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Most of us can oftentimes drift into thoughts of travel while stuck at home wondering when the world is safely opening up.


Setting off with a bag of essentials, and whatever cash we have in our accounts sure sounds nice, but what about when we arrive? The world is a big place and it's doubtful it'll have gotten less dangerous since a worldwide pandemic halted it.

Reddit user, u/g_1234, wanted to hear about your horrifying experiences when alone when they asked:

Solo travelers, what is your creepiest travel story?

Venturing Into The Unknown

When you travel, you're stepping into someone else's domain as a guest. This means you must walk with respect, with an open mind and clear eyes, because if you don't, then something lurking around the corner might just be waiting for you.

Stepping Into The Wild Frontier

In argentine patagonia, almost got hunted by a puma.

It was dusk and I was overlooking the lake when I heard rustling behind me in the tree line. I kept staring for a while before I saw it and thank god I didn't make a run for it as it would've been my initial reaction. Instead I started yelling and cursing and throwing rocks at it as I had been told to do by the locals, and it left me alone.

That night I kept a fire lit until late in the evening and then went to sleep with a flashlight on and my knife at hand (and that's not to sound bad-ss, I never used it to hunt and I was scared as sh!t).

nebbulae

Stranded Alone In The Black

I drove into Death Valley National Park without any place to sleep for the night. I just thought it's a big touristy area and there's probably tons of hotels there. It was 9PM and just getting dark and it was hot as hell. I did find one hotel but it was full, and my car was starting to run out of gas and I did not have any cell phone reception. My rental car overheated and I was stuck in the immense heat in the dark of the night at about 11PM. Finally the car cooled enough that I was able to start it again and drive out, it was scary as hell though because there was nobody in that entire national park except for me.

gesekak

Sounds Like A Fun YA Adventure

I got locked in a museum once. Security guard didn't do the proper rounds when locking the door. Thankfully I ran into one of them when trying to get out. Was in there for nearly an hour after it closed (didn't realized it was closed for nearly 50 minutes - so I wasn't in a panic mode). Was kinda creepy seeing all the exhibits off, no staff anywhere. Just 2 security guards who I guess worked late for instances just like mine.

J_Sanchez1970

And Sometimes, It's Not Always Nature

I was staying in a B&B in Donegal, Ireland where every room on the floor shared a bathroom. I went in one morning to pee and there was a man with his pants around his ankles asleep in the bathtub. The soap dish and towel rack where all torn off the wall and it appeared he had fallen over while relieving himself and fallen in the tub. While struggling to get out with his pants down he had torn things from the wall. He then proceeded to pass out. I woke the man and helped him from the tub after which he proceeded to hug me and declare me his hero. And this is how I ended up embraced by a drunken Irishman with his pant around his ankles.

bhfinini

Creepy Feeling In The Back Of Your Mind

They say, "trust your gut." That when you're out on your own, and you get that sick feeling in the back of your stomach or when you start to sweat just above your brow, you should listen to it. Run from wherever you are, because usually trouble is about to strike like lightning.

Trust Your Gut And Get Out

I was traveling Eastern Europe when I was 17. I went to a club in Prague and was making out with an Australian guy. Things were getting pretty hot and heavy when he told me that I was the same age as his students and he always wants to have a thing with one of them. Turns out he was a high school teacher. Even though he was only 22-23 I still found it super creepy and begged off.

glitterhairdye

Gathering People Is Always Bad

I was in Hanoi. I'd just landed in the city and had been in Vietnam for 4-5 days at that point. I had just had some Cha Ca in the old quarter, and I flagged a taxi to take me to hostel that someone else had recommended to me. Big mistake.

I think the distance was like 3km, and when we reached our destination the cab stopped near a few other taxis. The meter said 36.000, which to me is pretty clearly thirty six thousand. The cabbie however refused to take my money, saying it was three sixty thousand.

I argued for a few minutes, then I looked around to find myself surrounded by 3-4 other cabbies, all looking at me like I had murdered their grandmas. Mind you, this was on a busy street at like 7 PM, and other people either did not notice or decided not to intervene.

