The Frustrations of Travel Sabotage

Ever been in a situation where your travel was sabotaged by fellow travelers or others? If yes, I feel your pain. After navigating such situations a couple of times, I made some simple travel rules for myself. I can’t always stick to them for reasons beyond my control but do try my best to adhere to them whenever possible.

An important lesson I learnt in the hard way is that a great friend does not necessarily translate into a great travel partner. Habits and the way you go about doing things, which do not affect you otherwise may become a major mood spoiler in travel scenarios. For e.g. a friend of mine regularly spends a long time in the shower. I don’t care about that and why would I. When we traveled together this became a big botheration to me as I can never imagine spending precious travel time in routine activities. My friend on the other hand would not relent. She was here to relax, it was a holiday afterall. Not my idea of relaxing in any way.

I have a list of multiple such incidents. Let me narrate two.

At New York

The first time I went to the US, I had a connecting flight from New York, both during the onward and return journey. Obviously, in no way could I miss the opportunity of visiting the Big Apple. The plan was to stopover for the weekend in NY. A colleague, who was traveling with me, joined in only to leave me in the lurch by changing his plans at the last moment. Irrespective, I went ahead with my plan.

L: Times Square; R: Staten Island

A cousin’s girlfriend was stationed at New Jersey, during that time, and it was decided that I would stay with her for that weekend. I had never met her before but that didn’t matter as my only interest was exploring NYC. My cousin’s girlfriend, on the other hand, had a different idea about entertaining me. She wasted more than half a day cooking and feeding me. That I am not a foodie and I wasn’t there to eat was none of her concern. Moreover, she wouldn’t let me venture out alone. By the time we could step out it was late afternoon and soon it started snowing. My Saturday was bitterly spoilt. Left with only Sunday, I wasn’t going to let that go waste. It was a sunny day, I ventured out early in the morning and spent the day in my own way, salvaging whatever little I could of my most looked forward to NYC trip.

Trying to be the best host, my cousin’s girlfriend missed the larger picture that defeated my very purpose of visiting NY. The saddest part is that in most likelihood I will never make it to NY again.  

At Miami

The second incident is also associated with a trip to the US, though this is purely coincidental. Just two months before WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic, we were at the city of Miami on an official visit. Among the various places I planned to visit, I wasn’t going to miss Everglades National Park. Unlike other official visits that are quite crammed with meetings and events, this trip was quite relaxed providing us ample time to indulge in personal activities.

The picture on the left is significant for the date, we had no idea what awaited us for the rest of the year.

Two of my colleagues (or friends), whose travel ideas are drastically different from mine, started accompanying me everywhere translating into a kind of an unsaid rule that we would always go out together. And, all the trips would mostly end up in malls, shopping, and eating. Neither would they let me be nor would they do what I liked to do. They were simply being well-meaning friends without realizing that they were interfering with my ideas of experiencing the Magic City of Miami. As a result, I couldn’t visit half the places I had in my plan. Everglades National Park didn’t happen too. And once again, the saddest part is that in most likelihood I will never make it to Miami again.

While I can be quite accommodating and adjusting in other aspects of life, when it’s about travel it utterly frustrates me. Compromise in travel I shall not do! Can’t live upto it always though…

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

21 thoughts on “The Frustrations of Travel Sabotage”

    1. That’s the problem most of the time in such situations. You’re stuck as they are only being nice. I did put my foot down after letting them have their way and that’s what resulted in whatever little experiences I have had.
      Thank you so much for visiting and reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Luckily I haven’t had your experience with travel companions but I have a few by locals. Offer to give a me ride to the bus but being so slow I missed it. They don’t see it as a problem since there’s another in an hour or so, but that’s an hour less at the destination. Hope you get back to Miami. Maggie

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    1. You’ve been lucky, Maggie, to have had like-minded travel companions always. I understand your frustrations with the locals and their way of doing things. Time is really precious especially when you have fixed number of days/hours at your disposal. Going to Miami once again would be like a hope against hope. 😀
      Thanks for reading this one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t fret about the ones in NYC and Miami, you can find such people everywhere 😄

    I have been fortunate generally, but once had to cut short one day in Switzerland because of a travel partner, that’s one day less in a four day program 😢

    Two of my colleagues went to Switzerland after that, and one of them spent most of the time looking for Tamil restaurants. The other guy still curses him 😂

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    1. Yes Deb, I did come across such people in other places too leading to frustrating experiences. I just chose to describe two of those here.
      One day less is not as bad, though there’s no denying that it’s a precious time lost too. As for people looking for Indian Restaurants abroad, don’t even tell me about that….I can go on and on. I’ve experienced that in almost all my trips abroad!

