Travel Misadventures – When I Overslept…
Travel is enriching, exciting, filled with adventures…
Except that sometimes…
I have been traveling extensively for work since the last 25 years and have gathered a lot of memories and adventures over the years. While I plan for my trips meticulously, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and I am no exception.
In this travel misadventure series, I plan to share some of my epic travel fails…
Let the (mis)adventure begin…
So, my schedule read like this…
Day 1 – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jaipur
Day 2 – Jaipur – Alwar – Jaipur
After finishing my work during the day at Bikaner, I had to take the evening train which was scheduled to reach Jaipur at 12.15 am. I was supposed to go home, rest and pick my laptop and projector and leave for Alwar at 7.30 am, the next day.
I took the evening train from Bikaner and was comfortable on my side upper seat in the 2AC compartment. I set 3 alarms on my phone (yeah, I like to take no chances) and even set an alarm in a train app which was supposed to ring 10 minutes before the arrival of Jaipur station. At around 9.30 pm, I pulled the curtains together and decided to catch forty winks.
I woke up to some knocking. Rap…rap. Rap…rap…echoing all around me. I opened my eyes to see the Travelling Ticket Examiner standing near my seat. He asked where I wanted to get down. I sat up, my brain and eyes still foggy from sleep and muttered, “Jaipur.” He said, “Madam, Jaipur has passed half an hour ago!”
I was shell shocked and flabbergasted. After a few seconds of OMGs and WTH… I still couldn’t believe that I had overslept and missed my station. After a few more seconds of pity-party in my head, I galvanized into action and thought of getting down at the next station. And guess what!?! The next halt of the train was at Alwar station which was some 2 hours away. While I was contemplating my next plan of action, the TTE gave me a lecture on what I should have and should not have done! I told him that I travel 10-15 days in a month and have been travelling since the last 25 years and that I travel at all hours of the night and day and that this has happened to me for the first time, but it all fell on deaf ears. Sigh!
The train was reaching Alwar at 2.45 am. I indulged myself in some more pity-party, I kicked myself for sleeping so soundly that I didn’t hear the 4 alarms and missed even the hustle-bustle in the compartment when people are getting in or getting out at a station. But I am a person of plans and action. I calmed myself and got the rational cogs and wheels of the brain in motion. The calmness also came easily because, I couldn’t do anything but wait for the train to stop at Alwar.
I did some online research and realized that whatever means of transport I took from Alwar to go to Jaipur, I wouldn’t be able to come back to Alwar by 10 am in the morning to conduct my training workshop. So, staying back at Alwar was the only option. Immediately, I searched for some hotels and called one to book a room for me. Next came the worry about my laptop and projector. Thankfully, I had the presentation in my mail box, so, I could download it and use on someone’s laptop. Getting a projector on a short notice would have been a problem, but I decided to worry about it later.
As I got down at Alwar, the TTE wished me well and told me to take care next time. I smiled through my gritted teeth and rolled my eyes mentally on his suggestion, because the paranoid me would not be able to sleep in a train, ever, again!
I reached the hotel, slept for a while and got up at 7 to call the local manager. I explained my misadventure and requested him to arrange a laptop and projector. He called back ten minutes later to confirm the availability of both. I was ecstatic only to be devastated the next moment when I realized that I didn’t had fresh set of clothes. Thank God for the hair dryer and iron in the room, I managed to freshen up my clothes. And managed to conduct the training without any hassle as well.
This experience has made me and my entire family super paranoid. So, whenever I travel at odd hours, they set alarms in their phones as well and keep calling me to ensure that I dont sleep. The good thing about this is that we get to talk a lot more though on one or two instances, I got dirty looks from my co-travellers.
I am not a person who can really sit around and think about regrets because with every bad experience that you have, there is weirdly something good that comes from it. –Winona Ryder
Have you had travel misadventures and debacles? What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while travelling?
October 3, 2019 10:47 pm|
I’ve had lots of travel misadventures due to me not double-checking flight details etc before I press the button. In the last few years alone I’ve got my dates mixed up for flights; booked them for a week after I’ve turned up at the airport and had to stay in hotels until the next available flight. Painful and expensive but fun too 🙂
October 3, 2019 11:01 pm|
Travel misadventure happens. Here is an interesting one. Did not happen to me but to somebody else. This was pre 9/11. A guy was waiting at the Los Angeles Airport to go to Oakland, California. The flying time is only 50 minutes. He boarded the plane. After 5 hours, he asked the Flight Attendant why we have not landed yet. The Flight Attendant replied we are flying over Honolulu. He said Los Angeles to Oakland does not go thru Honolulu. The Flight Attended replied this flight is going to Auckland, New Zealand. (The passenger mistook the flight announcement for Auckland for Oakland.)
