Sunday, 3 May 2015

Travel Experiences I'll Never Do Again.


So this month's travel linkup is all about things you would never do while travelling again. As I'm quite experienced in being a total idiot and ending up in hospital while abroad, I thought I'd do a roundup of things not to do while on holiday or living in another country...

1. Go Ice-Skating

Yeh. So. I actually ice-skated for about 6 years when I was younger, I did my grades 1-10, my bronze, silver and gold, and then I moved to Australia. There was only one ice-rink near us in Perth and it was half an hour away, so I didn't go ice-skating for almost a year! Then my friends thought it'd be fun to go, so naturally I took my figure skates with me (because those blue things are just EW), and they automatically assumed I was amazing. I mean I used to be able to do small jumps and spins etc, but I wasn't exactly Olympic standard.

Everything was going amazingly well, I was zooming around the ice and my friends had stopped and were over by the barrier, so I went skating towards them when my brain froze...and I forgot how to stop...so I smashed into the chest-height barrier and broke my sternum. I fell to the ground and couldn't breathe, my friends were in stitches laughing, until they realised that something was horribly wrong, so they took me to the first aid room where the staff made me hold a bag of ice to my chest. 



I was taken to hospital and it was discovered that I'd broken my sternum. As it was my breast-bone they literally couldn't do anything to help, I was told not to do any exercise or heavy-lifting for 3 months, and for around 4 months it felt like someone was stabbing me every time I laughed, sneezed, coughed, yawned, or cried. As someone who laughs and sneezes quite often, this was so SO painful!

So people, learn from my mistake, and NEVER go ice-skating when you're abroad and haven't skated for a while. My friends still all laugh about me breaking my sternum because I forgot how to stop.


2. Get Really Drunk

Another time in Australia. All of these were in Australia, FYI. 16 years of living in England and I'd been to hospital a handful of times, then 2 years in Australia and I was in hospital a total of five times. 

So my friends and I were going to a 15th birthday party (we were 17), and thought we'd be super cool and get really drunk so hanging out with 15 year olds didn't seem as lame. The problem is I drank so much that I only remember the first 10 minutes of the party (I was there for about 2 hours), I was crawling around the floor because of all the strobe lights (don't ask), and I made out with a guy my best friend had fancied for ages. He thought he was totally in with a chance when my friends dragged me away and dashed his teenage dreams. Apparently we then let in a load of gatecrashers who started swinging from the chandeliers and wrecking the place, so everyone got thrown out!

I then collapsed outside on the wet grass, the birthday girls brother had to put me in the recovery position while my friends (who were also totally smashed) had to phone my parents. My parents arrived and started shouting at my friends, they rushed me to hospital where I was in resus overnight. I woke up in the morning and recognized the clock on the wall from my previous visits (sigh), I remember hoping that my parents didn't know I was there...and then turning my head to see them sitting beside me. FML. 

Turns out I had a blood alcohol content of 0.25, which is near the coma level, and had drunk the equivalent of 10 very large glasses of wine. I was grounded for a week or so and had my phone taken off me. The worst thing that happened from that night though? I lost my favourite lipstick. Don't drink kids, it's bad.

The below photos were taken before we'd even got to the party...the green liquid in the giant water bottle is vodka mixed with everglade (really cheap midori...).


3. Go Swimming in Dumping Waves

Yeh. Another Australian one. Sorry guys. So I was actually living back in the UK and went back to Perth for one of my visits. My boyfriend at the time had a broken elbow, and the two of us went to the beach with two of my friends. The weather wasn't great and the waves were huge and dumping (ie; dangerous). The boyfriend was a very strong swimmer having been a rower and sailor, and so even with his broken elbow had no problems with the waves. The girls and I stayed on the beach while he went for a swim, and then he dragged me in. 

A huge wave was roaring towards us, and I didn't have time to get back to the beach. Shit. Do I swim under or hope that I bob over before it breaks? I went for the latter and failed, it broke over the top of me and scooped me underneath. I felt as though I was in a washing machine, being tossed and turned under the water, water and sand being swooshed into every crevice. As I was getting to the point where I could hold my breath no longer, my boyfriend grabbed hold of me with his one arm and pulled me to the surface. I have never ever been so grateful to feel air rushing through my lungs!

He swam towards the beach pulling me along while I howled and screamed hysterically from the shock of it all. I'd actually thought I was going to die! I crawled onto the beach with my entire bikini around my ankles. My boyfriend tried to save my dignity and attempted to pull it up with his one free arm, while my friends raced down the beach to us with a towel. 



My hair dried in a bit of a state afterwards as is evidence in the photos above, and you can also see from the pics above how happy I was to be alive, but also how sick I still felt. I felt really sick for the rest of the afternoon and evening until it got so bad my Dad made me go to hospital (he was also back in Perth with work). It was my last night in Perth and I had to spend it in hospital 'for observation' as they did scans and came to the conclusion that I'd swallowed too much water.

4. Lack of Mozzie Repellent

Long story short, we went down to the river late at night and I was wearing a short skirt with no mozzie repellent...naturally mozzie's are really attracted to the taste of my blood and the next day every spare space on my legs were bitten. You can sort of see in the photo below how bad they were - my skin is all bumpy and lumpy and nasty, especially the backs of my legs :/ I was in so much pain, and when I went to the chemist they looked horrified and told me it was the worst they'd ever seen... woops!



