In which trupz writes her favorite travel anecdote

Any journey is incomplete without its share of travel anecdote. Everyone loves and lives to tell their travel story no matter where you go, we do it at TravelBlawghh! There is something memorable that happens to everyone on their journey’s, that’s what makes remembering these anecdotes so much fun. It could be that you forgot to put locks on your check-in bags or you lost your luggage, missed your flight or for that matter, you even forgot your tickets at home and if you want to top that imagine if you ‘Lost the Passport’ in a foreign country.


I for one am proud to say that I have been through all of these, not all at the same time of course but every trip is full of stories that I would love to share here.


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These are not listed in chronological order but rather see the severity of the situation and the aftermath, its actually hard to tell which is my most favorite.

Travel anecdote 1: I forgot to lock my bags when flying to Sheffield

It was my first ever international trip – let alone that – it was the first time I was to step on any plane for that matter. Anyhoo bubbling with all excitement I reached the airport said my long goodbyes to everyone – naturally I was to go for a year and a half for my higher studies to Sheffield, United Kingdom. I was so sure and confident that everything is under control I walked to the desk, showed my ticket and put my bags on the weighing machine – 63 kgs exactly, well under the allowed weight of 64 kgs for students traveling. Whoosh! I saw each of the bags drawn over the conveyor belt to accompany me on my flight. Proudly I collected my boarding pass and walked away to my next check post only to realize that the little locks that should have been on the bags that I just checked in are still in my pockets. DAMN!! No need to elaborate what happened ahead, it was a flight full of fear and anxiety and excitement! big butterflies in my stomach that were packed like a bomb about to blow off. Luckily when I got my bags all safe and sound at the Manchester airport, it felt like my plane had landed safe.



Travel anecdote 2: Vandana left her flight tickets at home when traveling to Denmark

In January 2004 my sister in law Vandana was to travel to Denmark for 2 months for training through her office. She was a complete wreck as this travel plan was told to her only a week in advance. As a result, there was not much time to pack etc. She was also the first of my clan to partake an “abroad trip”. We were quite clueless as to what could be in store, but everyone was keeping it together as much as they could. Her parents, my brother, and mum were to drop her off at the airport. Much to my dismay, I had my exams next day and as much as I love to go to airports, I had to opt out and stay at home instead. An hour and a half later I received a frantic call from my brother. I could make out there was someone yelling in the background, it was my mum! Not quite sure what is happening I was trying hard to focus on what he was saying and picked up a few keywords. ‘Vandana’, ‘tickets’, ‘at home’. My face ran pale as I sprung from my seat when it actually dawned on me what had happened. The lass had left without her tickets. I turned the whole house upside down looking for them; finally to find them nicely tucked away in an envelope on the bed. I wasn’t sure how it would be of any help me finding the tickets, the flight was to leave in 2 hours and there was no way I could make it there on my own in the middle of the night. While I was trying to make any sense of this the doorbell rang. I saw through the peep my neighbor, Prakash Gopalan. He knew what was going on and was ready on his Activa to drive me to the airport. Armed with our helmets and not ascertaining entirely how cold it would be outside, we drove. We made it from Vashi to the Sahar airport Terminal 2 in 45 minutes, I was sure it was a record of sorts! I handed over the tickets and there were laughs and tears as we bid goodbye to Vandana. I  was just happy to be at the airport. Another point to be noted during your travels, check, double check, triple check all your documents! againnnnnnn! Ohh and by the way, my exams were awesome.



Travel anecdote 3: I lost my luggage on the way to Brisbane 

Off to trip to Ozzie land, in December 2007, I was flying to the Nielsen office in Brisbane. On the day my transit flight to Kuala Lumpur was delayed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by 2 hours. I was flying Malaysian Airlines to Kuala Lumpur and then it was Qantas to Brisbane via Sydney. It was a bit of a trepid plan but when office books your tickets there is little you can control. The delay even before my trip started was making me a little panicky. The delay in Mumbai meant that there was a good chance I would miss my onward flight to Brisbane. Several inquiries and assurances later the Malaysian Airline staff confirmed that arrangements for all transit passengers would be made. Two hours later we took off and another two and a half hours later I landed in Kuala Lumpur. I was busy looking at my watch as we landed since it was just the time when my flight to Brisbane was to take off. There were other panicked passengers like me for the same flight en route Brisbane and I was happy to let them do all inquiries and blow off some steam on the crew as I eagerly awaited to be on land. As logic would have it, I could not do much while in the air. The Malaysian airline staff was well prepared, as soon as we landed, all passengers who were to board the flight to Brisbane were allowed to deboard the plane first. I remember I was rushed off directly from the runway to the waiting aircraft, it all happened so fast that it felt like I was on the ground only for a few seconds. It was being on a swing I was airborne a few seconds before only to be airborne again. I didn’t even have a chance to inform anyone back at home that I had made it to my next flight. Happy with myself, I slipped into a deep slumber as we flew over the Pacific Ocean. It was a long haul flight from Kuala Lumpur and I slept like a baby only to wake up as we were descending to land at Brisbane airport. I had slept through the stopover at Sydney and was not very happy with myself since I had missed the views of Opera House and Great Barrier reef. All said and done, it was still an adventurous flight and ended up chatting with my co-passenger Anna, who had similarly swung over like me into this Qantas flight at Kuala Lumpur. Anna was an elderly Australian lady who was amazed that I was so young and traveling for a meeting to Australia and she ended up telling me all about her solo travel in India and the fact that she loves coming back again and again to India


