The World's Unluckiest Travelers


On day three, Feldman stopped on a mountain road to photograph the valley below. He stepped to the cliff's edge to relieve himself -- when it began to give way. He fell 30 feet, shattering his leg when he landed on a ledge that saved him from a fate much worse. It took ten men to rescue him, a 14-hour ambulance ride, two surgeries, and a life-threatening infection before he was able to return home, arriving practically on his original return date.

Trip Cancelled: Gary Lape and his group planned to meet in London, where they had rented an apartment for two weeks, then cross the English Channel to visit friends in France and spend time touring Paris.

Everyone's flights and accommodations had been paid in full by the time Lape and his wife headed to the airport. As he placed their tickets and passports on the ticket counter, a voice came booming over the loudspeaker announcing that all flights in the U.S. had been cancelled.

The date of their departure was Sept. 11, 2001. They never rescheduled the trip.

Boat from Hell: After a semester abroad in Costa Rica, Carmia Feldman and a friend decided to explore the rest of Central America. They missed the last ferry to Belize from Guatemala and decided to hitch a ride on a canoe crowded with fourteen other passengers and piled high with cargo.

The motor failed, leaving the passengers stranded at sea. Feldman noticed a storm approaching in the distance. Ultimately, the students and their fellow passengers weathered the storm and ended up safely on the shores of Belize, though wet and feeling ill.

Trip of a Lifetime -- Not

The Paparazzi and the Masai: While traveling through the Serengeti, Lisa Quinn came across a group of teenage boys dressed in traditional clothing. She stopped, hoping to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment with a photo.

But where Quinn saw the chance for a memento, the clever and entrepreneurial boys saw an opportunity. The boys would consent to the picture, but only after a bit of bartering. After a playful exchange, Quinn walked away with her photo but lost her watch, some candy and a fistful of cash in the exchange.

Sick to Death: After his father's funeral, Jeff Michel and his family decided to plan a reunion in Mexico to spend some time together. Upon arriving in Mexico City the family waited four hours in the sweltering heat with four children under the age of five to pass customs.

Once they were allowed to pass, they rushed to their connecting flight to find the ticket agent giving away their tickets to standby passengers, resulting in another 8-hour wait. Though they knew not to drink the water, Michel and his daughter decided to eat the table salsa, and subsequently, spent the entire night suffering from food poisoning.

IV in a taxi??? While visiting her family in Porto Viejo, Adriana Aviles' 3-year-old daughter fell ill. Three days into their trip, her daughter's condition worsened, and she took her to the home of the local pediatrician. Her daughter was severely dehydrated, and the doctor quickly ordered an IV and sent them to a local clinic.

There was not enough bed space there, so the attending physician inserted the IV into her daughter's arm, gave her instructions to remove it when the dose was complete, and sent them on their way. With the IV hanging out of the taxi window, they raced to the nearest airport and jumped on the next flight back to Miami to seek additional treatment.

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