7 Blogging Lessons I Learned from a Nauseating Burmese Bus Ride

  March 12, 2017 blogging tips 🕑 7 minutes read

The Incredible Shrinking Man in Myanmar. Post Pukey.


The Burmese woman had the fear of God in her eyes.


After I gagged disgustingly for the 4th time she scrambled frantically in front of me, like a crab hustling from side to side as the tide rolls out.


I didn’t blame her; if I saw a big old Westerner who was ready to erupt like Mount Vesuvius I too would have headed for the hills, ducking and scrambling and shuffling to avoid the putrid projectile stream begging to be seen.


Welcome to my nauseating bus ride from Bagan to Innlay Lake, Burma.


The Scene


Something was wrong.


30 minutes into our bus ride I felt a wave of nausea wash over my being. I did my best Usain Bolt impression to get to the bus toilet. Door locked. OK it wasn’t; just didn’t know how to open it at the time.


I Bolted (see what I did?) to the front of the bus, gagging, ready to retch. I needed to evacuate (back end) immediately or else I’d make a mess of the bus.


The drivers pulled over. I evacuated after squatting in a remote Myanmar field, using nature – aka some Burmese crop – to clean myself while the smell of cow dung wafted into my nose.


The combo of explosive diarrhea, bile puking, intense nausea and some nasty gagging made for a tough bus ride…..and 7 blogging lessons for you to take to the bank.


1: Sometimes Everything Goes to Shit


Begging your pardon, but this lesson is literal.


I had the rectal integrity of a 6 month old during the bus ride. I did not foresee this. If I did, I never get on the bus. We rent a hotel room and spend the night toilet-side.


Anyway, the night went to shit because sometimes….life goes to shit, seemingly blindsiding you. Embrace these experiences, even if highly uncomfortable, because they teach you more about the real you.


I share the lesson of adopting a sound strategy below but you can only do this from a level-headed, clear place when you stop complaining about everything going to shit and you accept the fact of where you are. Then, you can proceed with a solid plan.


I could have bitched and moaned when my host took down my old blog. Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to release on a worn out, old, blog and brand, birthing Blogging From Paradise.


You may lose every post by not doing regular backups. Sucks, but it’s called “being human.” You should prepare, but sometimes, the Universe forces you to deal with crazy situations from an unprepared space. Be at peace with everything going to the pooper on you blog because sometimes, it will.  


2: Given the Conditions, Ya Do What You Gotta Do


Never envisioned myself as being a guy who’d stop a bus – they run on TIGHT schedules, these buses do – because he was sick as shit but given the conditions, I did what I had to do. Either I puke all over the bus – no bags available – or soil myself.


I hustled to the front of the bus, urgently said “Sorry! Sorry! I am sick! Need to stop!!!!” while gauging disgustingly, and after 10 seconds the driver found an area to pull over so I could do my…..doody.


I did what I had to do. Given the circumstances.


As I write these words from Inle Lake, a more remote spot in Myanmar – compared to Yangon and Mandalay – internet access is about non existent. So I’ll be online for a few minutes each day and write offline for a number of hours. I am doing what I gotta do, given the poor internet.


This is not a desperate act. It’s a bold act. An act of posture. No internet = lots of offline writing, which helps stock my blog and guest posting blogs with ample content when we have solid internet access in Thailand next week.


Suffering through a bad internet connection? Write offline. Record a few videos.


Google make a new update? Build your blogging campaign less on fickle search engine traffic and more on social media, blog commenting and guest posting.


Do what you gotta do.


3: Get Over Yourself


Ya know when you see someone fall violently ill on a bus or plane or beside the road and the thought crosses your mind, “God, that must feel embarrassing?” Being that guy, I assure you: the sick individual doesn’t give a shit.


I sprinted toward the front of the bus, gagging wildly 6 times, when the door to the bathroom appeared to be closed. I would either poopy my pants or vomit the aisle, or maybe, provide the driver and his assistants a Burmese Tale for the Ages.


