This post is part of a L’appel Du Vide feature, Misadventure Mondays. In each segment, I’ll ask one of my favorite travel bloggers to share one of their Travel Misadventures. This Monday, Jess and Dani from “Globetrotter Girls” share their run in with a cow in India.
Tell me a little about yourselves and your current trip?
We are a German-American couple who packed up our London apartment and left to travel in April 2010, and have been on the road ever since. From London we flew to Las Vegas and started our adventure in Sin City. Since then we have done two major U.S. road trips, traveled nine months by local bus through Mexico and all of Central America, flew over to Europe for three months, spent a summer in Canada, over 7 months in South East Asia, and five weeks in India. The more we travel, the more passionate we are about seeing the world, so right now we see no signs of stopping in the near future.
Describe your travel style?
Budget travelers with the occasional splurge
What’s been your best/worst travel misadventure? Tell me about where you were, who you were with, and what happened.
Just recently we spent five weeks in India and I had an… encounter… with a cow. We had been traveling together with our good friend Jaime the Breakaway Backpacker and his friend Val. At some point an old knee injury flared up too much and I hung back in the small beach town of Palolem in southern Goa for five days while Dani, Jaime and Val went to the beautiful town of Hampi. The day Dani came back to get me, I was finally feeling better…well, good enough to take an actual walk down to the beach to have a beer at sunset with Dani.
On our way back up the beach road, I was walking gingerly, focused only on my knee, and I didn’t notice a pair of sparring cows behind me. One of the cows got agitated and scared – there were taxis and tuk-tuks, motorcycles and too many tourists – and he decided he needed to get through the line of traffic. It just so happened that the path of least resistance was to rear his head into the back of my thighs and toss me about four feet up and over out of the way. Dani saw it coming but it was too late to help me. I heard her shout ‘Oh, Jess!’, felt a sort of a whoosh feeling, realized I was up in the air and then felt an intense pain as I landed on the right side of my back/hip. I felt my lower back muscle tear and was sure I broke my pelvis. In the taxi to the free hospital and again later in the ambulance to a quality hospital about 25 miles away, Dani and I just kept looking at each other, resigned to my fate as an invalid in India. First my knee and now this?!
The pain was the most intense, acute pain I have ever felt but it turned out that I ‘only’ bruised my hip bones and tore a back muscle. Laid up for the remaining 10 days of our time in India, at first I could not lay, raise my hands, wash my hair or lift my right leg without the aid of my arms. We were both pretty depressed, but luckily Jaime was awesome enough to say he and Val had to come back to spend time and make me laugh for a few days. Without him I think my cup half empty attitude would have continued, but thankfully I improved every day and by the time we took our 42 hour trip from India to Tucson, I was able to walk out of the airport on my own two feet…albeit it slowly.
What were the negative or positive outcomes of your misadventure?
The positive aspects of this were that getting a good kick in the a** by a cow gave me the time to focus on what I really want out of the next few years. It also solidified our friendship with Jaime and gave my knee time to heal!
What did you learn from this misadventure that you can share with other travelers?
If you get hurt in India, make sure to go to a private hospital! Public hospitals are free, but basic, and in the private hospital I had the attention of three nurses, two doctors, an ambulance ride, X-Rays, three hours in bed, two mega painkiller IVs and an IV filled with electrolytes – and it cost me a total of $9.50.
How little reason we have to complain about anything. Dani is from Germany, I am from the U.S. and we are lucky by virtue of where we were born. People around the world struggle for the smallest things that we take for granted and having known this would have helped us show gratitude daily rather than complain about the little curve balls life used to throw us. Also – I wish we would have known sooner how much more this nomadic lifestyle suits us
Thanks Jess and Dani for sharing!