These brief travel short stories, which vary from the ridiculous to the inspirational, will leave you with sweaty hands and a warm heart. These stories are of personal experience and real incidents.
One thing is for sure: you’ll be transported to the place where the narrative takes place, no matter what your emotions are.
You could even pick up some travel advice and uncover new adventures along the road!
The Suitcase Exchange
Yes! Around November 2020, when covid did take a tiny backseat, I jumped at the opportunity to head for a vacation. The obvious destination was none other than Goa. A great holiday indeed. Cometh the time to return. Back home, I was oblivious to the world and slept soundly. My hub asked for something post morning, and I showed him the way to the unpacked suitcase. To undo it and get the asked for the item from inside of it. He opened the suitcase and found that it was NOT our bag to his utter delight.
Alas! Our suitcase had been exchanged.
The contact number was mine that was provided at the time of booking. Yet, another shock to the story was that my phone was lying dead since the night because of a drained battery. I quickly switched on my phone to find endless messages and calls from an unknown number and the airport authorities as well. I called the unknown number. The fellow with my bag was on his way to my place to collect his belongings.
I was head over heels for not having to go to lengths for my lost property which was not much, as it is. There were a couple of pairs of jeans and t-shirts and a few other basic necessities in my attaché. Whenever I travel, I carry only the imperatives to save myself and my partner from unnecessary labour or extra labour charge. A lesser-known woman. Even so, there are a few still living in flesh and blood.
The man was travelling here from Dunlop, an area in the suburbs of Kolkata. This place is almost a 3-hour drive from where I live. I was utterly touched by the man’s modesty and went to the main entrance of the building to exchange the suitcase myself. And he was more than grateful to me for taking care of his suitcase, which I did at the least, but he did not have to know that.
I came back from downstairs with a big smile and started unpacking my briefcase. Randomly talking, I asked my hubby about the contents of the man’s valise. As he was the one who had a sneak peek into it.
He started laughing out loud and told me that the bag contained 10 bottles of Black Label Whiskys. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded and joined his laughter. No wonder the suitcase was so heavy when I carried it down.
A Date Night With A Stranger
This incident happened when I was travelling by cab with my friend in Singapore. We were engrossed in a chat while commuting to our hotel. After we reached the hotel, I chose to pay off the cabbie. While my dear friend waited for me inside the hotel lobby. As I was busy counting my dollars to pay him off, he proposed to me to go on a date with him.
The sudden intrusion from the operator jolted me from my task and I looked up at him. I demanded an explanation from him for daring to ask me out. He thought that I was really beautiful. Also, he added that I was kind, as he had overheard my talks with my friend during the journey. On further extrapolation, he said that he wanted a date/friend with the very same qualities as mine. He was tired of people being double-faced and selfish.
To give you a quick recap, I was talking about how deeply I felt for doing something for society. How I was planning to join an NGO and interact with children made me a happier person.
I made the bill payment, to which he objected, but I paid. And asked him to collect me from this very hotel the next evening at exactly 9 pm. I cannot explain his contentment here.
While I was getting ready in my room, the following evening, I got a call from the reception. There was a Ching waiting for me, I was told. I knew no Ching. Who else could it be, other than my date for the evening? I informed the reception that I will be down in ten minutes.
Wearing a black bodycon I appeared before Ching and greeted him. He was profound and complimented me for my look. We made our way to the restaurant.
We had a delightful evening and dinner. Ching took me to a modest but fulfilling place. I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner, even thanked him for the effort. We had a small stroll down the street before he dropped me back to my hotel, at no added cost.
We talked about hundreds of things like our jobs, likes, dislikes, hobbies, countries, etc.
In the end, he asked me if I would want to go out with him again?
However much I wanted to, my hands were tied. And I did not want to give him false hopes. I informed him that the friend with whom I was travelling yesterday was not my friend. He was my husband. Ching would not believe me until I showed him our wedding pictures. He was awestruck, pointless to say. Nonetheless, we had found a good friend in each other. We are still friends, and I do speak to him once in a while.
That was how I befriended a stranger. He took me out on a date without any expectations or hesitations. I did go with his flow because in a way I knew that I would not end up hurting his feelings. It’s one of those travel stories that lasted for a short while, yet left a lasting impression on me.
Often, I grimace about this with my dearest husband and thank him for his trust and for letting me have my own space. Our love is unconditional but free, to an extent.
