Cape Split, Nova Scotia, Canada

Travel Mishaps from 2015

Now that 2015 has officially come to a close, we wanted to recap some of the funnier moments and disasters we experienced throughout the year. We spent more time on the road than we did at our apartment, and we had plenty of mishaps along the way. Overall, we had a pretty fantastic year with some amazing adventures, but we think it’s important to share the good along with the bad. That said, we always purchase travel insurance just in case, and thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with any major or life-altering complications. Since there will always be low moments in travel (and life in general), we wanted to share our struggles with you. Feel free to laugh along with us as we recap our top travel mishaps from 2015!

Falling in Colorado…Twice

Micah always tells me that I need to write a post to document all of the injuries I’ve sustained while traveling. I might have to do that sometime because this year I added a couple more injuries to my list. The worst one occurred in Colorado this past summer; I added a giant scar to my list of battle wounds. We were doing some filming at Garden of the Gods, and Micah and I were walking on a flat gravel path when suddenly my foot slipped into a shallow dip and I went flying towards the ground (and yes, that is a photo of the path below!). I landed on my hands and knees, and managed to really bang myself up. Both hands and knees were skinned, but my left knee really saw the worst of it—I had a huge gash and blood was gushing down my leg! In hindsight, I should have gone in for stitches. Instead, we hobbled back to the car and I managed to clean myself up before we had to meet with a couple of people for the video project we were working on.

Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Then, to make matters worse, the next morning as we were going into Starbucks with a couple of clients, I proceeded to trip on the curb and smash my entire body into a bench headfirst. And no, I was not the only one who witnessed it…

ATM Struggles in Japan

Our first day in Japan was quite comical—we arrived by plane midmorning and took a bus into Tokyo about a mile from our hotel. We should have got cash at the airport (or at home before departure), but we didn’t. It was about two hours too early to check into our hotel when we arrived, so we dropped off our bags and set out to find some lunch. The only problem was that we couldn’t get cash from any of the ATM’s! In addition to that, none of the restaurants nearby took credit cards. We were starving, so we purchased some junk food at a convenience store (the one spot that we found that would accept our credit card) to tide us over.

Tokyo_Japan_Photo_Essay

Little did we know the only spots you can withdrawal cash from a foreign bank account are at 7-11’s and post offices. We didn’t have wifi until we were able to check into our hotel, so we didn’t know that was the reason our cards weren’t working in the ATM’s. Once we checked into the hotel, we realized our mistake and immediately found a 7-11 nearby. I guess it’s something we should have looked into before arriving in Japan, but oh well, it gave us a good laugh nonetheless!

Technical Issues

The only item on the list that is truly depressing and not one bit laughable is our technical issues. First, when we were in Japan, we somehow managed to lose every video shot of the snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs. I have no idea what happened, but we are so bummed that we lost it! It was some of our favorite footage from the trip.

The next technical failure is equally depressing—my hard drive crashed. It was a portable hard drive that held everything from this past year, and the cheapest quote I could find was $1,500 to recover the data. We have a good portion of the data backed up, but I know I definitely lost some files—I’m not sure how many. At this point, we are going to wait and see if we come across anything else we lost, and then we can decide if it’s worth the cost to fix it. I would hate to spend that much and find out I have most everything backed up elsewhere! Goal for 2016: always remember to back up my files and keep them organized…

Skiing Tumble in Utah

I learned to ski on the hills of Minnesota. Although I’m pretty good at staying on my feet, I found out in the mountains of Utah that I have absolutely no control. I realized that my skiing consists of basically “snow plowing” the entire way down. This works perfect on the small hills back home, but as you can imagine, it doesn’t work so well in the mountains when the hills are much steeper and the runs are much longer. Add in the heavy, wet slush on a warm day in Utah and it’s a recipe for disaster. I could barely make it down the hill and ended up falling and twisting my knee. I was fine after a couple of days, but it really shook me up and I lost any confidence that I did have on the slopes. Luckily, I had some time to practice last winter, so I’m slowly learning how to actually control myself on skis a bit more. Hopefully, I’ll have some more time to practice again this winter!

