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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Travel Mishaps

I have had too many minor travel mishaps over the years to mention all of them. Luckily, they have never been trip ending or life disrupting. I have learned something from each one. I figured I would share the top ones that come to mind with you.

One time, in Thailand I booked a trip to a local island for a week. I was traveling alone at the time. I enjoyed my week there without any problems.

 However, when it was time to leave they messed up their head count and they forgot me on the island! Luckily, I had enough money to wait out an extra week for the next boat back to the mainland. I just considered it an extended vacation.

Next up is the story of how I met my good friend Simon from England. I was traveling alone again and I decided to take an overnight bus from Thailand to Laos as the two countries border each other. 

I paid for my ticket and the bus had little beds to sleep in overnight. They were not big and comfortable but they were good enough for the night. 

I climbed into my bed and proceeded to get settled in for the night. Suddenly, a stranger (at the time) came up to me and said that I was in his bed. 

I proceeded to tell him that I was sure that it was in fact my bed. We then checked our tickets, and the travel agency had given us both the same bed!

We ended up sleeping head to toe. We bonded and traveled together for three weeks. Fifteen years later, he is still a good friend of mine. Even though we joke that we slept together on the first date. 

Once, in Laos I paid 3 usd to ride in the back of a truck for eight hours. What I did not realize, was that I would be sharing the back of the truck with Old McDonald's Farm. I had to ride with pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and other farm animals. They climbed all over me. I was glad to get out of that truck!

Once in Colombia, before I was living there, I was just traveling. I failed to tell my bank that I would be in Colombia. So, thinking that I was a scammer, they blocked all of my credit /debit cards. 

At the time, I didn't speak any Spanish. But I managed to convey my problem to a nice local shop keeper. He let me use his phone for free. I called the only person who I knew at the time, my couch surfing host and he came and picked me up. 

Another time in Colombia, when I was living there but had recently moved there. My Spanish at the time was basic but passable. 

I got on the local bus intending to go to a local mall. The bus was on the opposite side of the road from the mall. I assumed that the driver would make a U Turn and pass by the mall. 

However, he did not. He kept going until I had no idea where I was. I didn't want to get off of the bus in a place that I was unfamiliar with. So, I stayed on the bus until I was the last passenger left. 

We were in the middle of nowhere, and the driver finally asked me what I was still doing on his bus. I managed to explain my predicament in broken Spanish. 

He was nice enough to buy me a coke and drive me all the way back to Bogotá proper. I just considered it a unique and cheap way to see places that I would have never seen. 

One time again in Colombia, I was alone again (notice a theme here) and I decided to visit a famous statue on top of a big hill in Bogotá. I took the bus to get there and got off the bus at the bottom of the hill. 

There was a large police station located at the bottom of the hill. A police officer ran out of the police station when I passed it and he told me in no uncertain terms, that if I visited the statue, there was a large probability that I would be killed, robbed or kidnapped. 

He then waited with me at the bus stop and sent me back to Bogotá proper. He possibly saved my life but I still have not seen that statue in person. 

I have been robbed more than once but luckily, never via violence just petty pickpocketing. One time I was out drinking with friends, not paying any attention to my things.

I had my 800 usd work laptop in my bag. Someone proceeded to steal my bag (I never saw them) and they replaced my black backpack with an empty black backpack. 

Another time in Colombia, someone spit on me. I thought it was gross but I didn't give it another thought. I did not realize until later, that when I moved my hands to wipe off the spit, they reached into my pocket and stole my wallet. 

It was after that I started to chain my wallet to my body. Another time, I dropped my phone in the bus in Colombia. I considered it lost. However, I decided to call it. 

A stranger answered, he told me that he would give me back my phone for a reward of 50 usd. That was more than my phone was worth at the time so I met him in a public place, gave him the equivalent of ten usd and got my phone back. 

I was bitten by a dog in Colombia. It broke the skin but luckily I didn't require a round of rabies shots. 

One time before my wedding in Colombia, I convinced my parents and my aunt and uncle to take a city bus instead of being stuck in traffic in a private taxi. 

Once we boarded the bus, it was jammed to the gills with people (as per usual in Bogotá) and my parents and aunt and uncle were horrified and vowed to never ride the bus again. 

Switching countries now, I was pick pocketed once in Argentina but I never saw them either.

To switch countries yet again, I once at dinner at a local no name restaurant in Bolivia and I was served undercooked beef and I got an intestinenal parasite. That was no fun at all. Luckily, I took some pills that killed it. 

Switching countries yet again, once in Surfers Paradise, Australia Ben and I had our rented camper van broken into. There were no cameras where we were parked but, the local police said based on finger prints, it was probably a child between 8-12 years old!

Ben had his laptop, passport and journal stolen. I however, was lucky to have all my valuables on my person. 

Another funny story from Australia, took place around 2008 or 2009. I booked a tour and I was traveling Australia alone. Our tour guide said that we would be passing by the American Embassy. I was the only American on the tour and at the time, I had never seen an American Embassy so I was excited. Then we passed McDonald's and everyone laughed at his joke. 

One story that comes to mind from New Zealand was the time my terrible couch surfing host (he was the only bad couch surfing host that I ever had in 90+ times Couch Surfing) left me at a party where I knew no one. 

However, I met my now good friend Natasha and she let me stay at her apartment even though we had just met. I ended up sub letting her apartment, and it turned into mine. There are still good people in this world. 

These are all of the stories that come to mind for now. I hope you have enjoyed reading them. I have been very lucky that all of these have been minor. I have been to 44 countries and lived in 7 of them. Overall, I have been extremely fortunate.

Til next time, Tyler 


  1. God has certainly sent angels to accompany and protect you. 🤦‍♀️💗

  2. Lots of things to laugh about now. At the time, not so much. Love you, mom