Adventures Of A Backpacker: My Biggest Solo-Travel Disaster

By the way, I created a travel Instagram account dedicated to short & sweet posts ideal for screenshotting on the go. I’ll link it here so check it out!Β https://www.instagram.com/travelbystrawberrysnaps/

7 years ago, when I was 18, I was on my way to the airport to head solo to Rome. I can still remember trying all the fragrances at Duty Free and stocking up on every snack I could see. My excitement continued all the way until I was standing in the line ready to board the plane. I was somewhat in the middle of the queue, not too eager to stand up first but not too laid-back to stand up last. In front of me I had a group of students. Nothing unusual I thought. I turned around behind me and could see a middle-aged male. Again, nothing unusual. Or so I thought…

The male behind me started to shift closer and closer towards me. Everywhere I moved, he would follow. If I stepped to the left, so would he. If I stepped to the right, so would he. I wasn’t panicked at this point, as I was surrounded by people, but I could see I was being followed. I remember turning around and saying, ‘Stop, I am uncomfortable’, but there was a language barrier issue. I couldn’t speak Italian. I moved away, and a few seconds later, the male followed.

I must have looked annoyed at this point as the group of students started speaking to the male in Italian. I turned away. A few seconds later, the male starts to undress! I am not even kidding. I could see his underwear and trousers lowering right behind me. I screamed. The group of students saw the whole thing and started shouting in Italian. I couldn’t understand what was going on but I didn’t need to do so, as a few seconds later I saw a fight break out between the students and male.

Security was quick to arrive to the scene. I was taken out of the line with the male and asked to wait until more security arrived. I was almost in tears as I didn’t know what was happening, but I explained that the male was being inappropriate. The kindness of the airport staff really blew me away. They kept me comfortable whilst I was giving a statement on what happened, and reassured me the male wouldn’t be on the same flight. However, at this point I noticed everyone had boarded the plane. I was terrified I’d miss my flight. Staff told me the plane wouldn’t fly without me but I wasn’t sure. How would the plane know to wait for me? I really didn’t want to miss my flight as my Airbnb host would be waiting for me at the airport.

After ten minutes or so, one staff member told me I could board. I felt so flustered running through the tunnel leading to the aircraft, as I was well aware the passengers were waiting for over 20 minutes. I didn’t know if the reason for delay was announced, however. As soon as I got inside, everyone was seated. To make things even more awkward, everyone started CLAPPING. I remember putting my hood up to avoid glances and just acted like nothing was wrong for the whole flight. Although, as soon as we had landed, I had so many people stop to ask if I was ok which was sweet. I felt so fortunate to have so many genuinely-concerned strangers around me, wishing me well. I managed to bump into the group of students to thank them for their help and continued on my way to meet my host. Well, it turned out I had no mobile data so couldn’t even communicate with her to say I had arrived, but that’s a story for another day!

See you in the next post!

P.S… If you missed my two other adventures, I’ll link them for you here :Adventures Of A Backpacker: My Accommodation Flooded? and Adventures Of A Backpacker: Scammed in New York City?

15 Comments Add yours

  1. What a horrible introduction to solo-travelling 😦 Hopefully, things only ever have been better since!!

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    1. Yes it was certainly stressful! Luckily, ever since then I’ve not had a disaster when travelling as big as this story! Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a relief and I hope that it stays that way!! Safe travels! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are very welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! that is nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was! Luckily nothing has happened to this extent since then! Thanks so much for reading 😊

      Like

  3. bosssybabe says:

    OMG… that is so disturbing! And so difficult bc you couldn’t understand a word they were saying… I guess the man was delusional or mental ill or something?? You never found out what the students were saying to the man, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It was so creepy for sure! Especially as it was my first solo trip 😩 and no I didn’t ask as there was a language barrier but I wish I knew!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. rkrontheroad says:

    So glad the security and airplane staff were understanding and considerate of you! Creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! And yup it was totally creepy! Thank you for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s terrible! I’m so sorry that happened to you. I hope your other travels went much better. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was pretty scary! Luckily other travels did go much better! Thank you so much 😊

      Like

  6. Angela says:

    Awful story with happy ending. Very glad that people and staff helped you. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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