Solo Travel Gone Wrong: My Accident

Solo Travel Gone Wrong: My Accident

Travelling Wanderer

Travelling Wanderer is all about adventure and a girl who doesn’t like to follow the rules. From #vanlife to spontaneous trips, you will find all types of interesting adventures here.

“As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover how capable you are.” -Source Unknown

(Disclaimer: This story may include triggers to some people and shows personal photos from the accident. Don’t look at the photos if you don’t want to see wounds.)

With the story I am sharing with you, this quote will come alive and show how I found out how capable I was through a solo travel experience gone wrong. When it comes to travelling alone, it can be scary, especially when you suffer from anxiety. When I travel, I tend to worry about the littlest things that could go wrong. Its unfortunate, but it’s how I am.  Chaos always seems to follow me in life, so of course, I try to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible when it comes to travel.

In October, I planned a spontaneous trip to the Big Island of Hawaii to spend some R&R time alone and to visit a close friend.  Sparing the long details of how everything went, I would say that the overall trip was a great experience, until the very end.

It was the last day of my trip, and I was all packed and ready to catch my flight which was at that time 2 hours away. I departed from my hotel and made way back to Kahlua-Kona to return the scooter that I had previously rented as transportation. It was a busy Monday morning, so cars were bustling to get to work. If you are familiar with the Big Island, I was on Ali’i Dr. which is a primary street that goes through the central downtown of Kailua-Kona. I was working with traffic and going the speed limit, as well letting some cars pass as I went into the bike lane occasionally. It was the next time that I would let a car pass that the asphalt would welcome me with open arms.

(Here’s where it get’s interesting)

There was a car behind me, and I let him pass politely. As I was heading into the bike lane, I noticed gravel and before I could go back into the main lane, it was too late. My bike had sped out of control due to the considerable amount of gravel, and I ended up crashing. I was only going about 40 MPH when this happened. I am not an experienced motorbike user, so I didn’t technically know what to do in that split second scenario.

Sparing some details, I ended up with first, second, and third-degree road rash all over my legs, arms, and hands. EMT’s did get called and helped clean me up. I refused to go to the hospital due to the ambulance bill and I didn’t feel like I needed to. My friend picked me up and urged me to stay and rest, but I wanted to make my flight home. I managed to make it to my plane right on time heavily bandaged, in shock, and in raging pain. However, I was determined to get home because I didn’t want to be in Hawaii anymore and I was in an unfamiliar place in pain.

After my connecting flight to Maui landed, I was wheelchaired over to my gate which would take me to San Jose on a 6-hour flight. I was in intense pain at this point where it was hardly bearable. After noticing I was bleeding through my gauze, I requested medical attention. After 20 minutes of me begging, the EMT’s finally came. Four airport EMT’s came to the rescue, I wasn’t sure why so many, but I was glad they came. They rebandaged my wounds, and the head of the medical team took a statement.

After I was cleaned up better, they asked me my pain level. I was slightly honest, and I said a 7/10 even though I was a 10/10. I thought that answer would get me on the flight, but I was very wrong. They deemed me not okay to fly, and they wheelchaired me away from the boarding section. They informed me that they were going to put me on tomorrow’s flight to San Jose. I was thinking to myself, “TOMORROW?? What in the world am I going to do? No hotel, no ride, in pain?” I was going crazy because they left me there for 45 minutes to wait and just sit in agonizing pain.

During this whole scene, everybody had their eyes on me, and I could feel their pity just through their looks. I was the center of attention, and I didn’t want to be. I was in massive pain, and I just wanted to scream at everybody to keep their eyes to themselves. One of the flight attendants finally came back with my new boarding pass and a taxi voucher. They wanted me to get a “Doctor OK” saying that I was okay to fly which meant I had to go to an Urgent Care. I was pretty pissed about it, but I knew I should get checked out.

They wheelchaired me to the taxi area and this young taxi girl took my items and drove me to the nearest Urgent Care. She gets me there and tells me that she will carry my stuff inside. I was barely able to walk alone, let alone hold my items. I was grateful and walked into the Urgent Care, and the first thing they tell me is that they don’t accept my insurance. “The prices start at $190 for an exam” the lady states in the rudest tone. 6 hours at this point had gone by without any sort of pain medicine, and I was fuming. I look around for my stuff, and it’s nowhere to be found. THE TAXI HAD DROVE OFF WITH MY PURSE AND BELONGINGS. I walk outside, and it’s humid. The humidity burns like fire, and I call the taxi company wondering why she drove off with my stuff. It took the taxi driver 15 minutes to drive back to the Urgent Care and drop off my stuff. She offered to take me somewhere else, but I didn’t want her to help me any more than she already had.

It was about 2 PM at this point of the day, and I was hungry due to not eating lunch. I limped over to the Burger King and grabbed food as I mapped out my next move. I decided to go to the closest ER which was Maui Memorial and grab an Uber. The Uber was very helpful with everything including my bags picking me up and dropping me off. I checked in at the hospital and waited 3 more hours until they were able to see me. I am literally sobbing in pain because of these burns.

Finally, they give me pain medicine that makes me a bit loopy, and then it comes time to clean my wounds. They allowed me to do it myself, and I was SO THANKFUL. I took a shower, and got all the gravel out of my burns and spent about an hour cleaning my wounds well. My fiancé who was so helpful booked me a nice hotel to return to after my hospital stay. I ended up resting at the hospital for a few more hours and got Ubered back to the hotel. I had pain medicine, a nice hotel, and the ability to rest.

The next day comes, and I get shuttled to the airport where I get my next flight. I was able to board with my “Doctor OK” and my pain medicine, as well as a whole row to myself. I was a happy clam and rode that plane home where my fiancé was waiting for me and glad to see me alive.

This experience truly taught me so much about myself and made me experience the worst pain of my life alone in a strange place. I know the story might seem dramatic, and perhaps it is from someone else’s perspective. However, it was the worst pain I had physically ever felt in my life. Having road rash over the most critical areas of your body in the third degree is not an easy thing to endure. Nobody was there to comfort me, and nothing was familiar. I had to be brave for myself, while those who could have been comforting to me were unreachable physically. Of course, I did have support over the phone which was comforting, I can’t forget that.

Here are some momentous photos from this experience.

Someone told me that travelling solo was a bad idea and I got myself into that situation. I thought that was a little harsh since there are women all over the world that travel in more dangerous areas that I did. I just happened to get a tad of bad luck and got into an unfortunate accident. Solo travel is not something that I will avoid just became I had a bad experience. It will only make me more conscious in future circumstances.

In a future post, I plan to write about the different things that solo travel has taught me including the negatives of it. Stay tuned for that.

Until next time,

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