Like apple pie and voting against your interests, getting wasted in a foreign city during spring break is an American tradition. Girls and boys descend on Cancun, Rome, and Panama Beach City, Florida, a.k.a. PBC. They think they will make happy memories and find love, but most of the time, they end up humiliated and/or have terrible sex. As a new crop of college students prepare for the horrific ritual, we asked some of our favorite writers and friends to share their worst spring break experiences.
The Deadly Flower Urchin
During my senior year of high school, a bunch of my boarding school friends and I went to someone's ridiculously expensive house in Punta Mita, Mexico. We planned to get really fucked up and fuck each other the whole time. Picture this: three football players, two undercover lesbians, two really hot dumb straight girls, and enough tequila to kill a herd of horses. The first day we were all sitting on the beach. Nearly everyone had taken off their clothes to run into the water. We were all standing there, pushing each other with the optimism of kids who hadn't seen how life could go wrong yet. I was putting on SPF 60 sunscreen because I'm as white as they come, when my friends beckoned me into the water. I relented and began my descent into the sea. I was up to my calves, maybe ten inches into the water, when I stepped on a poisonous sea urchin. I later found out it was the deadly flower urchin. A lifeguard removed me from the water, took one look at my foot and leg, and said, "Joder," which means fuck in Spanish. This mess ended with my entire leg going purple, the lifeguard using a bottle of tequila to sterilize my foot, and the slow, painful extraction of ten spikes from my foot. (They kept breaking apart and had to be dug out with a knife, which the lifeguard also cleaned with tequila.) My blood was so thin from the alcohol, the poison had a hard time attacking my vital organs. I only lived because I was wasted.
My Lizzie McGuire Fantasy
My junior year abroad I went backpacking with my friend Rosie*. After visiting London, Paris, and Berlin, we ended the trip in Rome. I had a lot of sex, but I wanted to meet a lover in Europe, like Lizzie McGuire did in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. One night, I walked around the city alone, looking for a homo on a moped. In the grocery store, I noticed a hot Italian looking at me through his Harry Potter glasses. When I walked outside, it started raining. The hot guy walked ahead of me, holding an umbrella. He stopped, turned, winked at me, and then kept on walking. Was he old school cruising me? I wondered. A few seconds later, he stopped again. He tilted his umbrella toward me and motioned for me to get under it. He was old school cruising me! I hurled toward him. He put his arm around me, licked my ear, and whispered in Italian. I loved it. I was Lizzie McGuire for a hot second. That is until he asked me to buy him a leather jacket.
This was some rip-off tourist scheme! I told him to fuck off. I was just a college student looking for a romantic one night stand. I was way too broke to act like his sugar daddy. He apologized and then bought me an entire pizza and two bottles of wine and made out with me in an alley behind a Louis Vuitton store. In return, I agreed to let him fuck me the next night. After all, that is what I wanted to find in Rome.
The following evening, I boarded the bus. As we headed towards his house, he received a phone call—from his American boyfriend. I realized he had an American fetish. I told him to forget about taking me home. I jumped out of the bus in front of the Leonardo Da Vinci museum. "You will not be fucking my American ass!" I yelled. He chased after me and ran his hand along my happy trail. "I don't fuck guys with boyfriends!" I yelled. "But when in Rome?" he argued. I sighed. I let him make out with me on the steps for a few minutes, but then my Catholic guilt kicked in. His poor boyfriend! I told him to screw himself and then scrammed. I haven't returned to Rome since.
Read more at Broadly