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Need a good laugh today?
Welcome to another version of “our most embarrassing travel moments.” We can call it ‘travel funnies”, but really, it is just our biggest goofs and usually only funny weeks to months later!
As always, remember to be kind as we share some pretty embarrassing stuff! Leave the judgement at home 🙂
Travel Funnies 1: Mt. Fuji Private Room
One of our major goals for this world adventure was to climb Mt. Fuji! While we are not ultra-athletes by any means, we were serious cross-fitters when we left for travel. A year of full-time travel later… not as much. However, we aren’t ones to back down from a challenge!
We knew climbing Mt. Fuji would be tricky and did a decent amount of research. While you can climb the mountain all in one day, it is generally recommended that you stay overnight in one of the dozen or so “huts”. Translate: giant bunk house with strangers.
We read on a few reviews how uncomfortable this experience could be and most people get little sleep. However, you get a meal and few hours to acclimate to the altitude at the very least.
Chris took on the task of booking the hut stay and was really excited to let me now he’d found a private room! I was surprised, but he was adamant about it. Truth be told, he was looking forward to the privacy as much as anything else that day!
As we headed up the mountain, he told me the name of the hut and that it was in the 8th station. There are 10 stations overall on Mt. Fuji and you pass them all during the climb. They all have various buildings, huts and places to grab drinks or food. You can get your walking stick branded at each hut and it’s pretty cool.
Around station 6 or 7 (you start by bus from station 5) there was a hut with the name Chris had mentioned. However, he told me that he had booked the one on the 8th station so we could be closer to the top. We got our brand and hiked on.
The weather continued to deteriorate as we hiked and hiked and hiked. We were tired and slogging through major rain trying out best to get up to that 8th station. It ended up being the last hut at the 8th station, so after about 8 hours of climbing, we were thrilled to get to the hut!
Because we were so wet, they came out (no joking here) with a leaf blower to blow off extra water. Then five or so attendants each helped us strip jackets, shoes, outerwear, packs, etc. It was like entering a car wash, People were wiped us down, moving us around, etc.
Once we had settled down and were waiting for our room assignment, Chris brought up the private room. The guy literally did a double-take. “Private room?!?”, he asked. He kept muttering to himself and looking confused. Chris pulled out his phone and showed him the confirmation. Turns out the private room did exist, but at that station HOURS down the mountain!
The guy then told all the dozen or so men in the greeting area, in Japanese, about this and they all burst out laughing. For many hours to come, we would hear Japanese with an inserted “private room”, followed by more Japanese and laughing.
In the meantime, we were lucky to get a spot in this hut (and double pay over $100). We got up fairly early (about 4 pm), so the hut was about 40% full. We were shown to our bed. Picture giant bunk beds lining every wall of a massive hallway. Each bunk is tall enough that you lay vertical on it and the other dimension is about that of 1.5 queen beds. We were the first to get to our bed, but were told 6 other people would join us. Whaaaat?! Eight grown adults on 1.5 queen beds? We had slim sleeping bags and pillows stuffed with rice.
We laid down the sleep for a bit and when we woke, two nice French men had joined us. It already felt claustrophobic to me… Chris was trying his best not to cuddle this French man and I was smooshed into the wall. Chris would get closer and closer as the time worn on. Fast forward again and, sure enough, four more Chinese adult men had joined us. Picture seven grown men and me, all stuffed like sardines in this bunk. I quit literally had to fight down the panic attacks that would threaten as I laid there, smashed between Chris and the wall of the building, listening to French and Chinese and many other languages going on around me.
It certainly was NOT the private, romantic opportunity Chris had been hoping for and I laughed and laughed about it as much as I could. Still months later, we both just mention “private room” to get a good laugh out of each other.
Travel Funnies 2: Bra Shopping in Bangkok
Shopping for clothes in Asia can be an interesting experience when you are not built like an Asian. They are used to tourists and it’s not hard to find some fun clothing, but we do more than visit. The time had come, when we arrived to Bangkok, for me to find a new bra.
The thing about Bangkok is there are regular stores and malls, but there also are night markets where you can find everything on the cheap! Even some malls (MBK) have cheap options as well and are like indoor night markets. Picture everything for pennies on the dollar and you’ll find it in Bangkok.
