The Worst Travellers in History

They chased in vain a more or less absurd destination for years; they displayed great ineptitude in any phase of the journey; their encounter with the local community produced devastating effects; or maybe they just proved they did not understand what a sensible matter their endeavour was.

These are the worst travellers in history.


Ulysses - Greek vase

The guy is known for two journeys: the first one ended with the complete annihilation of a flourishing civilization; the second one was such a screw-up, it took him ten years to get home and on the way he got his entourage exterminated. The terrible sense for orientation of this man – able to get lost in the world’s smallest sea – is legendary. As it weren’t enough, every time he stopped he found some fancy way to annoy the locals or betray poor Penelope, and in the end he came up with a bunch of stories about magic and gods in order to explain his huge delay.

Christopher Columbus

A true unconscious traveller. He wanted to reach India and ended up in America. Still, he insisted he was in the right place and renamed the inhabitants as ‘Indians’. With those he signed extraordinary exchanges, sharing smallpox and flu while importing syphilis.

David Livingston

The illustrious doctor Livingston was a Victorian Era hero, which already sounds troubling since it was the uttermost expression of bigotry and veiled racism in European history. To be honest the good old man fought against slavery, but at the same time he went to Africa to explore the natural resources his country would have later exploited. His travel companions remember him as an incompetent, pompous and arrogant leader. Anyway, he managed to lose track with his homeland for six years. He was then found by New York Herald delegate Stanley something, who seeing this lonely with man in a village of indigenous people calmly asked him: ‘Doctor Livigston, I suppose?’

Marty MacFly

An absolute legend for the Eighties people, a complete bumbler in the field of time travel. They send him in the past and he almost obliterates his own existence preventing his parents from falling in love. They send him to the future and on the way back he allows his sworn enemy to become massively powerful thanks by betting on the noted sport results. But more than anything else we can’t forgive him for deceiving us with the flying skateboards used in 2016 (Back to the Future Part II): to years to go and our scientists are still terribly behind on the achievement.


Known as Waldo in the US and Canada, this inappropriate traveller moves in time and space without showing any interest for what surrounds him. He doesn’t get involved with any activity, gets lost every time in the crowd and never adapts his clothing to the local habits and traditions. Unacceptable.

Santa Claus

Right, the fat man is kind and ever smiling. He travels by eco-friendly means – but someone should inquire about the real life conditions of those poor reindeers – and he has unbeaten time records for reaching any destination in the world. But his record is tainted by a violation to a very important rule related to travels in developing countries (he lives in the North Pole, that’s probably the only not developing country in the world): don’t give presents to the local children, especially if they seem used to make explicit requests to the visiting travellers.

Bad Santa Claus
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A degree in journalism and a professional limbo ranging from press offices to newspapers, magazines and finally the web. I lived in Verona, Zurich, London, Cape Town, Mumbai and Casablanca. I hate flying and I love jodel music. And when I grow up I wanna be a cosmonaut.

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