My 10 Worst Backpacking Travel Experiences!

The post I did a couple weeks ago for the Travel Blog Relay got me thinking about what tops my list of travel memories and was a tough one to narrow down to 3 of the best.

But it also got me thinking – the Internet is full of travel blogs listing off everyone’s top activities/memories/bucket list items and the more I read the more I realise the same things pop up time and time again.

So I thought I’d try and balance out all this positive travel talk and come at it from a slightly negative side, because like everything travelling also has its downsides and I thought I’d share some with you – here’s My 10 Worst Travel Experiences!

At the time they all sucked quite a bit, but with hindsight they now make me chuckle and are some great stories to tell! Like my Dad says – no experience is a bad one if you learn something from it!


  • surfboard face 1 300x225 My 10 Worst Backpacking Travel Experiences!

    Check my Free Nosejob!

    Taking a surfboard to the face - yup surfing isn’t the safest sport in the world! After 10 years of relatively accident free surfing I took a 9 foot longboard to the face whilst surfing in Byron Bay, the result was a broken cheek bone, broken nose and 4 weeks of looking pretty beaten up!


  • My buddy getting spiked in Laos although not directly one of my personal bad experiences I did have to look after my buddy Matt when he got spiked in Vang Vieng, Laos. I just thought he was epically drunk to start off with but he was bed ridden and puking for the best part of 4 days…not good times.


  • Running out of cash in Oz I ended up running dangerously low on cash during my time in Australia, within $1000 of being broke and with another 8 months left in the country. I did manage to tie myself over with a large chunk of cash I made by being in a nudist movie though!


  • Getting snogged by a ladyboy yup you read it right, during my time on Koh Tao I managed to get snogged by a ladyboy. But no I wasn’t drunk and end up finding I’d taking a chick with a dick home…I got dragged on stage during the finale of the Ladyboy Cabaret!


  • Getting mugged by the Mafia - this isn’t a stroy I’ve published yet, nor mentioned to my eve worried mother! But the short of it is me and my buddies Nic, Anna and Audrey tried to go see a ping pong show in Bangkok. Sh*t got loose and we got into a really bad situation with some very bad looking people who basically mugged off of to the tune of over £150! Bad times!

  • DSCF9954 225x300 My 10 Worst Backpacking Travel Experiences!

    Slightly Exaggerated, But It Bloody Hurt!

    Stepping on a stingray (or 2!) another surfing related accident! Whilst surf coaching on the beaches of Montanita in Ecuador I managed to stand on not one but two stingrays in the space of a week. The poisonous barbs in my feet were possibly the most painful experiences I’ve ever had!



  • Getting super ill in Ecuador – I got some kinda crazy fever illness thing whilst living in Montanita and was bed ridden for the best part of a week. I could barely eat, couldn’t sleep and was burning up. People realised it was heaps bad when I bailed on an epic surf trip! Luckily for me though Katja was on hand to nurse me better and I’m very grateful! Getting ill whilst travelling is never fun.


  • Xmas Day in Sydney – sounds amazing right?! Well when you’ve built up the thought of spending xmas day on Bondi beach, Australia with a BBQ for the best part of your adult life it’ a MASSIVE let down when you actually pick the first rainy xmas in 40 years to go do it! That day sucked big time!


  • ‘That’ Night In Pai – In hindsight this event is absolutely hilarious, but at the time being woken up by a drug fuelled hostel worker going bat shit mental at everyone and punching your buddy in the face isn’t the best way to settle into a new area! Needless to say I checked out earlier than planned!

So there you go guys and girls, travelling isn’t all amazing sunsets, mojitos and smiles – it’s real life and in real life bad things happen! But don’t let it put you off exploring the world, sometimes the bad stuff makes the best stories and looking back over all of them I have a good chuckle!
What’s the worst thing thats happened to you on the road?!

14 Responses to “My 10 Worst Backpacking Travel Experiences!

  • Geez, mate – you’ve been around to have all that bad stuff happen to you! I’m going to enjoy going back and reading these stories – and you’ve got to write about being mugged by the mafia! I’m hanging out for more about that.
    Simon recently posted..5 amazing meals you must try in ThailandMy Profile

    • i’ve done my best to travel heaps – so it doesn’t come without the risk! Everything could’ve been a whole lot worse though!
      I’ll get the mafia post up asap, it happened a while ago but I got carried away and it became a mini essay! time to get on the editing!

  • Wow, sounds like you’ve had some pretty epic experiences mate. All make for good travel tales though :) I hope your mum doesn’t read this, mine would demand I come home if she knew I’d been robbed by the mafia!
    Sophie recently posted..See the Dead Sea on a Backpacker BudgetMy Profile

    • indeed…..some rather good travel tales, although maybe it didnt feel that way when it was actually happening! The mafia thing was late last year, so I’ve managed to hide it from her for a while :P

  • Oh no, I was in Byron that Christmas in the scorching sun and saw the Sydney weather on the tv…I felt so sorry for everyone down there!!!

  • I love this. It made me think of a long list of experiences I could write about in a similar post. In fact, I’m feeling quite unlucky as I process them all in my mind!
    Arianwen recently posted..Win a NOVICA Gift Card Worth $75My Profile

    • hahaha – do it Arianwen…I’m intrigued at what you’ve got up too now!

  • Was that Christmas in Bondi in 2012? I had tickets to the Sunburnt Beach Festival that day.. completely rained out. No food left for us and then when we got back to Coogie, the feast at the hostel was over too. I ended up skyping my family day drunk sitting on the curb outside of McDonalds eating a McChicken….

  • What hostel in pai did that happen at?!

    • That was Spicy Pai Kyle – an amazing hostel, just an unfortunate incident!

  • i think i can outdo this.
    in the space of 3 weeks ive:
    Impaled my foot in boston
    Lost My debit card in toronto
    Had my replacement card blocked in montreal leaving me with no access to money
    Had $150 dollars stolen from me in toronto
    Paycheck went missing at work in ottawa.

    • Wow that’s a pretty sucky 3 weeks Jordain – hope everything turns around for you

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