5 Dangerous Experiences from My Travels

  September 9, 2015 travel posts ๐Ÿ•‘ 4 minutes read
Kovalam Beach, India in 2013. 2 weeks post giardia. This was after I gained 5 pounds.

Kovalam Beach, India in 2013. 2 weeks post giardia. This was after I gained 5 pounds. Check out those T Rex forearms.

I may not be the Dos Equis Guy but I’ve lived a damn interesting life.

 

7 years ago I spent my evenings waiting for the last truck to leave the shipping terminal. Life as a security guard was….boring. 7 years later I have faced some of the world’s most lethal predators up close and personal. I’ve watched my toes swell up to the size of small sausages in Costa Rica, I’ve clung to the back of a lumber truck in Fiji while tons of timber pushed me around and I petted tigers in their cage in Thailand.

 

Sometimes I look at my life and say: โ€œDid I do that?โ€ (insert Irkle voice)

 

Let’s check out some of my more intense experiences on the road.

 

1: Knocking on Death’s Door with Giardia

 

Who’d have thought something so minuscule could make #1 on my list?

 

I first felt a wave of nausea at the bus station in Cochin. Cold sweats, had to sit, had to….well, I didn’t go there. After the 5 minute sick spell I ignored the symptoms. My conditionally progressively worsened in Muhamma. I went for the โ€œmeld between Gollum and Christian Bale in the Machinistโ€ look.

 

Giardia killed my appetite. Imagine feeling nauseous….not for 10 minutes….or 2 hours….but for 10 freaking days.

 

I was the dolt who didn’t go to the emergency room to get an IV…..for 10 days! By day #10, after I had puked out everything, I had to be carried by Kelli and our friend Santos to the tuk tuk. The doctor said my pulse was feeble. I just recall laying down on the waiting room floor, hoping that I had 1 more email newsletter in me. I estimate I was a good 2 days away from passing on to the great white way.

 

2: Facing Down a Spitting Cobra in Bali

 

My friend Reinardt finished him off with a blow from a spade but I was within spitting distance of a cobra in Bali. He had already killed a chick. Mama hen was nodding off into death when we arrived. I vividly recall how the cobra seemed to be eyeing us up, slowly bobbing to and fro, measuring us for a blinding spray of venom.

 

He never spat; I’ve no clue why. The other R guy dispatched of him. In terms of โ€œOh sh*t I could die now!โ€ type moments in my life, this one ranks up there.

 

3: Tiger Petting in Thailand

 

Kelli and I sat in a cage with three, 400 pound tigers in Thailand.

 

Said tigers were well-fed and of course, nocturnal. During day time hours, well fed, nocturnal creatures sleep. But sleepy creatures that have dagger-sized teeth, 400 pounds in heft and heads as wide as my entire upper body tend to elicit terror in one’s soul…..unless your name is Kelli. She dove into the pen as if she were cuddling up with 3 tabbies. I had to be emasculated by the insane Thai trainers before I peeked my fraidy cat head inside of the enclosure. At one point, Ron the Tiger stood up and walked around for a few seconds. His head reached my chest level. I am 6 feet tall. It feels weird to be way down the food chain. And scary to boot.

 

4: Super Hero in Costa Rica?

 

I hoped this was the case.

 

Something bit me on the shores of Manual Antonio. I can only liken the sting to someone squeezing a pair of pincers – which had been heated until white hot โ€“ on your small toe. Oh yeah; make that someone a strong man. The pain was epic. But I carried on. I have a fairly high threshold for pain. Within 10 minutes my toe swelled up considerably. Within 2 hours my last 2 toes looked like small sausages.

 

Could this be it? Was I becoming a super hero? The Spider Man of Central America? That’s how it all starts, right?

 

โ€œNoโ€, to all of these questions. Turns out I had to stay off of my right foot for 2 days because the pain was so intense. The sausages went away. My toes returned. Alas, my only super power is being able to write and publish a 6,000 word eBook daily for 2 months straight. Oh well.

 

5: Fiji Freak Out

 

Does any hitch hiking tale end well?