Skiing at Sundance Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah

Getting Completely Burned Out and Exhausted

One major challenge we faced this year was our crazy work schedule. I’m definitely not complaining because we sure had some amazing adventures as well as constant work, but that doesn’t mean it was always easy. We were on the road almost every day from January-August and were working super long days the entire time. We both got a huge case of burnout and were hoping to turn that around towards the end of the year, but somehow we managed to continue our pace straight on through to 2016. I got super behind on all things blog related (I still have over 50 posts to write about from the past year!), and was on the brink of exhaustion due to getting an average of 3-5 hours of sleep most nights. Micah struggled with his business a bit as he was taken away from building connections with local clients. As much as we love to travel, he needs to have some local work when we are home, as well! We wouldn’t trade this past year for anything because it really was great, but it definitely was exhausting!

Almost Running Out of Gas in Canada/Montana

While heading home from our road trip to Glacier National Park and Banff, we realized our gas tank was nearing empty. We figured we would get gas at the small border town when crossing from Canada back into the United States. Well, we thought wrong! We found out that the town consisted of only a super small border patrol office. No gas station, nothing. We asked the border patrol where the nearest station was, and were given the comforting response of 45 miles. Which was perfect, because our gaslight came on only a few short minutes later. After a tense 35 minute drive, we rolled into the next town and up to the nearest gas pump. Thankfully, we didn’t run out of gas, but it did make for a stressful drive. At least we now know how far our car can go on empty!

Photo Essay: National Parks in the United States and Canada

Getting on the Wrong Train in Japan

We’ve been known to quickly hop on a train thinking it was the right one, only to find out as we left that we were, in fact, on the wrong train. Japan was no exception! We got on a train in Kyoto and were attempting to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, but instead of picking the regular train, we got on the express train. Plus, we ended up sitting on the train for about 20 minutes before we even realized our mistake! I have no idea where we were, but it definitely was far away from Kyoto. Thankfully, we hopped on a return train and eventually made it to the shrine with time to spare.

Tokyo_Japan_Photo_Essay

Hiking Fail at Cape Split in Nova Scotia

We couldn’t help but laugh at this one. When researching things to do in Nova Scotia, Micah came across the hike to Cape Split. The scenery looked gorgeous so we decided to plan in a day for the hike. It was a longer hike—around 6 miles or so each way, but we were excited to get started. The sky was a little foggy as we pulled up to start the hike, but we set out anyways. Boy, did we get a nice surprise when we got to the top. The fog was so thick we could hardly see each other, let alone the beautiful views! What was supposed to be gorgeous cliffs jutting up out of bright blue water, looked like this:

Cape Split, Nova Scotia, Canada

At least we got a few moody photos and some great exercise out of the hike!

Internet Troubles in Italy

When we book Airbnb’s, we always make sure they have wifi as we need to work on the road. Well, I guess we should have read the reviews a bit better because many of them mentioned the non-working wifi and empty promises of getting it fixed. When we checked in, we got the password from the host and everything seemed to be ok, until the Internet stopped working a few minutes later. The service kept bumping us out, and eventually stopped working all together. We contacted the host and she said it would be fixed by the next day. And, then the next day. And, then the next day. We were only staying four days in total, so after the second day of it not working we just gave up and got wifi at McDonalds as that was the only spot we could find a good connection. Looking back, we should have contacted Airbnb to rectify the situation. Going forward, I’ve learned to not take reviews so lightly!

