A Rundown of The Weirdest Places I’ve Ever Woken Up

Travelling leads to a persons life being unpredictable and sometimes even downright strange! Most mornings I wake up where one would expect to – namely, my hostel or hotel bed. However, there are some times that I have woken up in some seriously strange places… and here are a few of them!

An Elevator

I have told this story before, but it is so damn stupid that I feel like it deserves being included more than once.

After a big night out with what seemed like a never-ending flow of beer in Reykjavik, I safely made it back to my hostel and tucked myself into bed to sleep it off. However, not too long after I went to sleep, I woke up. Half asleep, rip-roaring drunk and apparently confused – I had an incredibly strong urge to wander out of my dorm. I remember the urge, but not the motivation behind it.

Once I had succumbed and walked out of my dorm (of course – minus my keycard) I was hit with a wave of freezing cold air, and realised that I was in my undies. Whoops. In my drunken state I tucked myself into the elevator (it was the only place that was warm) and nodded off to sleep. After being shaken awake and having no bloody idea where I was, I eventually got back into my dorm – mostly thanks to a good Samaritan who definitely wasn’t expecting to come across this drunken mess of a human when he stepped into the lift!

Photo courtesy of Leigh Thomas
Photo courtesy of Leigh Thomas

A Dorm Bunk… But Not My Own

I will preface this story by saying that it is far less salacious than it sounds.

After an extraordinarily long day of travel involving three flights and an overnight train, I was absolutely wrecked. I arrived in Florence feeling as if I had been hit by a bus. I was exhausted, my head was pounding and the intermittent nausea was borderline intolerable.

I arrived at my hostel at around 5am hoping that I could either check in early or pay for an extra night and get some much needed sleep. However, the place ended up being completely full and there was no spare bed to put me in. I begged the hostel night manager to let me crash on the common room couch, and I looked so shite that he agreed to let me.

I threw off my backpack, curled myself into a ball and promptly fell asleep. However, before I could really nod off into the true depths of slumber, I was jostled awake by the night manager. I initially thought he must’ve changed his mind about letting me crash and my heart just sunk. Through the haze of my fatigue I was able to piece together that someone had just checked out and that if I wasn’t worried about sleeping on used sheets that I could sleep in his bed for a few hours until 11am – when the cleaners came through to make up all the beds of people who had checked out.

I was so relieved I didn’t know whether to cry or kiss this guy! So instead, I just followed him quietly to the bunk and settled in for some much needed snoozing.

When I woke up the next morning, I was so fuzzy and disorientated that it took me a good few minutesΒ to work out where the hell I was. I initially thought that I was still on that blasted overnight train. Talk about being discombobulated!


The Cinema in Singapore Airport

People bang on and on about Singapore being the greatest airport in the world. It has a butterfly garden, a tonne of restaurants, great shopping and even a free cinema – which is where this story is set.

On my way to the Philippines in March 2016 I had a long stopover at Changi airport, and after doing all the window shopping I could stand, I was tired and ready to put my feet up. I wandered into the free cinema halfway through a screening of the filmΒ Pan and promptly fell asleep.

I woke up crumpled over myself, shoes fallen off, drool running down my cheek and the people sitting next to me having a good giggle at such a pathetic sight. I learned my lesson though – the next time I had a long layover at Singapore I learned the magic of sleeping in an airport hotel!

Inside A Van Behind a Nightclub

I have talked about this less than classy story before. Basically, I came very close to getting my rocks off with a Dutch guy whilst in the back of a van which was parked behind a nightclub in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa – ahem.

Anyway, after our drunken encounter was foiled due to the lack of a certainΒ barrier, my Dutch friend set out to find all the people we had driven to Plett with so that we could head back to The Crags and crash.

In his absence, I fell fast asleep. This was actually pretty bloody stupid of me – but the car was locked and I was exhausted. I woke up to my friends piling back into the van and we drove back to The Crags without incident, although that was bloody lucky. It didn’t even occur to me at the time that the guy driving had been drinking – but he had been, and heavily. Far from being my smartest of nights.

A Pool in Bali

Ever been so exhausted that you fell asleep before you were even aware that you had closed your eyes? Me too! After a late night flight to Bali after I had finished work, by the time I arrived at my villa I literally fell asleep in my pool! My head was resting on the ledge and I was sprawled out over the steps. It was actually pretty comfy – at least except for the mosquito bites!


Face to Face With a Great White Shark

….sort of.

I was on a day trip from Cape Town to go swimming with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai. In my excitement I didn’t even think to take any anti-seasickness tablets and after not too long on the boat – I was not in a good way. I am not normally prone to any kind of motion sickness, but it was an incredibly windy day and with the boat staying in one spot and relentlessly rocking, the seasickness came on hard and fast.

Luckily, I was able to get into the cage and see a few Great Whites before the worst of it hit and thankfully was able to still enjoy the experience. I even went as far as to try to stay in the water longer to avoid returning to the rocking of the boat!

Once I was forced out of the cage, I promptly found myself a quiet spot at the front of the boat, covered my face with a hoodie, closed my eyes and tried to keep myself from vomiting my guts up.

I must’ve fallen asleep after a little while, because I was startled back into wakefulness by an excited scream. I sat up and as I did so, a great white shark surfaced right in front of me!

Luckily, I do not have a fear of sharks or it may have been what tipped me over the edge and caused some serious upchucking. Instead, I was fairly stoked by the whole thing – I mean, what a badass way to wake up!


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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

57 thoughts on “A Rundown of The Weirdest Places I’ve Ever Woken Up

  1. This post is so fun! I’m sure you have a lot of vicarious readers, but the strangest place I’ve ever woken up was on the living room floor!

  2. Your Bali pool sleep reminds me of when I fell asleep in a spa pool in Rome once, I woke up all hot and stuck to these tiles and I was like how the heck!?

  3. LOL this is great :’D I think the closest I’ve come is the beach in Barcelona (seemed like everyone was doing it after clubbing though) and at the steps of a fountain in Trastevere, Rome (where some men were sprinkling the fountain water or beer or…something else on me! Rude…)

    Julie | Frame Ambition

  4. My one weird travel sleep was in a museum in Canyon, Texas, on the Panhandle. I sat down to watch a film, an hour before the place closed. I ended up sleeping for two hours, and had to go find the night security man. We both had a fine laugh over it.

  5. I remember sitting next to a pool taking off my shoes for a late night swim, and then realizing i was in the pool. I followed the bubbles up, and then tossed a chair into the pool for good measure. Nothing too exciting in travel, except apparently once we were visited by a group of highway patrolman while camping out in a roadside park. I don’t remember a thing, but apparently I had been rousted out of sleep and answered a few questions.

  6. You are absolutely lucky to have seen a Great White. And oh yes, this article is absolutely hilarious! But sleeping/waking up in the strangest places is all part of the adventure. πŸ™‚

  7. I love this unique post and I so identify with it! I am blessed (and cursed) to be able to sleep absolutely anywhere. One time on I fell asleep standing up on a bus in Naples, Italy and woke up to a man’s armpit in my face. Luckily I was traveling with a friend so could snooze without worry of pit pocketing and whatnot :p

  8. This is a great post idea for sure. I once fell asleep in a coffee shop in New York City. It was a solo trip and I was so tired with no one to help me stay awake. Also, it was really cold outside and so cozy inside. I drooled a little too. So embarrassing.

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