It can’t go all go perfectly, right? At the start of 2018 I decided to start writing down some of the best, most classic travel fuck ups. These included the usual incorrect flight bookings to some that will make you laugh so hard you’ll pee your pants a little. Although, some of the travel fuck ups give me goosebumps to remember them. So sit back and relax while I reminisce about some of the dumbest shit we did this year.
Getting swept away in Western Australia
I’m sure you can picture it now. I was at the Natural Spa, in the coastal wine region of Margaret River, Western Australia. I was being a wannabe Instagram celebrity posing for a photo when a wave came crashing in, sweeping me off my feet. It was embarrassing, and made me remember that I’m no good at posing. I’m just too clumsy. Matt caught this classic picture of the moment.
My Dad breaking his foot in New Zealand
For my Dad’s 60th birthday I bought us both a plan ticket to the North Island of New Zealand so we could visit his home town and explore. I thought booking white water rafting on the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world was a good idea. My Dad had never done any white water rafting and was quite nervous about it, but he soldiered on. When we went over the 7 meter waterfall and were tipped out. My Dad not only got caught under the raging waterfall for a bit longer than we all felt comfortable with, but somehow broke his foot in the process. He initially thought it was just a toe. He refused a doctor and spent the remaining 4 days in New Zealand without treatment. And then an additional few weeks in Australia. I know where I get my stubbornness from.
Taking handcuffs to Russia
Hilarious mistake. When Matt and I cleaned out the house to prepare for our world trip, we found a pair of (metal) fluffy handcuffs. We decided to pack them, and off we went to our first destination: Saint Petersburg, Russia for the FIFA World Cup. Matt was stopped at every security check point entering Russia… When leaving Saint Petersburg… When arriving in Sochi… where we left the handcuffs for dead. He couldn’t take the embarrassment of opening the suitcase again just to produce a pair of fluffy handcuffs and have Russian security laugh their heads off.
Leaving our passports behind in Italy
I had gotten used to Matt carrying our backpack after travelling through Russia. We had hired a scooter to explore the Amalfi Coast. Matt was driving the scooter, so of course I had the backpack. Our backpack had our SLR camera with 2 lenses, our GoPro with a selfie stick, our passports (for the scooter hire), two wallets, two mobiles and our big, chunky hotel room key. We stopped at a beautiful lookout where Matt took a photo of me, we had a quick look at the fruit stand and then jumped back on the scooter to continue down the coast. 20 MINUTES later I gasped. My back was oddly cool. Where was the fucking backpack? At the fucking lookout.
We POWERED back to the lookout where Salvatore, the owner of the fruit stand was holding it up triumphantly. I never felt so relieved in my life. Matt and I had to wait at the fruit stand, as Salvatore had called the police. Over the next hour Salvatore told us tales of his life, his fruit stand and the Positano people, and supplied the most delicious fruit and juice to tide us over. One of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met, and not one I’m likely to forget.
A close call with a bus in France
In Australia we drive on the left side of the road. In France, they drive on the right. Matt and I were walking along side a road in Nantes when we got to a crossing. Matt checked the traffic, but he looked the wrong way out of habit, and went to step out onto the road… into the path of an oncoming bus. I screamed his name is horror, just in time for him to stop mid-step, turn, see the bus and hover as the bus passed inches from his face. The memory of it makes me sick to my stomach.
That person we hate at sport events
You know the one. The guy who brings firecrackers to the stadium and ruins the fun. The person who brought that horn thing to the FIFA world cup one year and it was annoying as fuck. And that girl who leans out in front of the Tour de France leader with a camera and nearly knocks him off his bicycle. I was that girl. And I got caught on SBS coverage doing it. How fucking embarrassing. I was so ashamed. If you want to see it, you’ll find it on the SBS website, stage 11, when the stage leader is almost of the top of the category HD mountain. I’m not linking you to it, I’m too embarrassed.
Bamboozled by how time works
Okay this one is your typical travel tale. I booked a flight leaving Bali at 11.30pm to arrive in Manila 6 hours later, then I booked a 9.30 am flight from Manila to arrive in Cebu, so we could head to Moalboal. And I booked them both for the same day… subsequently, when we arrived at Bali airport, Air Asia told us that we missed our flight from Manila. Idiot. We of course just had to fork out the money and purchase a new flight.
Air Crash Investigations – Drone Edition
Matt and I bought a DJI Mavic Pro between Brussels and Nusa Lembongan, and had been building our confidence flying it, especially over water. We were so confident in fact, that while we were scuba diving in Bohol, we decided to take it out on the boat. We wanted get some “follow me” footage of the boat speeding back from Balicasag Island.
I stood at the front of the boat, arm stretched out, holding the drone high above my head. Matt stood under the boat canopy, ready to fly the sucker. When you launch a drone, it will lift off and then hover, waiting for the pilot to move it. So when we palm launched it from the front of a moving boat, the drone hovered and the boat crashed into it (technically). The result? One broken drone. We did a day trip to Cebu just to get it fixed.
Reverse Block in Siquijor… and then El Nido… and also on the Seasafari…
There are plenty of articles about how important it is to keep fit as a fiddle while traveling. There’s also plenty of articles about how important your ear and sinus health is while scuba diving. I decided to ignore them all and dive when I had the remnants of a head cold in Siquijor. Unfortunately I suffered a reverse block. Scary, painful and totally disorientating. Matt had to guide me back to the surface, while I concentrated on not panicking. Of course I took some time off, but then suffered another reverse block in El Nido, this time with a fantastic nose bleed. And then again on our Dive Seafari – I couldn’t even get below 5 meters without an epic headache and a nose bleed. I had to take 5 dives off before trying again, luckily getting better in time to explore the epic WW2 shipwrecks.
There’s still a few hours left of the year, so I might be jinxing myself by releasing this a little early, but fingers cross I make it across the line without any issues. Here’s to making even better mistakes next year!