So I stopped arguing and just coughed up the money. I know that's pretty tame but that's my creepiest travel story, and I have actually travelled quite a bit.

blazerz

Follow Her

I was walking through Paris looking for the closest metro station to go back to my hostel. I was trying not to look lost, but I was very lost. There was this intersection shaped like the hub of a wheel, and I knew the metro was on one of the streets radiating out from it, so I started going down the streets one by one.

As I went down one particularly deserted street I passed two men sitting in a doorway. In French one muttered to the other, "a woman", and they both got up to follow me. Luckily I could see the train a block ahead, so I checked my imaginary watch and started running. I made it before the train left. I don't know how far the men followed me, but there was hardly anyone at the station so I'm glad the train was there.

FoldedButterfly

We're Always Watching You

Had a layover in Moscow, flying from Seoul to Barcelona a few years ago. Aeroflot, of course.

Standard economy ticket, nothing special.

We land as usual, and are leaving. Cabin crew and pilot were thanking us as we left. When I got to the door, the captain looks at me and grins. "thanks for flying with us Captain (last name)." I was a military Intel guy at the time, and it seemed apparent they wanted me to know I was being watched and tracked.

My phone immediately started blowing up with Russian phone numbers calling it once I cleared security and hid out at a different terminal than my follow on flight. Never been to Russia before, no friends or family. Super weird.

cavscout43

Horrible People Are Everywhere

The last thing you should probably know about traveling alone: there are horrible people everywhere.

This. This Is What Women Deal With.

Was waiting outside the train station in Salzburg by the fountains to head back to Vienna. It was nighttime and I wanted to people watch and be outside.

Some guy kept walking in my view, whistling. He then approached me asking what's my business and I kept my answers very blunt, not really interested and keeping my guard.

Mind you, I was a 20-something-year old female at the time. He tried to lean for a kiss when I was not interested and definitely said NO when he asked. I shoved him away and started walking fast to the train platforms in hopes he wouldn't be behind me

This. This is the bullsh-t creeps female solo [travelers] have to f-cking deal with. I can't even sit outside a public, well trafficked area, by myself waiting for a train without being approached

Michigo_

Locked Up For The Night

Traveling in Cambodia. Went to a club with a group of new friends from the hostel I was staying at and hopped on a bus early the next morning to head to the beach (about an 8 hour drive). Later that night one of the girls from the hostel arrives off the bus. Turns out the night before she left the club by herself and got into a tuktuk. The tuktuk driver took her about an hour out of the city and locked her in a shed.

She screamed for hours until an old Cambodian man found her, took her to his house and was able to find out where her hostel was by using Google translate on his iPad. Her took her back to the hostel and she proceeded to take the bus 8 hours to where we were and get blackout drunk. I can honestly say, even before this story, Cambodia is the one place I will never go back to. From the moment I crossed the border from Laos I was on edge and crossing back into Thailand I felt immediate relief.

loverofmankinis

Hey! This Isn't Your Room!

Waking up to my hotel room being burgled. Was real annoying.Thankfully the only thing taken was my petty cash before I woke up and chased him

TywinSh-tsGold

A "Shortcut"

Had some dude try to haul me off my first day in Berlin.

He stopped to ask me a question when I was in Tiergarten, and proceeded to grab me by the wrist and refuse to let me go. I had told him I was going to Alexanderplatz and he started dragging me out of the park, telling me he would 'show me a shortcut' that he insisted would only take five minutes to get there (for those of you that have never been, it's at least a 30 minute walk.) I was so panicked I didn't know what to do and couldn't even scream, all I could think was that he was going to take to somewhere where no one would be able to help me.

I had a friend who I was staying with in the city text me at the right time and managed to beg off and say she was waiting for me back at Brandenburger Tor station, which was the opposite direction. He only let me go if I open mouth kissed him goodbye and gave me his number, which he made me call so he was sure 'I had the right one.' He was pulling me towards the holocaust memorial, so after he let go I rushed to it and hid in it so he wouldn't follow me.

