When I travel, I thrive on doing crazy things.
I enjoy putting myself in situations that that make me feel uncomfortable. Things that require me to step out of my comfort zone. Things that I can look back on when I’m older and say, “That was fucking crazy!”
Because for me, it’s all about the memories. I do it for the stories that I can tell for the rest of my life. I do it because it’s fun. These kind of experiences force me to do things out of the ordinary and make new friends. If I only get one life, then I want to pack it with the most amazing things possible.
So, I recently began to reflect on all of my craziest travel moments over the last few years. It was hard for me to come up with just one…
Bungee Jumping in Switzerland. Eating dog meat in Korea. Hitchhiking in Bosnia. Cliff Jumping in Greece. Training with the national boxing champion in Myanmar. Full Moon Parties in Thailand. Near-death boat rides in the Philippines. Climbing the largest active volcano in Indonesia. Shameful Turkish baths in Istanbul. Pretending to be Mark Zuckerburg in Macau…
And then I began to wonder, “Does anyone else travel like this?” I was curious about what crazy things that others were doing abroad. So, I contacted 22 travel bloggers and asked them, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in a foreign country?”
I only gave them 3 instructions:
– Make up your own definition for “crazy”
– Share the story in 150 words
– No need to keep the story PG (sorry kids).
I hope reading these stories will give you some inspiration to step out of your comfort zone and create lifelong memories. Make sure to click on the blue links next to each person’s name to visit their blog. And don’t forget to share your craziest story in the comments below!
1. Rachel (@Hippie in Heels)
Being Scandalous in Venice
My first trip abroad with a girlfriend, we went to Western Europe… young and new to travel it was what you can imagine: drinking and free walking tours. In Venice, we were having a “boring” day so decided to share a bottle of wine. This led to us wandering quite a ways away from the main attractions.
We found a very secluded little spot on the open water (not yucky canal) and while seeing no one was around decided to cool off from the 90 degree heat. We had a lovely little skinny dip until a group of men showed up and we decided to get covered up.
Although we had trespassed on their property, they invited us to stay for dinner- which probably had something to do with catching us skinny dipping. After an odd dinner over a campfire with about 20+ dudes was over, we left through the main entrance we had originally bypassed.
The sign read “men’s rehab”. They were having beer with dinner, so let’s just hope they weren’t there for sex addiction rehab! In which case, I apologize for getting naked in your rehab center, and in general to Europe for getting naked a few times that crazy summer.
2.Megsy (@Five Dollar Traveller)
Water Festival in Myanmar
For the most off the chain party on the planet – it’s gotta be the Thingyan Water Festival in Myanmar. These 3 days are meant to be a Buddhist new years cleansing ceremony. But what it really is, is the biggest, boozed up water fight on the planet.
It is similar to Thailand’s Songkran, but what made Thingyan so amazing for us, was the fact that it was a gathering of people who are usually very repressed, coming together as one and having FUN! And they are more than happy to celebrate with travellers as well.
If you do go along, remember things can get a bit out of control, so stay safe. But aside from that, just join in and have a blast!
3. Sabina (@Girl vs. Globe)
An Unexpected Night in Croatia
One of my coolest wild experiences traveling abroad was a party I went to in Spilt, a lovely Croatian town famous not only for its architectural wonders but also its buoyant nightlife. My friend and I had just arrived at the club along with a crowd of other eager partygoers whom we’d just met at a pub crawl. The place was packed and the music was loud, but it seemed weirdly… quiet.
After a while we realized that everyone around us was communicating in sign language. Apparently there was a big convention organized for fabulous young party animals who also happen to be deaf. At first we weren’t sure how to react, but what ensued was an incredible night full of dancing, drinking shots, star gazing and exchanging numbers with handsome men.
It might seem a little silly to pick this night – after all there’s nothing more ordinary than a bunch of young people having a fabulous time drinking the night away together. But learning how to overcome any challenge life throw at you with gusto and panache was simply not something I thought I’d learn in a nightclub.
4. Aileen (@I Am Aileen)
Truck Tailgating in the Philippines
We were going up the Cordillera mountain range (on our way to the famous Banaue Rice Terraces) when the headlights of our rental car stopped working. So we were stranded in the highest range of the Philippines, halfway to our destination, hungry and afraid. No one was around! So I suggested a crazy, illegal, & unsafe idea to keep moving: tailgating a truck.