After searching a few malls and department storea around us, I was striking out on finding any bra big enough. We were planning to go to the biggest market of all, Chatuchak Weekend Market, and I hoped to find one there. “The Chatuchak Weekend Market, on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok, is the largest market in Thailand. Also known as JJ Market, it has more than 15,000 stalls and 11,505 vendors, divided into 27 sections” as stated by Wikipedia. Needless to say, it is massive. Over 8 hours and we saw only a small fraction!
When we finally found the clothing section, I found a lingerie stall. Hooray! I was browsing the bras, trying to see sizes, when a sweet trans-sexual woman (man?) approached me. When I expressed how I was trying to find sizing, she simply reached around and cupped my breasts! She felt around my rib cage too and then reached for a few bras to sell me. I was pretty shocked! The Thai people are super nice and don’t have the same personal space boundaries as us- LOL. Thank goodness Chris was in a different spot and didn’t witness this.
There was no trying on beforehand (thank goodness! I’d be worried about privacy!) so I purchased and left. They didn’t end up fitting anyway, but for a few dollars I certainly got a good laugh, and a good addition to my collection of travel funnies.
To see more of Chatuchak, see our video below!
Travel Funnies 3: Hawaii Anniversary Hike
This is an old one of our travel funnies, but goodie. When we arrived to Kauai on the day before our 14th anniversary, we were still really new into our travels. It was the first time we left the continental US. The very next day being our anniversary, I had worked out a babysitter for the following night. We had planned to hike, shower and have a nice dinner. It did end up about this way, but with a few hilarious hiccups along the way!
First, we had planned to hike at the beginning of the Na Pali Trail. This was the entire reason we came to Kauai, after all, and had been Chris’ desktop shot for months. We started out the drive and suddenly hit a road blockage. After about 25 minutes of waiting, we realized we were in a convoy. When we reached the front, we were pulled over. The nice officer let us know that the Na Pali Coast was completely closed and would be for months to come. Only residents were allowed to enter after the horrible flooding they had in 2018. Wow, what a let down!
We turned around and scrambled to find another hike. We found on on the map and showed up quite late, about 5 pm. No one was in the parking lot (not a good sign) and it was getting late in the day. “What a beautiful sunset it will be!”, I thought.
We proceeded to hike and found it to be incredibly muddy. With rain the day before, we were slipping and sliding all over. We fell a few times trying to get up and our shoes were soon covered.
We made it to a beautiful lookout point and decided to take a picture and turn around. Chris went to get his camera only to find… he had left it in the car! He had a tripod and no camera. He’d been stressing about his bag the whole time and it turns out the camera wasn’t even in it.
That turned out to be a good thing as we headed down. The camera would have likely been broken with how many times we fell on our butts! We mud was SO slippery going down. At one bad spot I just finally sat down and slid down on my bum. Mud or no mud, I didn’t want to break an ankle. The dark crept in and with just my phone flashlight to get us back, it was terrifying. The sounds around us were so creepy. I know we heard wild pigs a few times. We stumbled across tons of frogs, which was creepy enough!
We did finally make it back to the car, but it felt like forever. It scared me A LOT. We were caked in mud from head to toe. We ended up sneaking back into the house, showered (hello mud bath in our shower) and making to out to a dinner. What a anniversary!
To see the video, play below!
Travel Funnies 4: Bangkok Pets
Ok, disclaimer. This story isn’t really my own. We made really good friends with the Schmidt Family that we met in Bali. IG: @raggedshoes. Ryan and Lua had three darling girls and we loved traveling closely for a few months together. Ryan told me a story about one of our least-favorite Bangkok Pets: the rats.
Rats are plentiful in Thailand. It’s pretty gross, but you see them often. They are all over Bali as well! You’ll glimpse them out of the corner of your eye. Well, one time Ryan got more than a glimpse!
He was at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which I already mentioned. It was a bustling Saturday when it started to rain. A LOT. In between the stalls of the market are little drainage ditches with metal covers for walking. I think we all dread what lurks below, but can turn an ignorant eye most of the time. However, all this rain soon started to flood the market. Ryan turned suddenly to see a wave of rats floating down one of the main aisles of the market! Yuck!! People were scrambling to get out of the way as hundreds of rats flooded down the aisle. Wow, I can’t imagine.
Ryan warned me that Paris is also plentiful with its rat population. Sure enough, I spotted them multiple times in our month in Paris. From fine restaurants to back alleys, you can catch them all over the beautiful City of Lights. It made me chuckle to myself a few times and remember Bangkok!
Now we know were the movie Ratatouille came from… .
Well guys, there you have it! Enjoy your travels and send me some of your travel funnies along the way!