A bearded idiot abroad

I’ve done some pretty stupid shit during the past couple of months of travel. It’s just been one epic fail after another.

Some have suggested I change the name of the blog to A Bearded Idiot Abroad.

I already posted a blog about the time in Myanmar when I counted out 17,000 kyats instead of 170,000 when exchanging $US200 with some dodgy street money changers.

Here a just a few more examples of some of the dumb things I’ve done recently:

  • paying a B40 ($1A1.33) Sŏrng·tăa·ou (shared taxi) fare with a B1000 ($A33.33) note in Chiang Mai and being left cursing in the street when the driver drove off without giving me change.
  • buying some longyis (sarong-like wraps) at a Yangon market stall without examining them only to later discover they were just lengths of unsewed material.
  • leaving my ATM card in a bank machine in Bangkok
  • falling asleep outside a boarding gate at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport and missing my flight back to Australia.
In one of the Immigration offices at Don Mueang airport having my exit stamp cancelled. (Will Jackson)

Feeling pretty sheepish in one of the Immigration offices at Don Mueang airport having my exit stamp cancelled. (Will Jackson)

The shit thing is that none of these things was the result of me taking any dangerous risks or flouting the law. They were all normal situations travellers come across every day.

And I’m not sure what to prevent similar things happening in the future. It’s kind of hard to just “be less vague”.

Maybe thinking things through thoroughly and being a little more “in the moment” would help.

Luckily, the only thing affected has been my bank balance (and my ego). So far I haven’t suffered any injuries or medical maladies.

However, I think there are a couple of lessons in this for everyone.

a) Keep a bit of money in the travelling budget for unexpected expenses caused by your own stupidity.

b) If I can travel the world, anybody can.

Seriously, if I can make it around South and Central America and South East Asia – and potentially even further – your average reasonably competent human being can too.

It might just be a bit more expensive than me than for most people.

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  • http://twitter.com/eatrio_net eatrio

    Man, if you keep travelling for long enough, these things are inevitable aren’t they? I miss-read the time of my flight from Mexico to Colombia (apparently the complexities of the 24 hour clock were too much for my brain that day) – cost me around $800US to fix that one.

    The being less vague thing is tricky – we all have lapses in concentration sometimes. And if you’ve been on a bus for the past 24 hours+, then you’re more likely to slip up. I usually try to console myself with some “older and wiser” line, but I never really buy it…

    • http://travel.willjackson.com.au Will Jackson

      Did you not tell me about that at the time or have I just forgotten? Anyway, that sucks. That feeling when you realise what you’ve just done is AWFUL. Doesn’t take that long to go away though.

      I’ve always struggled with vagueness. Not sure what to do about it. Maybe meditation or something might help. *shrug*

  • Siva

    The points to avoid the “idiotic” ob being “dumb” on your travels is to get a companion preferably a dog “man’s best friend”, get blogger or pen-pals from any countries to guide you around instead of getting TAXI or some touts who target the tourist like us giving some candy talks, and get a best-seller book titled “TRAVELLING for DUMMIES”, etc…..

    You “not a deaf” like me dozed off and miss your flights – while the announcer remind the passengers to be ready for the flight… Medicate yourself to be alertness all the time and not to stress much. 🙂

    • thebeardedwanderer

      Why don’t you just come along and keep me out of trouble then. :p