 

While in Savusavu, Fiji, we hitch hiked to a local waterfall. Our Fijian buddies said this was a normal way to travel since buses ran through the area so infrequently. Plus, we were a group of 6. That had to count for something. So we hailed a lumber truck, explained our situation and off we went.

 

5 minutes later I was clinging to a steel grate while balancing on my left foot โ€“ with only 3 toes touching the iron frame of the truck โ€“ with tons of lumber load shifts pushing me around, as we barreled around wickedly tight curves at reckless speeds.

 

We made it to the waterfall. I left some of my deepest fears behind on that trip.

Dancing with Danger

 

Heck, I didn’t even mention my not so coked-out experienced in Peru, my devastating motorbike accident in Bali and my encounter with a nut job in Nepal…..because I covered each story in prior posts.

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:
    at 9:43 am

    Which was your favorite story?

    What are your wild travel stories?

  2. Don Purdum says:
    at 11:04 am

    Hi Ryan,

    My favorite animals to watch and learn about (next to my dogs of course) are tigers. I am not sure what it is about these amazing animals that captivate me but i find them to be fascinating.

    Now, I don’t have your guts. No way am I getting in that cage with them, lol…

    That’s a story for a lifetime right there and if you never tell another one again (well except for maybe the swelling toes one, lol) that will be just enough for me. Of course I love your adventures!

    Hope you’re having a great summer. We need to catch up sometime soon!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 2:58 pm

      Aren’t they fascinating animals Don? They are magical, powerful and mysterious too. Haha, they are crazy experiences for sure. Yes, most definitely, time to connect soon!

  3. Clement Lim says:
    at 4:23 pm

    Hi Ryan

    You’ve certainly had your share of crazy experiences. Facing a spitting Cobra in Bali was my favourite. It would scare the hell out of me for sure.

    My wild travel story is encountering a large shark on my very first scuba dive. This was in Krabi, Thailand. The dive instructor who accompanied said I would see lots of brightly coloured fish. No mention of sharks.

    During my dive I suddenly noticed a large shape moving rapidly towards me out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and a 6 ft shark was heading straight for me.

    I froze and my heart stopped.

    Just before the shark reached me, it flipped it’s tail and was gone.

    When I got back to the surface I said to the instructor, “****! You didn’t tell me there were sharks in the water!”

    He shrugged nonchalantly and said they were reef sharks, not dangerous to humans.

    Well I didn’t realise that at the time. For a moment I thought I was going to be eaten alive.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:24 am

      Clement that’s nutz! This sounds like Thailand all the way LOL…..because the response of the instructor is pretty much the Thai-style “no worries/whatever happens, happens” belief that permeates the culture. So happy that shark turned around ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the awesome comment!

  4. Jane M says:
    at 5:37 pm

    Bali was the deadliest place on our 22-country bike trip.

    First, there was the traffic. We’d been in a few minor scrapes on the road before – like the time that guy opened a taxi door right into me as I was cycling down the street, or the time Stephen ran right into a car that suddenly turned right – but we hadn’t seen anything like the traffic in Bali.

    We were riding along a busy road which narrowed as it turned into a bridge over a very high chasm. At the same time, a police car came roaring up in the outside lane. A van swerved left to avoid the police car, almost sideswiping me. I swerved left too, crashing into and then bouncing off the foot-high curb. Then I swerved right into Stephen, who braked and was hit from behind by a car following too close. All this, and we came out unharmed, though I did win a gold medal in bad language that day.

    A few days later, while chilling in Ubud, we both started to feel sick. We both got dengue fever and yes, I feel you on the pain of extended nausea. I felt on the verge of throwing up / passing out for three days! Yuck.

    Thanks for the post.

    PS. I’m pretty sure they drug the tigers in those Thai tiger places, so you probably weren’t in any danger.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:22 am

      That’s nuts Jane! We had a wicked motorbike accident in Bali; the traffic is epic and super nutz, because some folks ignore the laws. Dengue? I’ve heard of other folks getting it in Bali too. 3 days of nausea totally sucks. Funny note on the tigers; check them out when they bring out the ice blocks for play at Tiger Kingdom…..if these 400 pound beasts jumping around like mad are drugged, good God they are other worldly creatures hahaha….thanks for sharing the fab comment!

