Dangerous Travel Situations: 3 Potentially Hairy Situations I Dodged During World Travels

dangerous travel situations

Volcanic ash during sunset in Bali


I have experienced some crazy shit during my world travels.


Almost croaking in India.


Centipede swatting in Thailand.


Spitting cobra fighting in Bali.


All types of madness in the remote jungles of Costa Rica.


Not all of my potentially hairy – or outright hairy – travel experiences transpired on a private level.


Dangerous Travel Situations


Kelli and I have faced political and meteorological challenges on the road too.


Two coups and ash from a volcano almost hamstrung our journeys. We avoided genuinely dangerous travel situations but not before suffering through some intense anxiety. In both coup cases – attempt and actual takeover by military – day to day living seemed to carry on, business as usual, for tourists and most citizens. The volcano situation missed grounding us by a day, for a bit. Travel is like that; leaving the confines of home pushes you outside of your comfort zone. From there, anything is possible. Mostly, all goes smoothly. But life intervenes while you circle the globe.


Check out these 3 potentially wacky situations we experienced during our digital nomad forays.


1: Coup Attempt in Istanbul Turkey


Transparency alert; we chose to head into the Belly of the Beast. Not really a Beast. Turned out to be more like a friendly little puppy. Day to day living wise, of course.


Istanbul Turkey


Kelli and I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey one week after the coup attempt of 2016. We sat in Cyprus, across the Mediterranean, on a month long house sit. Violent images graced the TV screen. Were we nuts for considering this?


Just 3 weeks prior, terrorists bombed the main airport in Istanbul, killing hundreds.


After thinking through the situation, and speaking to my Turkish Facebook friends who reported the situation on the ground in Turkey, we went ahead with the trip.


All flowed smoothly. On the surface at least. We did take quite the risk as although things appeared to be stable the hornet’s nest stirred on a deeper level.


2020 update; all seems pretty stable in Turkey now. We even visited Cappadocia for 7 weeks in 2019. Loved it. All good.


2: Coup in Thailand


Coups in Thailand are as constant as death and taxes.


But the coup of 2014 was a more intense, swift and decisive action taken by the military than had been seen in a long time.


We were only influenced by a 10 PM curfew in Phuket. No tanks. Just cops telling you to head inside. Which meant no late night Thai sweet snack runs to the 7-11. Bummer for Biddulph.


Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Most action transpired in a small pocket in Bangkok. Warring factions. A few deaths. Electric situation.


With that in mind you never know how coups will unfold. Tension seemed to slightly build with each night of curfew. Locals and expats respected the rule of law but pushing the edict slowly created some resistance and resentment.


Order was restored within weeks. All flowed smoothly for the whole of Thailand. Crisis averted.


2020 update; the military still holds power and a new king graces the throne. Thailand seems to be in a state of change currently. We last visited in 2019. All well, all fun, per usual.


3: Airport Delay During Erupting Volcano in Bali


Nope; this was not Mount Agung, the belching beast making world headlines now.


Erupting Mount Raung on Java as we flew by


Kelli and I almost missed our flight out of Bali when Mount Raung erupted on nearby Java a few years ago.


The airport was closed for days as we were scheduled to fly to Bangkok due to volcanic ash. Ash from volcanoes really screws up plane engines. Screwed up plane engines tend to lead to plane crashes.


Delays for days. Then the ash cleared. Then we flew out. Not 1 day after we left Bali, the ash cloud grew and airport closed for a few more days.


We left in the nick of time.


Genuinely, this was one of the most dangerous travel situations you could ever face. Thank goodness we found ourselves a distance from the volcano first off. Plus, we exited The Island of the Gods at the perfect time.