Lone Traveller In Switzerland
We were in Switzerland for our holidays. One day we decided to have a day of solo travel. We were to start at one particular point and at the end of the day meet at the same point. It was one super-duper experience that I would recommend all couples to feel. Interlaken is indisputably one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is a mountainous region in central Switzerland. Two beautiful lakes, the Thun & Brienz grace the place in all its beauty and glory.
The first place I went to was the Harder Kulm. It gives a panoramic view of the whole city with the two lakes which is nothing less than majestic. Attached to it is a wildlife park to spot marmots and ibexes. Here I met a couple who were octogenarian and madly in love still. I was already starting to miss my mate. The couple was here in Interlaken to celebrate their 55th Anniversary and were travelling from Scotland. Seeing them made me realize that love has no age. It was timeless. It was a gala time with unknown people with a known mindset. After hearing their travel stories and experiences, I bid my adieus as I advanced for my next stop.
A cruise on Lake Thun. The smooth breeze hitting my face was spellbinding. Here I met a family who was here on a family vacation. They were from Mumbai, India, my country. The bonding and laughter reminded me of my own family. It made me appreciate them more than ever. Thereafter I took a train to Grindelwald, a village town near Interlaken. It is famous for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. It is a hypnotic place that serves delectable pizzas. Here I came across a group of friends. They were here on a hiking exploration. It just made me grateful for my own bunch of buddies. Friends are family away from family. They know you and define you like none.
The day came to a close. I headed for my meeting point. Seeing each other from afar we raced and hugged. It was a day that dawned on us the few priceless treasures of life. Something that we often fail to value at times.
Picking Fruits In Amsterdam
It was in the Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I was buying the European berries. They are my favourites. I can nosh them for all meals literally.
There was a lady, young and immature, trying to buy fruits for her boyfriend. Her intent was on preparing some sort of a fruit dish to show off her culinary skills. So goofy but cute. Been there, done that.
She was buying for the first time as it was clearly visible. The older beau was oblivious to her efforts. She had been picking all the wrong berries and this was not tolerable to me. I stopped her midway and asked for helping her, so as not to offend or wrong her. She was flattered and happily agreed.
Both of us ventured on our fruit picking expedition. We ended up becoming friends. I gave her a guided tour of all the available berries in the store. Not to forget, I mentioned their genesis and benefits too. She was aghast on knowing and learning that it was me helping her pick the fruits, not the other way round. She thanked me after the trepid tour and got away with the best of the lot.
This was how I flaunted my knowledge in a foreign land and ended up making a friend. It was fun for me. Given a chance, try this trick and relish the happiness. Do not forget to thank me later.
Khakhra Tasting– Think Before You Eat!
Out of all the travel stories, this incident took place in Athens, Greece. We were travelling on the bus with our tour guide and other co-passengers. There was a pair of friends travelling from the United States. Two friends out on a trip sort of thing. We Indians are fond of carrying our own food everywhere. It is a common phenomenon that most Indians can relate to. That day I was carrying a packet of Khakhras with me. It is a thin cracker snack mostly spicy and baked. My partner wanted to munch some and asked me for it. Out of sheer courtesy and an intention to become friends with fellow riders I offered some to the duo girls. They became pretty interested in trying the stuff.
They took a small piece each and started nibbling. Not half a minute had elapsed and they both started sweating profusely. They were desperately asking for water and help. The tour guide got jittery and asked what I had offered them that made them want medical help. He immediately contacted his nearest medical aid and asked for assistance. He rebuked us for eating on board, which is strictly prohibited. We panicked and lost our sense of reasoning. With utter hesitation, I proffered them the water bottle that was available to me. With great reluctance, they took it and sipped it. Soon they started getting normal again. The scout informed the medical team about the situation under control.
This accident gave me a lesson for life. I have stopped snacking in Indian buses too.
Travel Stories That Lived With Us Forever
I’m sure you’d have experienced one of the above-mentioned travel stories. Tell me about your experiences below in the comment and I would be happy to read them.
Oftentimes, it is the memory that we hold onto and the experiences that are concealed in it. They help us in remembering the life we have explored and lived. These travel stories I have written are a part of my journey and I wish to have more experiences that would fill up my experience bucket list.
We are the stories we live and read. I’m happy you read a few of my travel short stories.