October 4, 2019 8:03 am|
It must have caused a lot of worries then, but as time goes by these misadventures bring a smile on our faces. My travel adventures include almost missing a bus despite reaching the bus stop way ahead of time. And this was in Europe.
October 4, 2019 8:47 am|
Oh my god this sounds terrible Shilpa. I havent ever faced this yet as I am super anal when I travel but I would have been equally devastated had this happened to me. Thank god your next trip was not jeopardized and it all worked out so well despite all the hiccups.
October 4, 2019 9:19 am|
My family has been always like an alarm that keeps one alert by constant calls and messages. when anyone is traveling, a global family network is automatically created : )
October 4, 2019 3:55 pm|
Hair dryer and iron. Wow you are indeed very talented.. I hope you stayed relaxed rest of the day.
October 4, 2019 6:04 pm|
That must have been quite worrying. Glad everything went off well.
I have had an occasion when travelling by train, For some strange reason, the alarm I had set for 3.30 am on my mobile didn’t ring. I woke up very worried at 4 am. But to my good fortune, the train was nearly an hour late.
I have had other worrying situations while travelling about which I blogged recently. Maybe you could read about them.
October 4, 2019 6:33 pm|
I have done this locally but never out of station, and I was in class 5 or 6 when I overslept and got up at a unknown station. Great narrative.
October 5, 2019 11:08 am|
Oh my, What an experience. It was scary yet was thankful that I am a light sleeper. Can never sleep well whilst on travel.
October 5, 2019 11:31 am|
This reminded me of the time when I almost overshot the Old Delhi railway station early in the morning and would have landed in the yard had my husband hadn’t called me to check on me. I still laugh at it. Misadventures make for great memories too. Loved reading yours.
October 5, 2019 12:04 pm|
Once I had an exam the next day. I set an alarm on my mobile for 2.45 am as I had a train at 4.00 am in the morning. I also set multiple alarms of different timings so that I could wake up. In the morning when I wake up at about 3:30 am. I saw alarm on my mobile, I found that I forgot to increase the volume as it was on silent mode when I set the alarm. When I reached the station, the train just departed and out of my reach and I could just watch it going.
October 5, 2019 2:29 pm|
I have had all sorts of travel misadventures- missing flights, getting airsick, leaving passports behind, losing luggage! Hahaha! But I feel one lives and learns!
October 5, 2019 7:02 pm|
Hehe.. this was funny in the aftermath but I am sure it must have been one hell of a crazy train ride. And I like the idea of whole family having their alarms on
October 5, 2019 8:41 pm|
Omg that was a real misadventure but I know no matter how unfortunate we consider these moments to be, sometime in future these misadventures make us smile.
October 5, 2019 11:00 pm|
For me its the other way round, I can never sleep soundly if theres a flight or train to catch in the morning.
October 6, 2019 12:37 am|
Over Sleeping during train journey is my biggest nightmare. Most of the times, when I travel even with family I am hyper scared and just cannot sleep through the night. But you were really lucky girl.
October 6, 2019 12:49 am|
I have plenty to share, the one that starts even before starting any trip is I always oversleep and then rush. Once I remember I was running at the airport to get to the check-in gate and I slipped, so badly that I couldn’t understand what had actually happened. I was lying flat on the floor looking directly at the ceiling & I couldn’t think of anything else so I just started laughing. I am still laughing recalling that incident. Travel misadventures! 😀
October 6, 2019 6:42 am|
Thats so scary for a moment Shipa. Thats good that you gained the senses and too over the situation.
October 6, 2019 7:52 am|
That ended well, thankfully. I have. A habit of setting alarms when travelling by train too and haven’t experienced such a misadventure yet. Just curious, didn’t you have to pay a fine for occupying the seat beyond your station? Normally you have to, especially with a TT who lectures.
October 6, 2019 7:55 am|
Yes, normally you have to, but he let go of that fine.
October 6, 2019 10:44 am|
Oh my gosh that’s such a scary experience thankfully my family is my alarm and I don’t have habit to sleep while traveling
October 6, 2019 11:40 am|
I am sure it would have been troublesome but misadventures teach us a good lesson for future
October 8, 2019 6:04 am|
Woa this would make me paranoid too. But kudos to you for staying calm and planning the next steps. I guess it comes from the experience of traveling for so long.
November 19, 2021 4:24 pm|
similar experience, even i had faced once when i was travelling to dehradun, where in i also was dreaded and didnt have fresh clothes for my online meeting session with my team. But i was fortunate, the hotel manager gave me his brown pullover sweater, and I was ready for a quick new look. this look didnt look like any “jugaad” infact was very well created.