5. Sunburn.

On a more serious topic, this has happened in the majority of countries I have visited. I have very fair skin, and have always had a hard time getting a suntan. I didn't get a decent tan in Australia until I'd lived there for about four months and spent every weekend at the beach. The past few years my family has been hit with skin cancer twice (not myself, before you ask). 

It's really made me realise how dangerous the sun is, my Aunty lost her life to skin cancer seven years ago this month, and ever since then I've been far more careful about being in the sun. Thinking back to the state I was in seven years ago, how every day I'd be in tears at school because I knew that I'd never see her again, because I knew that the last time I saw her we'd said to all our family 'Goodbye! See you next year!'....and then we didn't see her next year, because none of us had any idea that the silent killer was at work. Ever since then I've covered myself in suncream constantly, and one time when I forgot and got horribly sunburnt I cried as I was so scared of what could happen! 

The worst time I got sunburnt was when we first moved to Australia, I went to the beach with my friend Wayne and I forgot to put suncream on. I got so sunburnt that I had a line of blisters along my bikini line on my boobs. It hurt for days! So never again will I forget to put suncream on. It's too risky, you always think it won't happen to you, you always think your loved one won't be the one to get it, won't be the one to lose their life. And then they do and it makes you realise that it's just not worth the risk. 

What are your travel experiences that you'll never do again?


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* Disclaimer: All photos were taken when I was 17. Please don't judge. Also the majority of people you see in these 8-year-old photos (all the girls) have actually featured on the blog quite heavily in my recent Australia posts!
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16 comments

  1. Omg, I feel you pain on the mosquito bites, after staying in the Australian rainforest I ended up with around fifty on my legs. I'm also with you on sun burn, I actually haven't been burnt since I a kid because I wear factor 50...I don't tan...St Tropez mousse is my friend!

    Also the very first time I went abroad, I was 7 and we went to Denmark. I smashed a glass in my face and had to have stitches in my chin...I still have a scar! I'm terribly accident prone!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

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    1. They're awful aren't they, especially in Aus because the heat makes them itch more!!

      Ooh, what is this magical St Tropez mousse?!

      Ouch! When I was younger I always used to injure my hands, usually it was things like splinters and cuts, and then once time I trapped my fingers in a bucket!

      C x

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  2. I giggled till ears ran down my face for the first four, how stong was your boyfirend that even with a broke elbow he saved you?
    then I read the last one a cried for real

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    1. Hahaha! :P He was super strong and had a typical rower/sailor body framer - we met when he was my sailing instructor ;)

      C x

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  3. Oh Catherine! Poor you with all the hospital stories! I hear you on the mosquito bites, I was literally covered in them in Sri Lanka, it was horrendous. Also yes to the sun burn, pale skin isn't the one if you're trying to get a tan.

    When we meet for lunch I'll show you the evidence of my drunk story, I have a little scar on my face right next to my eye..! It actually looks like a very strangely placed dimple haha.

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

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    1. I'm such a disaster haha! Ouch, they awful aren't they!

      Oh my gosh, I really wanna hear this now!!! Haha!

      C x

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  4. Oh the mossi's - I always get eaten too, no matter how much I drink. The worst time was a sailing holiday in Minorca - got eaten alive at night then had to wear a wetsuit in the day, added to the salt water - living hell! We always stock up on the strong stuff in South Africa now!

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    1. They're awful aren't they! I always stock up on strong stuff in Aus and bring it back to the UK with me!

      C x

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  5. Ohh Catherine! What an accident-prone young lady you were! Has this trait got any better with age?! I particularly enjoyed the vivid description of the party you went to when you were 17, and can just imagine your face when you awoke to find your parents beside you...NOT the dream!! Living in a very hot country, I am also behind you on the suncream comment. All too often, people don't even think about this until it's too late.

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

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    1. I know :( so far it has got better, I'm definitely not as bad as I used to be! Hahaha, it was defo NOT the dream! It was probably the biggest 'FML' moment of my life!

      C x

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  6. I'm reading this and shuddering - memories of growing up in tropical Malaysia are coming back - and with each sentence I can FEEL the sunburn on my skin, the horrible biting sensation of the mosquitos, and that time I thought I'd cool off at the ice-skating rink but spend half the time landing on my arse. Ah, blessed childhood!

    Also...teenage Luxy! D'aaaawww, cutieeee! xx

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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    1. Aww, it is horrid isn't it! Bloody mozzies!

      C x

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  7. Having pale skin in tropical climes is the worst. You get lulled into some weird competitive thing when those around you tan beautifully and all that happens to you is you get red, sweaty and blistered. So not worth it....but the part about your bikini round your ankles is priceless!

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    1. So true! It definitely isn't worth it. Haha, yeh, looking back now I always laugh at that memory :P

      C x

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  8. Ok, I just want to wrap you in cotton wool & sieze your Australian passport now...
    (and I 100% second you on the ice-skating it's just dangerous!)

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    1. Aww haha! Sadly I don't have an Aussie passport (sore topic), but the cotton wool would be most welcome haha (along with an Aussie passport...).

      C x

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