Anyway, feeling violently ill, being crippled with nausea, and as miserable as a mutt caught in a monsoon I was fully over myself in the moment; no fear of how others would perceive me, no ego games, no worries about how I looked to others.


Get over yourself. Get over your blog. Blog with love. Be humble. NEVER be “too good” for an opportunity. Never see yourself being above anybody else or above any opportunity.


Be open, be loving, be humble and blog for fun, helping others, and gobble up opportunities to help and serve left and right.


I recall a while back some bloggers saying they’d never post on The Huffington Post because “they allow anybody and everybody to post there” these days, and how the site lost its prestige. I have published 100 plus guest posts on HP since they opened up guest posting. I circle the globe as a pro blogger. Doesn’t that say something?


Get over yourself! Seize opportunities to help and serve people. F*ck exclusivity, prestige, vanity and pride. Besides; I think I lost the last of my pride during my last sprint to da crapper on the bus.


4: Adopt a Sound Strategy


I perched myself by – or on – the toilet like a Pukey Protector. A Denizen in the Diarrhea Dark.


After the explosive backend stuff and intense waves of nausea struck me I spent the remaining 6 hours of the bus ride either on or 3 feet from the toilet. No sense soiling anything. Sound strategy. Smart strategy.


Nobody else save 2 folks used the toilet all night. We had a few bathroom breaks. Most folks preferred to stretch their legs before hitting the loo.


Adopt a sound blogging strategy.


Follow your fun.


Create value.


Connect with blogging leaders by promoting them.


You will succeed with a sound blogging strategy. (My breeches and the bus interior can verify my success.)


5: Follow Your Intuition


I care not to talk of trusting my gut in this post. He’s had enough play today.


But following my intuition would have goaded me to listen to Kelli when she suggested we fly the following morning. I tired of sitting in the hotel room. Felt I’d be awake all night, anyway. So I figured we’d bus. Not a good decision.


In one vein though, when we arrived to the bus and spotted a toilet I saw my intuition gave me an out. Up to that point I’d just experienced explosive….well….you know. My inner guide told me I’d have access to a toilet whether I needed a top or backend evacuation.


As for your blog, trust intuitive nudges over research. Trust infinite guidance over the ego’s pinings. I created Blogging From Paradise on an intuitive nudge, when some folks thought I was a fool to let go 3,400 blog posts, an old blog and an old brand.


This BFP thing has worked out alright for me.


6: Nightmares Are…..Temporary


After 8 hours the nightmare faded (Until 2 days later when I took antibiotics…but that….is another story).


If 100% honest, the ride felt like it went quickly. I mainly sat on the throne or beside it in my toilet catty corner on the bus.


It sucked royally but like every sucky thing in this worldly life of ours…..this too, shall pass.


The white screen of death passes. If someone hacks your blog, you can log in, change the password and secure your site more effectively. No traffic? Temporary deal; change your energy and actions, and you betcha the traffic will flow.


All blogging nightmares are temporary.


7: Be Prepared


The travel gods must have been laughing in their cups at me; the *1* time I don’t hop on a bus with toilet paper and a plastic bag (mainly for trash, but for barfing, just in case) is the time the Nile River flows out of me. (Burmese shrubs “technically” did the trick although my bummy thanks me not.)


I was not amused in the moment but saw the irony of the situation.


Life happens. Sometimes you will seemingly be unprepared, but then the Universe swoops in to help. But your blogging life gets easier if you use CloudFlare to secure your blog. If you use https:// to beef up your blog. If you pay for dependable hosting which allows you to see a spike of traffic without your blog feebly crashing.


Don’t make your blogging life about putting out potential fires. Just prepare for what you can prepare for to avoid any difficult situations down the road.


Your Turn


What blogging lessons have you learned recently?


The Resources


If you dig my blog you may love my online courses.


Check out Blogging From Paradise online courses here.

