There are a lot of ways to summarise a year in travel. You could do it by sharing your favourite photographs, by recounting your best (or worst) memories, or even do it country by country.
These are all great options, but I gotta be honest, the most fun way I can think to recount my 2017 travels is to do so by listing all the most embarrassing, cringe-worthy and just plain stupid travel moments!
So, grab the popcorn, pull up and chair and prepare to have a giggle at my expense.
Got in a dog sledding accident
I wrote an in depth post about my disastrous dog sledding accident in the early months of this year, but it is still an event that sticks out clearly in my mind.
This accident wasn’t exactly embarrassing in itself, but my reaction to it certainly was!
I didn’t want to know if I had really done any damage, so I acted like a stubborn little brat for a good few hours – refusing to go and get the medical attention that I very clearly needed for my truly battered knee.
When I think back to how immature and childishly I had acted – it certainly makes me cringe! Thus, it earns a spot on this list.
Slipped on ice and been forced to crawl across a road
A few weeks after the aforementioned accident, I found myself in Svalbard and slowly but surely starting to recover. My knee was still banged up to the extreme, but I was able to walk on it and move around, albeit tentatively.
One day, I was booked to go on a Northern Lights hunting expedition, so once the minibus arrived out the front of my guesthouse, I trudged through the snow until I came to the actual road.
The bus was parked on the other side of the road, meaning that I would need to cross to get to it – sounds simple right?
Yes, not so much!
There was a snap of unseasonably warm weather, which meant that the once crunchy snow and ice that covered the roads had started to melt, leaving a slippery and slidey surface that provided very little traction.
I knew that it would be slippery once I set foot on the road, so I made a point to be as slow and careful as possible, but alas, my efforts were fruitless.
Literally the split second I stepped forward onto the ice, my feet slipped right out from underneath me and I landed directly on my hands and knees! Then, as if the pain from landing onto my bad knee wasn’t horrible enough, I then was completely unable to stand back up – I just kept sliding around like a newborn gazelle!
In the end, I had to abandon any shred of dignity that I had left, and I crawled across a road on my hands and knees in front of a busload of people.
Fell face first into knee deep snow
This too happened in Svalbard – obviously the place just didn’t agree with me!
After an evening spent dog sledding and drinking huge pints of beer, I walked from the main part of town back to my guesthouse.
I had been walking in the knee deep snow as at least this provided a surface with enough traction that I could remain upright… or at least that’s what I thought!
I was literally only a few metres away from my lodgings when I ended up stepping into some sort of crevice, and ended up falling face first directly into the snow!
How I haven’t injured myself more in this lifetime I really do not know.
Been too nervous to get lucky
While backpacking through Iran I befriended a fellow travel blogger named Hayden, and we ended up travelling together for a number of days.
When we arrived in Kashan we checked into our guesthouse and were given a two bed private room in a small courtyard. The walls were paper thin and there was only a thin glass door between us and an open courtyard.
Long story short, we ended up in bed together getting rather snuggly, and under any other circumstances we almost definitely would have had sex, but unfortunately, I kept hearing movements and conversations from the courtyard that seemed ridiculously close to us, and for some reason, it just made me nervous!
I just couldn’t get past the concern that maybe we were somehow breaking the law (like it would have been if we were in the UAE) and I was far too worried about it to let anything happen.
Had to master the art of the one legged squat
The screwed up knee strikes again!
By the time I arrived in Iran it had been well over a month since my accident, but my knee was still not anywhere near back to normal.
I soon found out that Iran mainly uses squat toilets – which was not good news for someone that still had to keep a pressure bandage on her knee every day!
In the end, I had to master the art of squatting with my good knee bent and supporting my weight, and my bad knee stretched out to my side – kept almost completely straight.
To make it even more difficult, I had to do this whilst wearing a lot more clothing than I was used to! It led to a few ‘near misses’, where I was very lucky not to fall on my arse on the dirty toilet floor!
Smelt so gross that a duty free worker gave me 6 different perfume samples
I’d been travelling for 36 hours straight.
Unironically danced on a table
God, I never thought I would be the person to do a freakin’ Coyote Ugly and dance on a table like a right dickhead.
However, as it turns out, if I’ve had in excess of 20 beers over the course of a day, in addition to a couple of buckets – even the most level headed person may suddenly think that they are Beyonce and start shaking their groove thang on any elevated surface available.
I truly hope that Cambodian bar doesn’t have CCTV footage.
Rode a tricycle like a 5 year old
You know how in the Saw films there is that creepy doll that rides out on a tricylcle and asks people if they “want to play a game?”
Yeah – well that is exactly what I looked like when I was in the Maldives this year!
I’d been staying in this ridonkulously swanky overwater resort – and due to its huge size, all guests were provided with bicycles to help them get from place to place.
I however, am not exactly the most confident kinda girl on a bike, and I was terrified that I would inadvertently end up cycling off of the deck and plunge into the water!
So, I was provided with the much safer option of riding a tricycle – but you better believe that just about every person I rode passed found the sight of a grown woman on a trike pretty fricking pathetic!
Had a sex dream in a hostel dorm
I should preface this story by saying that I very occasionally have been known to talk in my sleep.
After a long day of travel, I found myself in an 8 bed hostel dorm in Fiji and quickly put myself to bed – I needed the rest!
I ended up waking several hours later, and it was one of those weird wake ups, where you know that you’ve been dreaming, but you aren’t completely aware of it yet.
After a few seconds I realised where I was and salt bolt upright in my bed, only to find 7 pairs of eyes staring directly at me.
A voice then piped up from one of the top bunks “we didn’t wake you ’cause we thought it’d be rude not to let you finish”.
I have never been more mortified, and I have never been more excited to leave a hostel in my entire life.
Peed in a bag
On one day during my recent travels through Myanmar, I found myself on a rather long bus ride (mostly thanks to some stupidly congested traffic) with a bladder that was becoming more and more full with every passing second.
You know that scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie get stuck in the trash compacter?
Well that’s what my bladder felt like!
After a few hours, the pain just got too much and I did something I am certainly not proud of.
I made my way to the back of the minibus, put a plastic bag between my legs and emptied my bladder before panicking and throwing the newly full bag out the window.
I had peed in a bag, done something I truly hate (littering, not peeing in a moving vehicle) and though my bladder was thanking me for it, I certainly felt like I lost a lot of dignity on that day – but something tells me that it won’t be the last awkward bladder story that I have to tell!