  5. DeJavieur L Speller says:
    at 9:10 pm

    The one with the cobra sounds like an adrenaline rush. Not sure I have any stories to top that maybe running out of money after a night out in Italy trying to catch a ride to my hostel. Got taken in the wrong direction and tried to make a move not my style.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:19 am

      Dej, that sounds crazy to me! Getting lost without having dough on the road is harrowing….and yes I have been there LOL.

  6. Thyrone Charles says:
    at 2:31 am

    Hey Ryan,
    I’m getting jealous on you whenever see your posts. lol..
    You are lucky enough to go around the world..
    Enjoy your days mate and keep sharing like these posts..
    Have a great weekend..

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:18 am

      Thyrone, thanks for reading!

  7. Hassaan Khan says:
    at 12:02 pm

    Ryan,

    You’re an inspiration for travel bloggers as well as niche bloggers. If someone asks me for guidance on travel blogging, the first thing I would mention is ‘Blogging From Paradise’…

    Well, I love traveling, I don’t travel that much, but want to start exploring…

    Have you ever had a stomach issue while traveling?

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 3:18 pm

      Hassaan, appreciate the shout! Oh yes; my incident with giardia noted above was a stomach issue. It was in Muhamma, and it was brutal. I also got food poisoning in Pondicherry, in Penang, in Bali and in Cusco, Peru. All around the world LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Donna Merrill says:
    at 11:39 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Oh my gosh..do you have stories to tell. Call me a chicken, but I get anxiety attacks when I’m south of New Jersey. The bugs get bigger lol.

    I am not the adventurist but like to watch things on TV because animals amaze me. The closest I’ve ever done was to hike up Mr. Renier in Oregon. I seen Moose and a bald eagle…but kept my distance.

    Hey what can you expect from a Brooklyn gal?

    Love your adventures.

    -Donna

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 3:14 pm

      Donna, that’s quite the adventure. Awesome ness, seeing a bald eagle and moose. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sherman Smith says:
    at 12:06 pm

    Hey Ryan,

    You have experienced some of the most dangerous incidents imagined. You definitely have something to tell your grandkids in the future.

    The only dangerous incident I was in happened in the 7th grade going horse riding on our camping trip. We were on a ledge and all of a sudden my horse started going crazy and almost threw me off. That was one of my scariest moments I remember.

    These are great stories and I’m waiting for you to write a novel about them! Thanks for sharing! Have a safe weekend!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 3:14 pm

      Sounds scary to me Sherman! Anything with ledges and heights terrifies me. You too!

  10. Sarah says:
    at 7:30 pm

    I chose a river boarding activity in Queenstown, New Zealand because it seemed like value for money. Worst decision ever! I was not prepared for the strength of the rapids, the cramp and the cold!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:24 pm

      Sounds intense Sarah!

  11. Tim says:
    at 3:32 am

    Probably running out of toilet paper in the airport bathroom when your flight is about to board is a scary experience. Happened more times than I would’ve liked! ๐Ÿ™

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:24 am

      That is a tough spot Tim ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have a talent for being on the throne while in Kuala Lumpur when we’re boarding. Happened twice. Once they paged me LOL.

  12. Jessica Lacy says:
    at 7:26 am

    All newbie bloggers should join blogging communities in order to excel in their field.
    Joining these communities provide bloggers confidence to do more. I liked your post very much. Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

    Regards
    Jessica

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:06 pm

      Yep Jessica communities really do rock. Thanks so much.

  13. Timothy Gagnon says:
    at 4:56 am

    I can’t really think of any really dangerous things that have happened to me during my travels, I guess that means I haven’t traveled enough!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:20 am

      Haha Tim, maybe ๐Ÿ˜‰ Overall though you’re probably 100 times smarter than me. Or, maybe the Universe keeps giving me ideas for blog posts and eBooks and courses and social media updates. Hey who knows?

  14. Natasa Suri says:
    at 5:36 am

    First of all thanks Biddulph, Youโ€™re an inspiration for “travel bloggers” as well as niche bloggers.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:22 am

      Hey Suri, you got it ๐Ÿ™‚