  1. Erin Southerland says:
    at 10:45 am

    Hey Ryan,

    As someone who has also gotten off a bus to vomit and soiled herself in a public place, I totally agree that at those times in life you don’t care about anything other than how absolutely shitty you feel. I’m glad the bus driver waited for you. When I got off to puke, the bus driver was really angry and just drove off with me puking in a flower bed at the end of a bridge. Thank goodness I was in the middle of a city and could get on another bus!

    On the blogging end, number 1 and 7 definitely go hand in hand. They circle each other constantly. Be prepared because sometimes life will go to shit. In 2017, life has absolutely gone to shit around my place. But I’ve been prepared enough to get by and I’m proud of that. My biggest blogging and life lesson this year is that when things are calm, enjoy that but also take the time to prepare for when it isn’t. Have some evergreen blog posts ready to go so that you can take time off from writing to deal with a family emergency. Back up everything, blog or non-blog related. Take a lot of deep breaths.

    As usual, I love how you pull your personal stories into your blogging advice. Have a wonderful day!


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:14 pm

      Hi Erin,

      Rough! Those drivers get hellbent on following a schedule sometimes and forget to bend just a little bit. Thank goodness you were in town and had ways to travel onward.

      Being prepared helps you when things go haywire. Accepting things will go haywire – dousing prep – is a form of enlightenment. A mild form but enlightenment nonetheless. You see this being a traveler. Things change, shift, morph and we just either get all swept up in the worldly life, going ape-shit, or see all change for what it is, without much judging, and root ourselves in something much more powerful and lasting.

      Thanks for the fab comment.


  2. lisa thomson says:
    at 8:43 pm

    Ohhhhhhh boyyyyy. Feel terrible for you, Ryan but thanks for the lessons. Was it food poisoning? Aside from the sickness, I like how you’ve applied the situation to blogging and making it into lessons. I’m kind of at the point where I’m not sure do I keep doing what I’m doing or is there something else I need? I agree the Universe will send signals. It’s time I watch for those. #3 and #5 are my favorites here. Intuition is huge. Not taking our blogs seriously helps a great deal. Hope you’re feeling better now!!

    One question what is https vs http?

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:03 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks a bunch 🙂 Feeling back to normal now. Think being in Thailand aka home helped lift my vibe a bunch.

      I have been there; figuring what to do, or to keep doing, or adding something….or….what next? Your intuition knows. Really though, following your fun, relaxing and deciding to play versus working on your blog is an energetic shift that makes the difference.

      https is a security connection thingee for your blog. Google sees your blog – and blog visitors too – in a different light when you set up https. Like a trust signal.


  3. Adeel Sami says:
    at 11:19 pm

    Hey, Ryan!

    Oh gosh… You’re feeling okay now??!!

    Man… These are the situations happens with most traveling in the bus during the summer.

    That situation is far like common in Pakistan and most of the bus drivers have the shopping bags given to the passengers in case something similar happens.

    Good thing I never went into this situation but my other family members do. 🙂

    #1 is right — everything (may) go to shit. Then it is us to not worry much.

    Things do happen and we gotta let them happen and not wash away with them. The real thing is getting back on track.

    And 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are rock solid part of the success. Just get back on track even how worst the condition is.

    Things do take the time to recover. But the success does not wait to be recovered first then snatch it.

    You got to overcome the hurdles in time — to be on track once again.

    Great content, buddy! And enjoy Thailand! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 9:12 pm

      Hi Adeel,

      Yep feeling better buddy. Thanks for asking 🙂

      That’s tough for your family who fell ill. Really tough. Few rougher feelings than being sick as hell while whipping around on a bus. You feel trapped. Because drivers will only stop 1 or maybe 2 times before ditching you LOL.

      Get back on track. I like that. Do not fly off into a tail spin for hours or weeks or months. Shake it off. Life happens. Get your booty back on track and you will be good to go, building your success momentum.

      Thanks bro 🙂


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