This post is part of a L’appel Du Vide feature, Misadventure Mondays. In each segment, I’ll ask one of my favorite travel bloggers to share one of their Travel Misadventures. This Monday, Peter and Susana from Always Twirling share their story of a miserable bus ride through Thailand.
Tell me a little about yourself and your current trip:
We are a married couple that got tired of filling our bank accounts with money but having no time to spend it. We decided to stop dreaming and start doing and quit our jobs to travel the world. We are currently on a year-long trip around the world, expanding our horizons one step at a time. So far, we’ve wandered through South East Asia and the Eastern coast of Australia and will be visiting Italy, London, a good swath of Southern Africa and South America! A real bender of a trip.
Describe your travel style:
We are new to long-term travel and our style has slowly shifted from being organized travellers (booking and planning before arriving at a destination) to more spontaneous wanderers. We are highly connected and love to share our experiences via our blog and social media. We update our blog regularly and check-in throughout the day via foursquare, instagram and twitter. In short, we love sharing our adventures with others.
What’s been your best/worst travel misadventure:
We’re fairly cautious travellers and have so far been able to avoid serious mishaps (knock on wood). Our misadventures seem to be mainly related to transportation as we sometimes fail to anticipate the condition of the vehicles or roads in less developed countries. The absolute worse bus ride we’ve had was the one we took from Luang Prabang to the Thai border.
Tell me about where you were, who you were with, and what happened.
Overnight bus journeys in Laos are rather uncomfortable affairs to begin with, but add to that an overloaded bus with locals sitting on plastic chairs in the aisle, winding mountain roads, people barfing into plastic bags, a driver chugging energy drinks all night to stay awake, and legroom that would make the stingiest airline look generous, and you have yourself one incredible night. We stumbled out of that bus the next morning shell shocked and grateful it was finally over.
What were the negative or positive outcomes of your misadventure? What did you learn from this misadventure that you can share with other travelers?
We took the bus because we wanted to maximize our time in Thailand rather than spend 3 days cruising down the Mekong. This turned out to be a mistake as we’ve had many people tell us that the boat trip is incredibly scenic. We’ve now learned that slower travel has its rewards and that sometimes it’s about the journey and not the destination.
One positive outcome, is that we learned that we are stronger and far more adaptable than we think. Faced with a situation that would usually have us pushing the exit button at home, we persevered, kept our wits about us and got through it without harm. In long-term travel, you learn as much about yourself as you do about the places you visit.
What’s the one other lesson you’ve learned on your trip that you wish you had known before you left?
That it is ok to do nothing sometimes. Long-term travel has immense rewards but can also be very tiring. The constant movement and never-ending choices of what to do, where to stay, what to eat, etc. can wear on you. You don’t have to feel guilty about not seeing that great temple if you’re ‘templed’ out, and it’s ok to just lounge around and read a book every once in a while.
Thanks Peter and Susana for sharing!
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