Photo Essay, Bologna, Italy, Europe

Getting Rained Out in Savannah, Georgia

I’ve wanted to visit Savannah for years, so when we were on yet another road trip to Florida this past fall, we made a detour and finally stopped in Savannah. After a wonderful afternoon of exploring in gorgeous weather, it started to rain. We are fine dealing with a little bit of rain, but then we heard about the weather forecast for the remainder of the week. Georgia was expecting severe storms, flash floods and awful traffic, and there was no way we wanted to get caught up in that. So, instead of spending the night as we planned, we decided to head back to the car and keep driving. Thankfully, we avoided the worst of the storms, but I was so bummed that our time in Savannah was cut short!

Savannah, Georgia Photo Essay

Caught in a Rainstorm at Glacier National Park

We were on a road trip with a couple of friends and had a full day of driving before we arrived in Glacier National Park. We pulled up just before dark and snagged the last campsite available in the Sprague Creek Campground. After quickly setting up camp, we made our way to check out the sunset over Lake McDonald, and then it was time for dinner. Just as we got everything set up to cook our meal over the fire, the skies opened up and completely drenched us. Our food, camping gear and clothes were all soaked almost immediately. We threw everything we could into the car and tried waiting out the rain. After the rain refused to subside, we eventually decided we were too hungry to wait, so we made sandwiches in the car instead. All I can say is perfect timing and cheers to a soggy night! At least it gave us a good laugh.

Glacier National Park Lake McDonald

Forgetting our Fire Starter at Voyageurs National Park

Apparently, we had some issues with cooking at the campgrounds this year because we had another incident in Voyageurs National Park! Campsites in the park are only accessible by boat, and our car was an hour boat ride away from our campsite. Again, right around sunset, we decided that we were going to cook dinner over the fire, but this time we realized we forgot our fire starter in the car! Thankfully, we were able to flag down the one boat that passed by that evening and they were kind enough to give us their lighter. I can’t believe we forgot something so important and had another campsite cooking debacle to add to the list!

Camping at Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Cracking my Brand New Phone

My iPhone was on its last limb—the screen was falling off and you could peer inside at all of the intricate electronics. I had tried to keep it for as long as possible, but this was the end of the road for my long-lived iPhone 5. While in Arizona, we decided it was time to join the masses and upgrade to an iPhone 6. All was well and good until we got home a few days later. I had yet to buy a screen protector for my brand new phone, and ended up dropping it face down when I stood up to get out of the car. It fell maybe a foot or two, but that was enough to do some major damage. My screen shattered. I was happy that we had insurance on our phones until I was told that it would be $200 to fix the screen. I called around and luckily found a spot to fix it for $100, but it was so frustrating that I broke my brand new phone in a mere 5 days!

Breaking our Camera

I guess we encountered a few too many electronic troubles this year because we ended up breaking our DSLR camera, as well. Micah was photographing a wedding and had his camera on a tripod, when all of a sudden, a big gust of wind knocked over his light which in turn knocked over his camera. It went crashing to the ground and promptly stopped working. Luckily, it was at the end of the night and it didn’t ruin the wedding photos. The problem however, was that we were booked for over a month solid starting the following week, and we didn’t have a backup camera. Thankfully, we have business insurance (and an amazing brother/insurance agent to call at 10pm on a Friday night!), and we were able to get our camera replaced prior to the start of our next job. This debacle made us realize how important it is to have a back up camera—we’ve since rectified that situation, so maybe it was a positive incident overall.

Do you have any travel mishaps to share from 2015?

 

30 Comments
  • Joella
    Posted at 16:38h, 07 January Reply

    We went to Japan last year too and I can’t for the life of me remember what we did about ATMs. I don’t remember even using them but I’m sure we wouldn’t have taken enough cash to last for 2 weeks. I had a Union Pay card from my Chinese account which is more common in Asia- maybe we used that. This is going to bug me now as I normally remember random details that haha! Happy New Year!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 19:51h, 07 January Reply

      Too funny! Yeah, I wonder if it was different since you had a Chinese account?! Glad you didn’t have any trouble–that you remember anyways! 🙂 Happy New Year to you, too!!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Travel Mishaps from 2015My Profile

  • Les Petits Pas de Juls
    Posted at 00:21h, 08 January Reply

    I love that you could balance the “good” bad and the “bad” bad… and that nothing too serious happened to any of you!
    50 posts to come on the blog!?! wow, you really got us covered, right? I’m eager to find out what fun they are about and how much more you’ll make me drool over your adventures.