I said goodbye and exchanged emails with Anna and waited for my luggage. I had a weird feeling that something was wrong. And it was indeed, the adventure wasn’t over yet. My bag that was checked in had not arrived at Brisbane. We were informed that they were still stuck at Kuala Lumpur. It turns out that Malaysian Airlines only had the time to have me swung away to the Qantas flight, unfortunately, the bags could not be. It would take 2 more days for the airlines to have the bag sent directly to my hotel. Of course, I was handsomely compensated for the grievance by the Qantas airlines. I didn’t have much to complain as all my essentials were with me just my formal clothes missing. It was still a Sunday when I landed and my attire at the airport was still good enough to help me camouflage without smelling too bad. The compensation was more than enough to help me shop! In spite of everything else what a great start to the trip – landed in Australia and the first thing that I do is go shopping.


Travel anecdote 4: I missed my flight to London 

Just as I was thinking that I have become a pro at globe-trotting another disaster struck. June 2008 I was traveling to London, United Kingdom for a full paid office sponsored conference. I did the regular check the night before, my flight was on time so I did a web check-in, a window seat as usual. Packed well in advance I drove to the airport with my father-in-law since Adi was in Goa with his office guys. En route the airport, I don’t know why but I made a call to the Airline to check the flight status. The answer I received from the customer service representative at the other end left me speechless. I could feel the sweat balls become bigger on my forehead. The departure time for my flight read 0130 hours and I had literally translated that to 1.30 PM in the afternoon. What the customer service lady on the line was informing me was that I had already missed my flight! Tears were rolling down my cheeks as I informed everyone of the mishap. My father-in-law insisted that I should still go to the airport and check. Making desperate calls to the travel desk and customer service I was a nervous freak when I reached the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. On reaching I went in straight to the Airline counter who very patiently heard my situation. I informed them there is no way I could cancel this trip. It was an official conference,  the booking for the conference and the hotel etc had been done in advance and there was also no way I could cough up money to buy a new flight ticket on my own. The airline guys first gave me some water and then said they could put me on another flight that was to leave in an hour if I had my bags ready. I only had to pay some ‘no show’ charges for missing the earlier flight.


If you think miracles do not happen, change your opinion now. There was nothing else that could have made me happier, fearing the worst I had already typed my resignation letter in my head. I ran out with new found legs and picked my bags from the car and was soon aboard my missed flight!


An important lesson learned is to never back away from adversity, there is always a way out, I would have been in more trouble if I had decided not to go to the airport. Needless to say, the conference was a great success.



Travel anecdote 5: I lost my passport traveling to London

This is my favorite travel anecdote and was an unbelievable event. It happened in 2006, I don’t know now if people are as helpful or tolerable but I actually laughed my way out of it. So while studying at the University of Sheffield for our Master’s, Adi and I were down for a small vacation in India. On my flight back to London my passport fell off my lap in the airplane. I only realised this when I had to present it at the immigration counter. I checked my bags inside out and traced my way back to the security gates near the boarding deck. I was almost embarrassed when I told the officer there that I want to go back on the flight. Very surprisingly he quipped, “Don’t you like London!!” I explained what had happened and was amazed when expression did not change. All he said was “Are you sure?”, and all I could say was “Positive”. Adi was sure I was going to be deported back to India. However, the officer took me along some doors that read “Officers Only” marked in big bold red lettering and I found myself in the security zone. He made a few calls on his walky-talky and made me go through the Metal Detector gate and frisked my bag and asked me to take off my shoes and then through another door and I was in the lounge where all Airlines had their desks. Suddenly I realized that internally the airport is a small managing unit just feels much spaced out when you have to walk around all the way. Anyhoo I ran all the way to Airline desk where there was Q. Mustering up all my courage and convincing myself that this was an Emergency situation I skipped ahead of the Q. Thanks to all people ever so considerate who read the panic on my face.


As I approached the lady at the desk she told me to hold on for a minute. She picked up her mike and on the Public Address System I heard, “Attention all passengers just arrived by the *** Airways Flight ** ***, Miss Trupti Mulajkar, could you please approach the closest airline counter’, this was repeated thrice. Not sure how but involuntarily I squeaked, ‘That’s me!’ and she still continued to complete the announcement. When I finally went close to her, I saw the look on her face just like my mother’s and felt that a hard smack was on its way to my cheek. Luckily she just smiled and handed my passport saying, “You should be more careful with these things”.


I breathed a heavy sigh of relief and thanked the security officer for helping me out. He said he was glad I can see London now and didn’t have to go back. Of course, I could see the sarcasm. If I would not have found my passport then we would both be traveling back home on separate flights!!!.
Every picture has a memory associated with it, mine has some life-altering travel anecdotes. They are funny even after so many years. I do realize they would have been different if all would not have turned out to be fine. But you know what they say “In the end everything is ALRIGHT – if it is not alright then it is not the END”.


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