I sprinted to the bus front.
Vomit knocked on the door of my throat.
The lady had the fear of God in her eyes, darting left and right like Barry Sanders to avoid my projectile…well…from whatever end it would flow.
Turns out, back end.
Thank the gods.
I faced a few rough situations during my 7 years of circling the globe that turned out to be embarrassing travel stories.
Thank goodness I grew like a stinking weed through each scenario. The most uncomfortable travel experiences prove healing to hyper-aware travelers.
Far from being a Blogging Buddha, I do see how:
fears triggered from these events cultivated my peace of mind.
For example, experiencing the Burma Bus Barf triggered deep self-conscious fears manifest as shame and embarrassment the moment I rocketed to the front of the bus to demand disembarking. I feared spewing on humans far more than I feared looking foolish, silly or wimpy in asking the bus driver to pull over.
Enjoy these tantalizing travel tales and the rich growth lessons attached.
1: Barfing on the Bus in Burma
I felt nausea overtake my body the split second I settled onto the bus in Bagan.
I suffered from the backend squirts for a few days. Not anything new in Myanmar, where sanitary conditions are a bit…questionable.
The sweats. Stomach churning. On and off.
As we rode toward Inle Lake I felt incredibly shitty.
Then an overpowering wave of nausea hit me. I began gagging terribly, retching involuntarily.
I sprinted to the front of the bus. All eyes appeared to be on me. I told the bus driver to stop. He nods. RB sprints into a field and projectile diarrhea beside cows….and their cow pies.
The whole trip was spent perched above the bathroom door. Yeah; had no clue in hell the bus had a bathroom during that first desperate wave of pukey or booty juice.
I figured that out after the 2nd wave.
The upside; I really got over myself during this episode in the self consciousness department and also fully experienced one of my deepest fears. That would be vomiting and experiencing projectile diarrhea on a bus.
2: Nearly Biting the Big One in India
Kelli and Santos pulled me out of the house like a rag doll in Muhamma, India.
I lost control of my body, for all intents and purposes.
Giardia made me so weak through dehydration that I sat in my bed, cried, and told Kelli we needed to get to the hospital immediately or I’d die in a few days.
I felt mortified to be so weak that I could not lift myself out of bed. Embarrassment overtook me. I had been a powerful athlete my entire life. How in the fuck could my body fail me?
Well it did.
Even after I received treatment – slowly making my month long comeback after losing 10 to 15 pounds in a week – I could not walk 10 feet without getting winded.
I felt helpless. I relied on Kelli to do virtually everything for me. Shame washed through my being.
Eventually I recovered fully. But it was a harrowing experience where I danced with death.
The upside: I learned the principles of surrender and asking for help when I needed help. My independent streak became a little more dependent which was an awesome thing. I also experienced greater online success because I worked with folks more – helping them, and then, they helped me – after this humbling incident in India.
Every tough travel experience goads you to unwind your mind of fears. Unwinding the ego of fears reveals a peaceful, humble, generous person. Circling the globe facilitates this unwinding process solely because few activities nudge you outside of your comfort zone to unwind fears as does travel. My India incident cleared arrogant fears to goad me to ask for help, to be open to help and to realize that engaging in team work is the quickest and most intelligent way to reach our goals.
3: Various Pet Escapes
Cats escaped during house sits in Bali and Qatar.
The Bali cat vanished forever. The Qatar cat sauntered back a few hours later.
Then another Qatar cat tried to jump the fence but I literally caught him in the nick of time.
Kelli and I brought a cat to the vet in Fiji to be fixed. We returned home and he bolted from the sports bag that we carried him in, jostling it from my hands and hitting the ground.
After he hit the ground, his stitches burst and a grisly scene unfolded: some of his innards began spilling out, horrifying us.
I sprinted 1 mile down the street in 2 minutes flat because I knew if the kitty did not get medical attention quickly, infection would set in and death would soon follow.
I flagged a taxi. We got to the vet for emergency surgery. Kitty turned out to be OK.
A terrifying experience and embarrassing too, as if I just held the damn sports bag I mean makeshift kitty crate closely to me we would have avoided this horrific incident.
Each pet escape immediately triggered the shameful, terrible-feeling emotion of having to explain to a pet owner that I lost their pet. Even though each owner knew well that their cats had escaped in the past and would likely escape in the future these facts did not lessen my embarrassment.
Losing one cat for good made me feel horrible. Embarrassed at first, then I felt incredibly sad. But what could you do, really? Cats easily jumped the wall in Bali. I could not prevent an outdoor cat from scaling a wall.
The returning cats gave us happy endings, as did the Franken-cat whose innards were soon contained after he received steel stitches, versus the cheapies the vet promised to throw out.
The upside; I grew like a stinking weed through this, and all 3 incidents, by understanding that you will sprint out of your comfort zone, into your fears, via some hairy situations on the road. Seemingly perfect scenarios change and if you surrender into whatever happens you develop a type of flexibility that aids you in all areas of your life.
Highly uncomfortable travel experiences introduce the little you to the big you. The big you is far beyond anything unfolding in the world. Being the advanced version of you allows you to enjoy your travels no matter how travels unfold.
Life on the road feels fun.
Circling the globe feels freeing.
But embarrassing experiences meet you as you leave your comfort zone abroad.
Hug your fears. Grow through these incidents.
Welcome to being a full time globe trotter!
What embarrassing situations have you experienced during world travels?
How did you grow through these experiences?