    Wishing you a fabulous 2016 to keep on the good vibe of 2015 (you’re ones of the few who actually enjoyed that year… I’m not a fan, even though I had great moments, it was definitely not the best, unfortunately…).
    Happy trails and adventuring! Enjoy!
    Les Petits Pas de Juls recently posted…The Unlikely Forest Walk in ParisMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:44h, 12 January Reply

      Lol, yeah we definitely have a ton to share still! Lots of fun adventures coming up 🙂 Bummer 2015 wasn’t the best for you–hope 2016 is wonderful and full of amazing adventures! Enjoy the year and happy travels!!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Mama Munchkin (
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:19h, 08 January Reply

    Wow… you guys have been through a lot of mishaps :0 Bound to happen I suppose when you travel a ton. I remember taking the wrong train in Italy with our 4 kids in tow. We got off at the next stop thinking it was an easy fix but that station did not have the connection we needed. We grabbed an uber and made it to Termini only to see the trains were on strike. Not fun… we missed our tour, the kids were hot and hungry- blech
    Mama Munchkin ( recently posted…Protected: Your Travel Hacks are here!!!My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:46h, 12 January Reply

      Oh wow–wrong train with 4 kids would be quite stressful, especially after all the hassle and missing the tour! 🙁
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Jessica
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:06h, 08 January Reply

    I was just talking about this the other day! When we were in Greece a few years back, we had to return the rental car with a full tank of gas. Of course we decided to wait until the last possible second (night before our SUPER early flight), and we figured gas stations were open super late like they are here in the US (at least near where we live!) Well, we thought wrong, and all the gas stations were closed… and we were on empty.. the light came on and we thought we would be stranded. Finally we found a station (a while away) that was open, but our credit card wouldn’t work. We had to go to the ATM to take out cash, but my husband forgot his debit card and we had no choice but to take out a bit of money against our credit card, ugh! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…Life and Travel 2015 | Highlights of the YearMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:50h, 12 January Reply

      That’s one thing we always have a hard time remembering–we always forget places aren’t open 24/7 everywhere, too! Such a frustrating situation especially with having to use your credit card for cash! Glad you found an open station though!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Rob
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:45h, 08 January Reply

    Wow what a year. Your tech troubles would be one of my worst nightmares, broken cameras, broken hard drives, lost footage of the snow monkeys, heartbreaking. You physical mishaps certainly are a downer. Here is hoping that the New Year will bring you less mishaps.
    Rob recently posted…Living Costs UK- How we Traveled 8 Weeks in the UK on $55 a DayMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:52h, 12 January Reply

      Yeah, the tech troubles were definitely the hardest to deal with! The physical ones are always quite comical, thankfully–nothing too serious! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Rand Blimes
    Twitter:
    Posted at 00:14h, 09 January Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I would say you didn’t do too badly, really. I speak fluent Japanese, and every time I am in Japan I wonder how people who don’t speak the language ever get around in the country. I empathize with your hard drive crash as I had a similar thing happen this year. But what doesn’t kill us . . .
    Rand Blimes recently posted…Not a Guide to Mae ChaemMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:09h, 13 January Reply

      That’s too bad you had a similar thing happen with the hard drive–such a frustrating thing to happen. That’s great you speak fluent Japanese–what a cool language to know and it would definitely make it easier to travel around the country!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Janna (
    Posted at 04:19h, 09 January Reply

    What a fun post! I like how you guys showed the other side of traveling. I actually have experienced a few mishaps last year but I didn’t let it get me down. I think it’s important to know that it’s not always going to be rainbows and sunshines. 🙂