Funnily enough that night was the first day of the 2014 World Cup. I was still really shaken, but still wanted to watch the game. I also wanted to go somewhere where I could talk to people in English because I was very 'f-ck dealing with Germans' at that point. I ended up at an Irish bar and the Irish bartender is now my husband and we live in Berlin.

fluxy2535

Always Have An Umbrella With You

Travelling in Asia at the time. I got a tuktuk to go to the center of a village with a young driver. We started driving and he turned around while telling me he wouldn't take me to the center of the village because he knew a better spot in the jungle - a place he and his friends loved... I told him no, I want to go to the center of the village and that's it. He got angry and sped up while I was considering my chances of just jumping out. But then he also grabbed my arm in a tight grip so I knew for sure no good would come from the situation.

Luckily for me I had an umbrella with me and with my free hand I started slamming him with it as hard as I could till he stopped the vehicle and he offered me to "take me to the center of the village. lol. No. I ended up walking 3 hours to the village. I had planned one more day there and was constantly confronted by people that I was the girl who attacked the tuktuk driver offering me rides. Pretty sure they were his friends.. I strictly stayed in busy areas till I was able to take a train out. F that situation.

CaveFlavored

The urge to travel after the world is safe to open up again is strong. You'll see things you've only read about and have encounters no one else could have unless they follow that urge, take it with them, and leave what they know. With that urge, though, comes great risk. Be safe if you do.

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Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

It’s weird how much stuff we let slide when we’re kids. Even if you look at the TV shows we watched back then, we had such a high threshold for the bizarre (early 2000’s Nickelodeon, anyone?). So it’s no surprise that some of us straight-up didn’t react when we saw weird crap in person.

Here are a few wild examples of seemingly harmless things we saw as kids that would be horrifying to see now. Brace yourself, this one gets crazy.



Kids and water aren’t a great mix sometimes. It can get real gross, real quick.

Not worth the tranquility.

I've always loved the tranquil feeling of being under water. When I was a kid I would just hold my breath and float around. Sometimes adults would think I was drowning and run up and scoop me out. I don't remember this (it was when I was pretty young) but my parents have told me about it

I used to think it was a funny story... people thinking I was drowning when I was just trying to relax

....until I watched a video explaining child drownings and yeah, the way I acted in water looked exactly like a drowned kid.

I don't think it's funny anymore.

Turboshot49cents

Uhhhhhh.....ew?

Renee Zellweger Water GIF by Working Title Giphy

Flood water. It was fun and games for the kids, and we even splashed around in it, much to the horror of our parents (who immediately scrubbed us down). We didn't understand then, but now, oh wow...sewer, insects, rats, parasites, etc.

MrFantasticallyNerdy

That’s actually hilarious.

My friend and I were walking along the road in about thigh high flood waters. A small boat with two men comes up to us. We were about 9 years old and I think they were National Guard. Anyway, one of the men asks if we remembered exactly where the manholes in the road were. We answered no. He told us that all of the covers had most likely been washed away in the flood but not to worry because it would probably only take them a few days to find our bodies if we were sucked down one of the holes by currents they produced. He spoke in a matter of fact tone and then left.

As an adult, I have zero doubt those two men had a good laugh as they looked back and watched us nope out of that water like two roadrunners in a cartoon.

Edit: It was Fish and Game Wardens. The NG didn't come until later.

Daykri3

Not to mention the crazy injuries that kids somehow are constantly surrounded by.

Had a jogger get hit by a car outside my house once when I was about eight or nine. My nephew came running inside yelling at my parents and my sister to call the ambulance because he was bleeding pretty badly.

I could even see him from our playrooms window and I wondered what he was doing lying on the grass. Turns out he was bleeding out pretty badly, deliriously yelling at my parents when they tried to help.

Eventually, an ambulance came and picked him up, but my parents always told me he made it out okay. The day after, in the spot he was found someone had put a lily in the grass in a vase.

