Posts tagged Misadventure

Are Hostels Safe? And Should New Travelers Stay in Hostels?

When you first start to travel, so many fears can pop into your head from getting robbed to missing flights to running out of money. And thanks to Hollywood horror films, hostels have been added to a list of things encouraged to fear, and for some, evoke images of kidnapping and torture. In general, most news you see on TV around the world is bad news, and most western governments use scare tactics to keep people at home. The world is a dangerous place. That’s a silly generalization, and after hitting my 4 year travel anniversary it’s… Read More

Life Lessons Learned By Almost Dying

[dropcap]BAM![/dropcap] Dead. It happened that quick. Well, at least it can happen that quick. Today I was nearly run over by a car. Had I been riding my bike just a little faster and had I not braked last minute, I could have been roadkill. After my heart stopped racing and I regained my composure, I began to think about what that meant. And it seems like I’ve learned some life lessons by almost dying today. I’m guilty of getting caught up in the everyday grind of things when not backpacking… Read More

Scuba Diving (and Almost Dying) in Ponza, Italy

An easy day on the water relaxing and scuba diving they said. And it was, until that part I nearly died. Maybe that is a little overblown for the sake of drama, but when you are meters deep below the surface with lead weights strapped to you starting to fall unconscious, you might freak out as well. Everything began and ended fine, because I wouldn’t be writing to you today and showing you this gnarly video if I was dead, but there was an in between bit that I thought I was doomed.

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Why I suddenly returned to the US early after 8 months of travel.

It was a strange feeling sitting atop the jagged rocks in Great Falls National Park — fighting for breath after running and jumping and climbing through the Billy Goat Trail. I was beside one of my best friends and we had just scaled a rock face 20 meters high. We were exhausted. Sprawled out and catching our breaths, we looked out over the river below; at some points it was rabid, frothing and surging through the gorge, and others it was calm and flowing gently. The water from millions of years ago in… Read More

Fail Tale: Lost in Rome on Arrival

There I was, frumped down on a gum-covered curb, arched backward by the gravitational pull of my now encumbering backpack, with my tech bag (which weighs a hefty amount on its own) sagging down my chest and in between my spread out legs — not much unlike a fat and floppy baby. A bead of sweat crept slowly from beneath my fedora, one which I had purchased in Thailand as my shining new adventure hat, now bent and beaten and grimy. That bead of sweat made its way across the squished… Read More

How New Visa Regulations in Thailand forced me to leave, and why I may not return.

There is still a bad taste in my mouth. No, it isn’t from the beef on a stick which turned out to be liver that I had eaten for lunch in the market in Mae Sai this day. That bad taste in my mouth was from an experience that happened on my recent visa run in Thailand. An experience that may have very well tainted the country for me and my desire to return to teach English. Confusion spun in my head, which eventually began to boil into anger. I was… Read More

The Earthquake that shook Thailand

Something felt off. Well, I felt off. But I could have never guessed what would come later, possibly in connection with the way I had felt the entire day after arriving in Chiang Mai. And then I looked up from my sandwich in a Subway in Chiang Mai to see the glass before me shaking violently and the concrete walls of the building I was in shift back and forth. “What the fuck?” I said with a mouthful of chicken teriyaki. I looked up and it seemed as though the world… Read More

Hospitalized During Thailand’s Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

The fiery red protrusion on the back of my hand pulsated and throbbed like an angry volcano on the verge of erupting through the two dark holes in its peak — I had been bitten by a bulbous and shiny and demented creepy crawly something that could only have been birthed from the darkest corner of Hell. No, it was a sickness. A sickness that began with a hoarse cough, like a raspy old hound barking his last warning, the shaking cold sweats consumed me more than the dry Thailand… Read More

Survival Guide to Celebrating Songkran in Thailand

Have you ever heard of Songkran? If not, you’re missing out. Songkran is the biggest water gun battle in the world — imagine World War III but with squirt guns and ice-cold buckets of H2O. If you have partaken in this end-all-be-all New Year celebration or have seen evidence of this epicness, you know exactly what it entails. If it was so damn awesome, how could one grow annoyed by Songkran in the country of smiles under the 100° heat of the sun? Depends solely on the outcome of the battle, and… Read More

Mis-adventures of travel: That time I was a stripper, sang karaoke in a whorehouse, got in a knife fight in Haiti, and more

There I was…staring at the gray lint from the inside of my pocket with a peppering of beach sand, a beer bottle cap,  and twenty New Zealand dollars  in my palm — my bank account had a dismal twenty-six U.S. dollars in it. Reality came over me like a mule hind-kicking me in the gonads, I had completely run out of money in a foreign country and my travel noob ass was just realizing it. Or that time I came back into my hostel room to find the bare bottom… Read More

The Fight in my Hostel in Pai, Thailand

There was a fight at my hostel tonight in Pai, Thailand. An older Scotsman (45ish) who has been staying at the hostel for the past 6 months has grown a kind of “I run this place” ego over every other traveler and backpacker, as well as grown a disdain for humankind — which usually seeps out after a few glasses of whiskey. He always loftily tells tales, true or tall tales, about such things as being let off by police for having the highest ranking shaman of a country come… Read More

How I survived the bumbling bus from Bangkok to Phuket

There was a point somewhere between hour 8 and hour 10 that a small insanity took hold of me. Or at least it seemed so. A fourteen hour bus from Bangkok to Phuket would normally be manageable. If surviving a 99 hour train journey across the United States was possible, surely this would be a walk in some metaphorical park. Bangkok to Chiang Mai had already been done, a trip about 12 hours, except there were factors that kept my already zany brain from falling down the rabbit hole. Somebody… Read More

Travel Misadventures.

Welcome friends to the ongoing (mis)adventures of Ryan and his trusty chucks! Travel is filled with blissful moments of self discovery, awe-inspiring sights, nature to behold, awesome adventures, dances of extreme emotions, budding friendships, and exposure to amazing cultures around the world. Travel is also filed with epic fails. Admit it, we all do quite stupid things sometimes — and other times, the fates just want to have a laugh at our expense. Here is where I leave my humility behind, and share my laughable travel moments. “I’ve done a… Read More

SOS! Stranded on the Caribbean Sea in Haiti.

“Oh shit, is that bad?” I said, sitting up and eyes wide. It began with a slight pitter patter, which soon turned to a stuttering putter, which became a grinding ‘grrrrrrr’, which led to a finale with a ‘KINK CLUNK’, followed by silence. The propeller had stopped, and we were dead in the water in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. “Nah, we’re all good man” Vick re-assured me. Well, we weren’t in the middle of the Caribbean Sea per-se…but as the Kapitèn Bato, or boat captain, yanked the boat… Read More

Mission Impossible: Escape From Flooded Toronto!

It was when I was drying my chucks with hand dryers, whilst standing barefoot on paper towels so not to step foot in the nastiness that is the basement bathroom of Toronto’s bus station, when I knew it was going to be a long freakin’ night. Mother Nature can be a bitch sometimes, and she picked the night I was leaving on my bus back to Washington D.C. to have the mother of all mood swings. The train station lay dormant, flooded with knee high water. The roads were shut… Read More