Birmingham, UK


If you haven't already, head over to 6 times I thought I would die while travelling part 1, to read the first 3 of my rather questionable travel tales. If you've already heard all about those feel free to keep reading for the second part of my near miss stories!

Looking out an airplane window down on a city below

Here are 3 more times I thought I would die while travelling...

That time I almost drowned on a boat trip in Bodrum

Boat trips are an absolute favourite pastime of mine. If I'm not chugging along Europe's canals, I'm drifting around various lakes and oceans, I just can't get enough of it. And so when the much younger, bargain-hunting Grace spied a day-long boat trip for £8 in the party city of Bodrum, I snatched the tour operators hand off. 

On the day of the trip, I was beyond excited. Although I didn't expect much for less than a tenner, I was determined to make the most of the tour - it was my last full day in beautiful Turkey after all! Our first stop on the trip was to a small sea side spa. It looked more like an old run-down pool to me, and we didn't stay long. The next stop was much more interesting. We pulled up in a small bay with fairly shallow, crystal clear waters and were encouraged to take a dip. Here we were surrounded by ocean wildlife and I even spotted a tiny speckled octopus! I've never been so glad to have my goggles with me because I would have missed that gem had I not been able to open my eyes once I'd swam down to the seafloor.

The third stop was where we would stay the longest. By now we had moved on to much deeper water where we were unable to see much beyond our own toes. Many of the tourists decided that this was the perfect place to jump off the boat into the sparkling sea below. Scared but willing to give anything a go I plunged into the water. I came up spluttering and mildly shaken as even though I held my nose, water still managed to rush inside. I'd also managed to descend a little further than expected and so surfacing took longer than I had hoped. 

Not content with almost drowning next to our boat I set my eyes on another challenge. I spied a beach not too far away that other guests had already started swimming to. Determined to make the most of my time, and partially to impress the non-swimming partner I was with, I set out to reach the shore. It soon became evident that my eyes had deceived me and the shingle beach was much further away than it seemed. Still as stubborn as ever I pressed on, battling waves much larger than expected and taking on yet more seawater.

By this time it was too far to turn back and my achy limbs needed to rest. I calculated that I was now closer to the beach and I'd likely never make it back to the boat without a short break anyway. And it's not like there were any lifeguards onboard either, not on an £8 boat trip. So I continued to the beach, my legs on the verge of cramping and my lungs filling with gulps of salty water until eventually, my knees grazed the stones below. How I made it back to the boat I'll never quite know, but here I am, silly as ever and ready to make more bad decisions.  

Photo taken from the shore or Bodrum beach. Looking out across the bay at the clear waters and the boats in the distance.

That time we stayed in the scariest apartment in Budapest

On my quest for an affordable place to stay in central Budapest back in 2017, I booked what I thought was a nice little city apartment slap bang in the middle of Pest. The reviews were good, and the photos made the place look clean and modern, everything you could want right? But how wrong I was. 

On arrival, it was clear that this was just one of a string of apartments the company owned across the city. They had obviously been refurbished and furnished as cheaply as humanly possible. Cleanliness was also not a priority here as the pillows smelled less than appealing and on our first night, we were visited by a tiny cockroach. As well as all this we were plagued by a small plaque which hung on the wall stating the house rules which included things like 'no noise after 10 pm' amongst other more ridiculous rules. The apartment itself was within an old run-down pre-war building with minimal lighting and questionable health and safety standards. Looking back I'm unsure why we didn't grab our bags and make a run for it after that first night, maybe part of us thought it was actually quite funny that we'd ended up in such horrendous accommodation after a string of great hotels. It wouldn't have been so funny had we caught the black death mind!

But all this was nothing compared to the facility we had to use to even get to our dirty little room. While I'm sure the stairs were perfectly acceptable, staying on the top floor of a tall building could convince even the most nervous person to hop into a lift. And so that's what we did, or shall I say attempted to do. Once the elevator doors opened it was evident that two people and a suitcase would not fit. The floor space within the lift was barely 4-foot square, I'd never seen anything before in my life. It was clearly a slapped up homemade elevator that would never pass any kind of safety testing in the UK. I'll admit at this point it did look incredibly questionable, but not prepared to walk up several flights of stairs with a full suitcase I grabbed the bags and hopped inside to meet my partner at the top.

As soon as the machinery started going the tiny room was filled with clunks and crashes and the floor below me shook. At that moment I was convinced that this little wooden box would simply crash to the floor below with me inside it and no one would even hear me scream over the noise. Luckily I made it to the top floor and lived to tell the tale of the crazy little lift. I also used it every single time I left the apartment after that because although it was terrifying, I thought it would also be a really funny way to die. 

A close up shot of the shoes on the Danube memorial in Budapest

That time I almost froze to death while camping in Wales

When camping you really are at the mercy of the elements, I think that's part of the fun of it. Setting up your little tent, making it as comfortable as possible, and praying as hard as you can that your shelter won't be blown away in the night. There's just something so alluring about roughing it for a few nights and let's be honest, we all love getting pissed next to a roaring campfire!

I'm fairly new to camping myself, and my tiny tent isn't exactly the kind of accommodation I'd like to spend a week in, but my parents on the other hand have all the gear. Staying in their massive tent is like living it up in a 5-star resort compared to my two-man £20 festival tent. And so when they booked a few nights in Europe's biggest campsite I tagged along. It was May and it was warm. Regardless of the fairly mild temperate I still filled my section of the tent with blankets on top of blankets on top of blankets, to make sure I was extra toasty once the fire went out. I suffer from the cold at the best of times so it doesn't hurt to be a bit extra in that department. 

Fast forward a few nights and the temperate took a plummet. On this night sky was clear and the wind was howling all around us. The campsite being on the coast didn't help as we also had the freezing wind blowing in across the sea - we really had nowhere to hide. Even with my layers of blankets and my extra thick pyjamas, I felt it all. Before long I was dithering and my face was stone cold. My nose was streaming and I could not get warm no matter how hard I tried. I spent the first few hours in and out of consciousness just hoping I could stay asleep long enough to see the sun the morning. At one point I considered taking my sleeping bag up to the toilet blocks to try to survive the night in there but I was so cold I could barely move. That's when I finally got the courage to check the temperature. 4 degrees. Not cold enough to be freezing, but colder than a human should have to suffer. I decided then and there that I would die in this place, but by some miracle, myself and my family made it through the night. My sister told me she was also convinced her time was up as we thawed out over breakfast the following morning. 

Looking across the Danube at Liberty Bridge in Budapest

So those were 6 times I was sure I was going to die while travelling. And you want to know the worst bit? Those are just the few I thought were worth telling! Unfortunatly for me I'm rather clumsy and so these stories really are endless!

Please feel free to leave your own near death travel experiences in the comments below or over on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

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