At first, we tried stopping them for help, but they were going too fast and the dark of the night wasn’t helping. Time was ticking, they rarely pass by; so as not to waste our chances, we waited and quickly just followed one—he didn’t notice us at first and when he did, we explained the situation. Thankfully, he let us continue doing it but we were terribly jittery the whole time! (After 7 hours, we finally stopped tailgating him as we arrived in a small town)..
5. Laura (@An American Abroad)
Road Trippin’ in New Zealand
Back in 2011, my boyfriend and I jacked in our jobs in New Zealand, moved out of our rental house and moved into our car.
For six weeks during the Rugby World Cup we lived out of the back of our Subaru station wagon. With the money we saved on accommodation we circled the North Island, stopping to dig ourselves into beaches, hike up to coastal viewpoints and splurge on tickets to some of the World Cup Games.
The best parts of the trip ended up being the long mornings spent sitting out in our fold-up chairs, drinking camping stove coffee and watching dolphins swim by the coves we’d parked in for the night.
6. Monica (@Globe-Trottica)
DJ-ing at a Club in Norway
It was 3 in the morning, and I was in Bergen, Norway, dancing in a club like an idiot. My friend was bobbing her head back and forth to the beat, and I was swinging my arms around like I was in some 1980’s workout video.
I turned to look at the DJ and suddenly had a bright idea.
“Let’s go behind the DJ booth and DJ for everyone!” I said. My friend’s eyes lit up.
Without a second thought, we ran up behind the booth and started waving our hands around as the crowd danced.
I couldn’t stop laughing. The DJ was just staring at us, smiling. I couldn’t believe that we had actually done it. Eventually, the DJ started to dance with us, and we spent the rest of the night behind the booth, pretending to make music for the crowd.
7. Jenn (@Who Needs Maps)
Getting Stitches in Vietnam
We were in Vietnam and one night it got really hot in our hotel room so Jack turned the air on, which made the air power so strong, it pushed off the front panel, nailing me right in between the eyes. It wouldn’t stop bleeding!
The hotel took me to the hospital the next morning, aka some old ladies house (the husband was watching TV and cooking his breakfast!). She put me on a counter, starts yelling at me in Vietnamese and then starts stitching me up. I got three stitches and had a band-aid on my face for the rest of our trip. I called to tell my mom and she yelled at me saying ” I SAID BE CAREFUL! NO CRAZY ADVENTURES!!” I could only respond “But mom, I was in bed!!”.
No one believed the story because how on earth, out of all things, do you get hurt in bed. I still think it was pretty funny.
8. David (@Guerilla Gallivanter)
Taxi fights in Colombia
I was in Tunja, Colombia, and I had met some locals over some drinks. While in a taxi looking for another bar, one of my friends disagreed with the taxi driver over the price. So we got out, paid a little less than what the driver wanted, and switched taxis. A few minutes later, we were suddenly boxed in by three taxis. The three drivers got out and came to the back passenger side door – where I was sitting.
They opened the door and unleashed a storm of fists upon my face. I got out to defend myself, and they took off just as quickly as they came. I was left with a very bloody nose but nothing stolen, as well as an important lesson: always negotiate prices with Latin American taxis before you get in.
9. Morgan (@A Beautiful View)
An Unexpected Encounter in Taiwan
We were in Taiwan, and had been caught walking home in a torrential downpour. Donned in ridiculousmatching yellow “raincoats,” essentially trash bags with arms and a hood, we spotted lights across theroad: a bar. Upon our entering, the one foreigner in the place asked: So, where are you guys from? We all started chatting, then out of nowhere this guy says: “Let me buy you guys a round. You know, I just won half a mil betting on Germany for the World Cup.”
Somewhat stunned, but not about to turn down free liquor, my friend and I agreed. Our new companion then continued to regale us with a series of stories, each one more than the last. He was 27, had dropped out of high school to run the family business, had been married and then divorced, lost everything in the settlement because his new girlfriend wouldn’t let him attend the court date, had not had sex in over 16 months, and he had been kicked out of grad school for using cocaine.
On top of all this he continued to buy round after round the entire night, every time our drink was done he ordered a new round: one shot and one cocktail for everyone in the bar. Hours later we left after he kept trying to convince us to come to a high stakes poker game and “look pretty” so that everyone would be inclined to bet more. His words, not mine.
10. Jonathan (@Two Monkeys Travel Group)
Hitchhiking in Patagonia
We’ve just finished a two-week hitchhiking trip down the Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia and it was awesome! We’ve hitched with pickup trucks, flat-beds, taxis, buses, giant freight liners and at times hiked for 15kms through the mountains in the wind and rain when no one would stop for us.
