Now that I’ve been travelling for over three months, I thought it was time to post an update. Have I developed an amazing sense of direction that prevents me from ever getting lost? Do I now remember to apply suntan lotion and mosquito repellent every time I go outside?
… I think you know the answer to that.
I wrote in some detail about the really major things – such as walking around Kiev for three days with my map upside down, as well as using an unlicensed cab in Moscow and ending up paying £50 for a journey that should have cost £15.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of my favourite stories of stupidity from the past three months.
Exploring Ljubljana alone at night
After hearing that the views from Ljubljana Castle at sunset were among the best in Slovenia I decided to hike up to the Castle alone to check them out for myself.
It takes fifteen minutes to walk up the hill to the castle and involves walking along winding unlit paths through what is essentially a dense forest.
The views from the castle were so spectacular that I couldn’t bring myself to leave after sunset and remained until 9pm taking photos. I soon realised that this was a big mistake when I saw my route back down the hill was pitch-black and full of hidden slopes where I could quite possibly fall to my death.
Deciding to take another route I walked back towards the car park and found the main road that led down from the castle.
Upon reaching the bottom I realised that I was now on the opposite side of where I needed to be and had no idea where I was. I couldn’t see any buildings or signposts – only trees and sketchy looking teenagers smoking.
It was at this point that I realised I was going to die.
Silently crying to myself and seeing my life flash before my eyes I staggered through the streets, being heckled by Slovenian teenagers, desperate just to see a street sign, a car, anything.
Just as I was about to give up and accept the fact that I was about to die, I spotted a cab a few roads away. I ran into the beam of his headlights, terrifying the driver as I squealed in happiness and leapt up in front of him with a manic look in my eyes.
Little did he know, he had just saved my life.
Taking the wrong train that then turned out to be the right train.
In Taiwan I had planned to take the train from Taichung to Kaohsiung in the south of the island. I actually did some research for once and arrived at Taichung train station knowing exactly where I had to go. Kaohsiung was the final stop of the High Speed Rail – easy.
It soon turned out not to be so easy when I discovered that every single train was going to Zuoying – not Kaohsiung. Where the hell was Zuoying?!
I had no idea what to do.
I bought a ticket for Tainan – a place whose name a recognised as a station close to Kaohsiung and hoped that when I arrived there I’d be able to figure everything out and find a way to get to Kaohsiung.
As I was waiting to board my train I happened to notice that the train station had free Wi-Fi. I quickly had a look online to work out what I would need to do when I arrived at Tainan.
I found out that Zuoying is the train station for Kaohsiung!
…So I had to take the train to Tainan and get off there, buy a new ticket and then wait on the platform for two hours to take the next train to Kaohsiung. So much for my amazing research skills.
Not realising the importance of mosquito repellent
I never get bitten by mosquitos.
I always believed that I must have really foul tasting blood because they will never approach me and I’ve never had to bother with insect repellent before in my life.
That is until I got to Seoul.
In Seoul I am completely irresistible to every type of bug that exists there. I woke up after spending my first night there and counted 38 bites on the right-hand side of my body.
Fortunately, the bites here don’t seem to make me itch so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but I did have to walk around for a week looking like I had just had a severe acne outbreak on one side of my face.
Deciding to visit Hong Kong for Halloween.
Having spent the last few weeks doing nothing in Seoul, it was time for me to move on and actually get down to doing some real traveling!
I have a lot of friends in Hong Kong so thought it would be fun for me to visit them for Halloween.
I booked the flights and then started having a look at hostels and it was then that I discovered nearly every single hostel was fully booked. The ones that weren’t fully booked cost $100 a night.
I should have stayed in Seoul for an extra 3 nights before going to Hong Kong and it would have made everything a lot less stressful.
On top of all this…
- I also managed to lose several pairs of shoes.
- I had £100 stolen because my money fell out of my pocket onto the floor and I couldn’t be bothered to pick it up, so someone else did.
- An old lady frightened me so much that I threw my Kindle across the room and smashed the screen.
- Thinking I could walk five miles to my hostel at midnight through a dodgy area in Taiwan.
What’s the most stupid thing you’ve done whilst traveling?