Free from the responsibilities of home life and wanting to experience as much as we can, we all lose our inhibitions a bit when we travel. We become more confident, more adventurous and a lot more courageous, doing things we would never usually do at home. I always try to avoid saying no to something new which makes the possibilities endless when travelling. But it also means that in amongst all the fantastic experiences, there are bound to be a few not so fantastic experiences too.
Aside from the time we were almost mugged in Namibia , I have never really written about anything negative on the blog. I’m generally a very positive and easily pleased girl and, to be honest, we’ve been amazingly lucky and haven’t really had many bad experiences on our travels. But there are a few things that I can say I would never ever do again.
Underwater cave diving in Fiji
After a few days on the blissful white sands and the shallow clear waters of our little island in Fiji, we decided to do some exploring and try out cave diving. A short boat ride took us to a neighbouring island with a large cave full of a deep pool of dark water at the bottom. We got into the cold water and, one at a time, the guide dunked our heads underneath. We swam down and forwards, through the narrow rocky slit of an entrance into the main part of the cave, towards the torch light that was being shone at us by another guide inside. We weren’t under the water for long but we had to make sure we took in enough breath, as having the rocky sides of the cave entrance above us and around us, and being completely submerged in water, meant that coming up for air wasn’t an option.
Apart from the huge water spiders bobbing along the surface of the water and the fact that we had no safety gear, helmets or ropes, or anything that would have helped if one of us had hit our head on the rocks, it was actually a fabulous adventure. Thinking back on it now though, this is probably one of the most dangerous things we’ve ever done and I dread to think what could have happened if something had gone wrong.
After almost two months travelling across Africa, I somehow found myself strapped to a complete stranger and feeling so sick that I was not only worried about throwing up everywhere, but also worried about the fact that I was about to be thrown out of a plane 10,000 feet above the Namibian sand dunes.
This was all Mr Ayla’s fault. He had signed up to do a skydive a few weeks before and, not wanting to be left out (as well as thinking he would chicken out and not go through with it) I stupidly signed up too.
Before he jumped out of the plane a few minutes before me, my final words shouted over the noise of the propellers were “I LOVE YOU!” and “BE CAREFUL!”.
Be careful?!?! What sort of an idiot tells someone to be careful just before they jump out of a plane?!
It may have been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done but I’ve done it once, and once is perfectly enough for me thank you very much!
Visit a place without doing proper research
In all of our travels there has only really been one place that we haven’t loved – Malaysia. I found the cities dirty, the sights didn’t inspire me, the men leered and the women were hostile. I can hear your gasps of horror because I have been told over and over again how amazing Malaysia is but it just wasn’t a place we enjoyed. In our excitement to get across Malaysia into Thailand, somewhere we were dying to see, I just hadn’t done enough research on Malaysia and so we ended up simply stopping at the typical touristy places.
Now, I probably go overboard on the amount of research I do, reading guide books, blogs and getting tips on the best things to do and where to eat. But after our fiasco in Malaysia I will always make sure I do my research properly.
Sofa boat in Tunisia
What started off as a fun and thrilling ride, being pulled along on a blow up sofa in the Tunisian sea, our driver obviously thought we weren’t having enough fun and decided to speed us along so fast that I’m surprised the sofa didn’t take off. The wind and the salty sea whipping past made me squeeze my eyes closed tight, and my knuckles turned white they were gripped so tightly onto the handles that my arms ached for days after. I screamed so loudly in fear of being thrown off and slamming into the sea. I feared for my life (no joke, I was actually petrified!).
We went from happy smiles, to this…
…and finally to this…
Never ever again!!!
This post is part of this month’s travel linkup by Kelly, Emma, Rebecca and Shikha. What things would you never do again when travelling? Let me know in the comments below or write your own post for the travel link up!