We met great people from all over the world; cyclists, motorcyclists, truck drivers, wild hikers and best of all, a German walking for four days towing a 20-kilo trailer behind him because his bike had broken beyond repair and he refused to give up on his epic journey!
It wasn’t dangerous or life-threatening, we weren’t falling through the skies and no one was arrested, but in two years of constant travel, we have never before met so many incredible personalities in such a short space of time. Until next time, Patagonia, we will always remember you!
11. Danny (@Open World Mag)
All-Out War on the Streets of Bangkok
I’ve enjoyed many crazy adventures around the world, but if I had to rate one as the *craziest* it would have to be Songkran, my favorite holiday of all time.
Songkran is the Thai New Year festival, a buddhist holiday where people splash water on themselves to wash away the sins of last year. In modern times, the holiday has been jacked up and put on steroids. The entire country descends into a gigantic three-day waterfight, with no holds barred whatsoever, and with plenty of alcohol thrown in for good measure. I can’t find the superlatives to describe the experience, you just have to be there to experience it.
We hit the streets and all hell broke loose, day and night, over the next three days. Millions of people just going at it. Packs of small children are the most fearsome. They often outnumber you, attack from all sides, and make for small targets.
One of the awesome things about this holiday is how it brings everyone together. No one is safe, and everyone is a participant. And it feels as though no one is a stranger. Differences between age, race, background, income, all simply melt away.
12. Tianna (@The Passport Chronicles)
Chased by Kids in Cambodia
A few years ago I was in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. A local kid asked us to buy his bracelets and my boyfriend told him “Maybe later” When later arrived the kid showed up threatening us with a stick. If we didn’t buy his bracelets we’d be sorry. A store owner chased him away.
13. Liz (@Peanuts or Pretzels)
Danger in the Austrian Alps
Years ago during my first visit to Europe, I took a tour with fellow college-aged travelers. While exploring the picturesque alpine town of Hopfgarten, Austria by mountain bike, some tour mates took off just ahead of us; only to return moments later in a panic.
One of the guys inadvertently went off the sidewalk with his bike, into oncoming traffic, and was hit by a car! He bounced up onto the hood, then was thrown to the road. Thankfully, he was not severely injured beyond some scrapes and bruises. But as the police came to assess the scene, they took HIM to jail where he was charged with riding a bike while intoxicated.
One tour guide rushed to the local jail with an interpreter to get him out, since we were leaving town the next morning. So a word of caution – don’t drink and ride a bike in the Austrian Alps!
14. Margherita (@The Crowded Planet)
Hitchhiking in Georgia
In 2011, we went trekking in the Svaneti region of Georgia. We saw nobody for four days, except for local villagers and a few horses.
When we got to the end of the trail, where we were supposed to catch a shared jeep back, the trouble began. That very same day was a very important festivity, and there were no jeeps. We had run out of money and that wasn’t the kind of place where you find ATMs. So, we had to sleep out – or hitchhike back.
Weasked around, and a villager stopped some policemen, who agreed to take us. We sat between four burly guys, with huge machine guns, and drove over potholed roads hours to a mountain pass, where they told us to get off. That’s it, I thought. We’re going to be shot. We were in the middle of nowhere.
The policemen noticed our hesitation and laughed. ‘We’re not gonna kill you! This is toilet stop!’ What an idiot – but I think it made their day. They couldn’t stop laughing!
15. Clemens (@Anekdotique)
Hitchhiking in the West Bank, Israel
Visiting the Dead Sea is on most travelers bucket lists. When I was in Israel a few years ago, I took the chance one afternoon to go there with a local bus from Jerusalem. What I didn’t know at that time was that there is no fixed timetable. So after enjoying some spectacular views of the Dead Sea, I actually ended up in the desert waiting for a bus that never came while I ran out of water.
So what did I do, you ask? I hitchhiked though the West Bank. Luckily, two weird guys picked me up and it came out that were smugglers… but anyhow nice enough to help me. So they brought me to the next big intersection where I jumped into a bus full of Russian tourists and set down on the stairs until we finally arrived back in Jerusalem. It’s stories like this that I will probably never forget.
16. Scott (@Intrepid Escape)
Scuba Diving with Bull Sharks in Fiji
I woke up at Fiji Beachouse, a backpackers paradise on the Coral Coast of Fiji. I thought I was going diving with Reef sharks, but later found out I’d signed up to go scuba diving with Bull Sharks.. without a cage!