It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out he died from the hit and run.

SixthUnderminer

How sharp were they, though?

A kid f*cking sharpened his fingers with an automatic pencil sharpener at grade 2. Everyone didn't know what was going on until the teacher started freaking out.

NubbishWood

I just remembered I tried to stick my finger into electric pencil sharpeners as a kid and disliked how my fingers were too big to fit in it. What the hell was I thinking?

BSPlanes

Rock climbing can definitely be dangerous.

scared george costanza GIF by HULU Giphy

We did climbing in PE (sixth to eight grade). Like rock climbing and we had to do our own harness and stuff. PE teacher (supposedly) checked it after we were done to make sure it was done right. One day my neighbor broke an arm and leg because she wasn't properly strapped and fell.

This was at an international American school in Egypt around year 2000, for all those wondering what type of school does rock climbing.

Ashleywalz90

Kids are, in fact, made of elastic.

We used to jump of our roof. First time hurt a little, but after a few times you learnt how to land.

Did it regularly and would try various items as 'parachutes' to see if it slows you down any.

I look at that height now and wonder how the hell we never broke anything - kids bones are more elastic I guess.

Reapr

​It’s amazing what adults can get away with right under kids’ noses.

A casual hit-and-run.

car japan GIF Giphy

My babysitter was running late to take me to piano lessons and rear ended an old man at a stoplight. She told me that he must not have noticed because he didn't get out of his car. I thought nothing of it, and she drove away and took me to my piano lesson.

I forgot about it, and it didn't click until I remembered the incident years later that I had been unknowingly involved in a hit and run.

Idontknowwhattoput22

Big yikes.

Not so much something I saw - but when I was 5 or 6 I was at a family wedding, and there was this really friendly adult guy (who I didn't know) who told me he was really worried about his nice new car in the parking lot and how he wanted to check on the car but didn't want to leave the wedding.

He asked if I could go check on it and he would pay me $5 just to go see if his car was "okay" being that age $5 was a crazy amount of money so I couldn't believe my luck.

On the way to the parking lot, my mom intercepted me and was absolutely horrified, I remember not understanding why, like trying to tell her no she had it wrong he was nice and paying me! And as an adult now I'm like that's so messed up and I wonder how close a call that could have been.

DeclanAF

Go grandma!

Until the age of 12 my grandma had custody of me. I used to sleep with her and she slept with a baseball bat next to her bed. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized she did it dads friends wouldn't be able to do anything to me.

Dad was a drug addict and drunk and when he was out of prison he had all kinds of people in and out of the house. You would never know what would be missing the next day - often my Nintendo :(

She did everything she could to protect me from God knows who/what and I had zero clue!

Edit: Damn this blew up while I was sleeping!! Thank you so much to everyone for the support :)

Im adding extra details to help understand the situation.

My grandmother was born in 1914, had a third grade education and was a housewife her entire life. She was already 71 when I was born! My grandpa died when I was 4 and it was just her and I. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom house in a terrible neighborhood. It was paid off and that's all she could afford. She lived off of the social security death benefits from my grandpa and food banks. She couldn't just "leave" and go anywhere else.

Also, for those suggesting she should have called the cops - cops don't do anything if you say "I'm scared these guys will do something bad" cops have to wait till something bad happens.

She did her very best and raised my right! Now my father is back in prison (shocker) and is pissed at me for not letting the past be in the past and welcoming him with open arms. Meanwhile I'm a 2x college graduate with a great job, my own house and recently married! She definitely did something right. Unfortunately she died when I was 12. Id give anything to be able to tell her how grateful I am to her for doing everything right.

LostLadyA


We see some scary stuff as kids. No wonder most of us are so messed up years later. Often these things don’t even register as something terrible- a lot of times, the things we witnessed were just a part of life.

The best we can do is to take our trauma, and learn from it, so we don’t pass it down to our own children. Because kids don’t deserve it- they deserve to have happy childhoods and not think about the horrors of the world.