: Finding a leatherback turtle laying eggs on the beach in South Africa…

@htglobe: Running into a tribe while hiking solo in the Malaysian jungle. They were hunting for food with a bow and arrow.

@roniweiss: I’ve loved how nice people have been to me. When you’re alone on the road, you’re frequently relying on the kindness of strangers.

@Mikeachim: Managing to get home after having my passport, travel tickets & wallet were stolen in Dusseldorf. 😉

@lethers: Being given the controls on a flight over the Bohemian countryside.

@ashalahblogs: The hospitality of a stranger when he gave me a ride at midnight in Stavanger, Norway after I got stranded!

@SomeSojourns: Finding out my bus in India was full and having to ride on the top.

@elleswim: Biggest surprise: the world is a lot smaller than you might think!

And sometimes it’s the small things…

@MalloryOnTravel: Freshly squeezed OJ every morning for a ridiculously cheap price in Marrakech, everyday surprise.

@latinabroad: Finding out you can get ice cream delivered in Argentina.

@KatieCoakley: Finding out that people in the rice paddies in Vietnam really do wear the triangle hats!

The bad


Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as we’ve planned. Top two unwelcome surprises from travellers: the first, getting robbed and the second, getting food poisoning/diarrhoea/Delhi belly or any kind of stomach flu or variation there of. If you’ve been in similar situations as these travellers, then you know what it’s like.

Q4. What’s been the most unwelcome surprise whilst travelling?

@indecisiverease: Bathrooms. I am always upset at low cleanliness standards while traveling.

@AngieAway: Realizing my wallet is no longer in my purse in Athens & I’m out $400 cash. RAWRRRR!

@NatForeignMag: Scorpion in my bathroom and huge spider in my tennis shoes (which I found AFTER putting them on).

@reidtravels: $8 fees from the cruise ship ATM.

@zendylanism: Had a few Malian “cuisine surprises”, mostly involving fish heads.

@OnTheRoadToYou: Theres been plenty! One I can remember is getting stung by lots of baby Jelly Fishes off the coast of Zanzibar whilst diving.

‏@travelshus: Most unwelcome surprise was getting detained at the Argentina-Chile border in the middle of the Andes. Buzzkill.

@MinaMahrous: Finding no hotel in Pamplona, spending the night on the streets on my first day of my first solo traveling experience!

It happens to the best of us…

‏@AdventureJo: Losing bowel control for 24 hours in Guatemala while staying in a rooftop hostel room.

@SomeSojourns: Every bout of surprise food poisoning.

@SarahDuff: Fleas, bed bugs, Delhi Belly (India), severe food poisoning (Zimbabwe), being robbed (Amsterdam).

What’s the best and worst surprises you’ve ever had to deal with while travelling?

Travel Talk on Twitter takes place weekly on Tuesdays at 9:30 GMT and 21:30 GMT, why don’t you join in? Follow the #TTOT hashtag on Twitter and answer the travel questions that pop up every 10 minutes for an hour. Next week’s topic: Mountains

Imgs: sightly everything, ssanyal, AfroDad / Flickr cc.

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