We had very little preparation, and at 25 metres it was my deepest dive yet. The first time I came face to face with a Bull Shark I was petrified, frozen in time the shark and I held a tense gaze. It was only a few seconds but it felt like 10 minutes. When the shark swam away I felt the full force of the 13 foot predator moving through the water.
Whilst this was THE most terrifying experience of my life, getting up close and personal with sharks gave me a far greater appreciation of this calculating and gracious animal.
17. Katie (@Around The World in KT Days)
A Touch of Royalty in Jamaica
On a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica a few years ago, I found myself rubbing elbows with the future King of England. I heard through the resort buzz that Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were being honored. Wanting to at least catch a glimpse of the royals, I headed over to the location to investigate. I was surprised to find that the security was minimal and I was easily able to get close to the gathering of about 75 kilometers.
I moseyed around the perimeter of the party until the bartenders (whom I made fast friends with that week) saw me lurking and summoned me in. There I stood, in my bathing suit and sundress, in the middle of an intimate gathering of Jamaican dignitaries and British royalty! I pretended to fit in by eating the food and sipping cocktails, and was not once questioned. I can now say that I belong to a small group of Royal Party crashers!
18. Natalie (@Love and Road)
The craziest honeymoon & Festival in Ukraine
Put the best underground electronic music in a beautiful beach at the Black Sea. Than spiced it up with hot toplees babies and great Ukranian vodka for less the 1 euro per shot. And it just gets better: 24 hours non stop party for 14 days! That´s is Kazantip, one of the best music festivals we have ever been.
We use to live in Brazil, so we crossed the Atlantic ocean and almost whole Europe to attend the festival because that was our honeymoon celebration. Not enough, we got married there too!! After some vodka we did the fast marriage 🙂
Perfect days! The best Djs playing good techno, deep house and minimal in front of the sea. Great people from all around the world celebrating life and nature giving us a powerful espetacle.
The best part was the huge jellyfishes that came to the shore to dance with us. After some drinks (a lot actually) the theme of the night was “Keep Calm and swim with the Jellyfish”. Well, as long as I remember no jellyfish was harmed, but about the drunk guys, I can’t tell the same 🙂
Kazantip used to happen in Crimea on the cost of Ukraine, this year the party changed the address and will happen in a sunny island in Cambodia. And we are going again!
19. Charli (@Wanderlusters)
Diving with Sharks in Australia
While diving on Osprey Reef, a remote atoll some 120 nautical miles from Australia’s east coast, we met with one of the ocean’s most feared predators. It was a chance meeting mid blue as we returned to the dive boat after the infamous Shark Feed Dive at North Horn, and one that I’ll never forget.
As I saw the dark shadow approach I reached for my camera while simultaneously trying to communicate to Ben that he ought to turn around. The episode resulted in this photo.
I think the shark must have understood my underwater sign language, even though Ben did not, as he promptly turned and swam bag into the deep blue.
20. Ty (@Ty’s World Trek)
Suspicious Memos in France
While traveling between Dublin, Ireland and Paris, France while via bus and ferry, someone slipped a hand written note into my coat pocket that basically said to get out of France. It used my name, and gave enough info to imply they were reading my blog.
It was written in very poor English, grammar wise, and the handwriting was atrocious. I hadn’t told anyone enough information to put this note together, not my friends, people I’d met those few days, nor on my blog. There was no way someone could have known the details AND put the note in my pocket.
Paris and Dublin both are big places after all. I took the note seriously to leave a few weeks later. Just days after leaving Paris there were big protests that turned into violent riots. To this day I still have no idea who or why.
21. Viktoria (@Chronic Wanderlust)
Skiing in Mexico.. in Summer?
Summertime, Mexico, some years ago. I was an intern in a wonderful city in the northern part of Mexico and was looking for things to do over the weekend. I asked around and my colleagues suggested to go skiing. I had to ask again, because I thought I had misunderstood them. But no! There was a small ski and golf resort only 1,5 hours away. Who would have thought that you could go skiing in Mexico? And that in summer!
Being Austrian and growing up skiing I had to go there and was stunned. There was no snow, but the ski slope was covered in a carpet-like surface. With added water we went down there a couple of times and had the best of fun. At first I didn’t notice but there were people watching me and applauding. Then I took my Mexican flag and did the last run waving the flag. What a hilarious moment!
IT’S YOUR TURN! Share your craziest story in the comments below!