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    2. This is something frustrating too, and I find many Indian tourists going to other countries and searching desperately for an Indian restaurant. If you go somewhere else, you need to be at least a little experiential. As long as it doesn’t do you any serious harm, no problem in trying out something else. After all, that’s an experience to remember as well.

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      1. Absolutely Anushtup. Food is a major part of experiencing a place. Though, personally I am not greatly experimental but certainly do not want to have Indian food outside.

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  3. Ah yes, I’ve had a few such experiences. And some of the people involved are so well-meaning and have taken so much trouble that you can’t say no. Hope you get back to Miami; the Everglades are very nice.

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    1. That’s exactly where the problem lies, mostly people are well-meaning and nice and so you have to swallow your frustrations. One of the reasons I have enjoyed my treks is that there are people to connect with and share experiences but again you can easily disconnect and be on your own too. You don’t need to bother about the emotions of others as you have just met.

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  4. Absolutely on the point, Neel! Well-meaning travel companions, though with a one-sided view of life is a study in patience and self-frustration! I too have had one such instances with family when I had to put my foot down when visiting well-meaning relatives; and after that I have planned detailed itenaries or at least discussed the purpose before embarking on outings. I am optimistic for you and look forward to your next travelogue from NYC and Miami. 🙂

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    1. That’s right. Decide the purpose beforehand, then there are no heartburns. Sometimes, however, you just land up in such situations quite unexpectedly. The girl I stayed with at NY was much younger to me, a student so I was quite taken aback by her hospitality. Travel partners are critically important, and can make or mar one’s experience.

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  5. I can totally relate to this post. Travel partners must share a similar mindset otherwise the trip is bound to be doomed. I have experienced something similar, many times. Now, if those friends want to join along, they know that wasting time in the hotel or relaxing doesn’t go well with the explorer in me. While I appreciate some people like to relax on their holidays, I don’t intend to do the same. Travel for me is to feed the explorer in me.

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  6. This I agree with you completely. For some, travelling to a place just means relaxing and that has been frustrating with me a few times too. If I just want to only relax, what’s the use of going to another place? Everglades was definitely a miss, I would say, since I love wildlife too. It’s famous for its crocodiles and mangroves (somewhat like our Sundarbans) and other flora and fauna. Good that you managed to do a bit of NYC. Maybe Lady Luck would shine her benevolent light on you again. ☺️☺️

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    1. First of all my apologies for being so delayed in responding to your comment, which is all the more special as you have visited my post after such a long time. I really don’t know why I have become so busy these days. I need to do some serious introspection on my time management.
      I really don’t know if such Lady Luck will shine again. Also, I’d rather visit a new place if at all I am to go to a far away land again. 😀
      And, thanks a ton for reading and commenting.

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  7. Wow – that sounds really obnoxious and makes me so grateful for my travelling companions and hosts over the years. My son is always up for whatever and often has some good ideas of his own. Sage travels differently from him but we always have fun as well. But I most often travel alone and that’s often the best.

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    1. So glad to see you, Todd. And guess what, it’s kind of a Deja-vu as I was just thinking about you in the past few days and would have written an email to you one of these days. Hope you’re doing good and all is okay with you and your family.
      Travel companions are just so critical. Very often I find myself avoiding people who really want to travel along with me, who are otherwise good friends but I know their travel tastes are so different from mine. It also makes me feel guilty at times.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. What you say is absolutely true. Though i have not had such experiences personally, I can relate to it. When you do group tours, there is someone in the group who will get up late and keep the others waiting endlessly….that can be quite frustrating when you have limited time on your hands and would love to catch up as much as possible. The main reason i stopped group tours is this!

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    1. That’s what, it just gets so frustrating when other people do things like this. Your entire trip gets spoilt. Thank you so much for reading this post and leaving behind your thoughts. And, my apology for the late response.

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