Three of My Favorite Travel Memories and Mishaps

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Something is exhilarating about being somewhere completely new and learning new things. There's also the fact that travels make for great memories and stories. No matter how hard you try, travels never go perfectly. However, the little mishaps are often the moments you become most fond of when looking back. Here are some of my favorite travel memories!

Playa Tayrona, Colombia

Body of water with sunset Unsplash

For my father’s birthday two years ago, we went to visit Colombia. Now, I had never been to my father’s birthplace because my father was too scared to take me. Colombia is not the safest of countries. Yet, I was able to go because my mom planned the whole trip behind his back as a surprise. Part of the surprise for us was going to Playa Tayrona. A famous national park in Colombia that is home to a handful of beautiful beaches. What my mom didn't know was that they are quite dangerous. In fact, they're so dangerous that my dad had never been there in his life. The reason they are considered dangerous is that to get to the park, you must go through some mountain-like areas where gangs have been known to surround the party buses (called Chivas) and rob from passengers. The park is also secluded. This gives plenty of opportunities for robberies to occur. I remember my father being extremely upset by this, but all of us decided to go anyways because everything had been paid. Then as we were boarding our Chiva, we found out that tourists had been robbed at the beach we were going to the day before. At the time, it was extremely stressful. However, looking back, my father's reactions were extremely funny. The whole time my dad was praying and keeping his eyes peeled into the hills to see any alarming activity. He kept murmuring about my mom constantly inventando or scheming. We were especially scared when our bus stopped for seemingly no reason on the side of the road. We all thought we had been stopped to be robbed. It turned out to be a false alarm. The look of fear on our faces was something out of a movie! I can tell you though that some adventures are worth the risk!

Sun Valley, Idaho

Man ice skiing on hill Maarten Duineveld on Unsplash

Most winter my aunt and uncle take me skiing. In Sun Valley there are two mountains. There is the amateur mountain known as Dollar Mountain and the more advanced mountain known as Bald Mountain. On our second day of skiing, my little cousin missed her ski lesson. To make my uncle's life easier, I decided I would ski on the amateur mountain with them instead of Bald. I spent the day going up and down the mountain doing the blues by myself. Eventually, my uncle caught up to me and told me that my family had picked up my cousin because she didn't want to ski anymore. Although I was tired, we decided to continue to ski together. Little did I know it would be an extremely eventful run. As we were going down a slope, my ski got caught in the snow as I was doing a turn. With no time to react, I was whipped face-first into the ground at full speed. I just remember slamming into the ground and not even processing what had just happened. My head had extreme pressure. It was as if someone had been squeezing my head between two metal plates. I just laid there with my face in the snow until my uncle arrived asking what had happened. I eventually lifted my head and looked down to see a pool of blood on the ground! I had gotten a nosebleed from how hard I hit the floor. Looking back the experience was hilarious. My uncle described me lying in the snow as looking like I was dead (I wonder what the skiers in the ski lift were thinking). I also freaked out at night thinking that I was going to die because of my head injury. Luckily, I was spared with only a concussion!

Santorini, Greece

Greece Santorini Travel Adventure Sunset Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

I have wanted to go to Greece for nearly all my life. After watching Mamma Mia as a little girl, I knew I had to go to the beautiful country in the film. As a late graduation present, we went in the summer of 2019. Although there are many great stories and mishaps (including my mother and I both getting food poisoning), my favorite memory is being on the cruise ship and watching Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again as we were leaving Greece back to Italy. I remember I began to cry because I was so grateful; I had finally been able to go to the place I had been longing to go for so long. Not many people get to go to their dream destination at such a young age. I was beyond grateful for everything I had experienced and seen. That to me is the beauty of traveling!

Although I have plenty of more wonderful memories, we would be here all day if I tried to describe them all. You just had to be there! These little mishaps and seemingly small events are what make traveling so special. As a traveler, you will always have a memory from a piece of the world that is your own. I hope to continue building my collection of memories and stories in the future, and I hope that you can do the same!

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