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:12h, 13 January Reply

      Thanks! Glad you didn’t let the mishaps get you down either–they are always going to happen so it’s best to be prepared for them! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • antonette
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:57h, 09 January Reply

    Ohhh where do I start … I love posts like these! Like you, I snowplow and always feel like a complete failure when I see people going all crazy on their way down. Hmmm as for my mishaps … I caught a tick and in Sweden and got on antibiotics for that, I bruised my ankle 3 days before going to Alaska and couldn’t walk properly all throughout the trip, I got really bad food poisoning at Everest Base Camp trek for 7 days … that’s all I can think of right now, so it was quite a good year. Ohh and I totally get what you’re saying about being burned out. I’ve reached that point, slowed down, and am getting to that point again. It’s OK though, but sometimes the thought of still having to write so much, makes me sick. Happy 2016 and I wish you guys all the best adventures for the new year!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:20h, 13 January Reply

      Ooo the food poisoning sounds brutal! Always a bummer to have an ankle injury and medical issues, too. Hope you get some time to relax and catch up–the backlog of writing is definitely a challenge! Happy 2016 to you too and hope your travels are amazing this year!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Mar
    Twitter:
    Posted at 01:26h, 10 January Reply

    Wow you went through so many mishaps! Great that you keep your spirits high! Japan ATMs are a hassle, I had the same issues, who would have thought in Japan right? Of all places. I am sure you learned a few lessons from all these 🙂
    Mar recently posted…Beach, Pls! 10 less known beaches in Southeast Asia to warm your heartMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:26h, 13 January Reply

      Yeah, definitely learned quite a few lessons 🙂 We were so surprised about the ATMs as well–so frustrating, lol!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Lindsay Nieminen
    Twitter:
    Posted at 11:11h, 10 January Reply

    Wow! what a list! i was going to comment on the tip for the 7/11s in Japan! thanks for sharing. But then reading about the camera tipping over, that just made my stomach turn!! every photographers worst nightmare is a dropped camera or lens! my son dropped one of my lenses from just a foot off the ground and it cost me $300 to fix it (and 2 weeks to get it back!) ugh!!! thanks for sharing your list! it was a good read!
    Lindsay Nieminen recently posted…What is GeoCaching?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:31h, 13 January Reply

      Thanks and glad you enjoyed! Ugh is right about the camera–frustrating your lens broke! Time consuming and expensive! Hope the 7/11 tip for Japan helps for when you visit sometime!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Rosemary
    Posted at 13:49h, 10 January Reply

    There is always the good and the bad that comes with travel. What’s important is how you handle the situation. Looks like you were able to make best out of all your mishaps in 2015 and ultimately enjoy the journey:) Good to know about ATMS in Japan. Good for you both for taking time off after your burn out. It’s important to listen to the body. Happy travels for 2016!
    Rosemary recently posted…Machu Picchu – The Fulfillment Of A DreamMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:36h, 13 January Reply

      Definitely agree what matters is how you handle the situation, and taking a break is always necessary once in awhile! Happy travels to you for 2016, as well!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Mia
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:54h, 10 January Reply

    My biggest travel mishap was in Florence when I booked too much time in between our arrival from Venice and our next train to Rome. We planned to see David and a few other museums but we were exhausted mid-way through our afternoon. At one point, I stood sobbing in front of Santa Maria Novella train station. I was a mess! Glad I’m not alone in my mishaps.
    Mia recently posted…Turning 40 and Fleeing the CountryMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:38h, 13 January Reply

      We always try to pack too much in too, and it’s so stressful when you are too exhausted for exploring! Sorry you had such frustrating experience in Florence! Happy travels for 2016!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • kami
    Twitter:
    Posted at 01:42h, 11 January Reply

    That’s a really good post! I believe we need to talk about mishaps as well, not only about good things as traveling isn’t always rainbows and unicorns! My biggest mishap was in Malta where I was close to missing my flight back home because I was in such a huge pain I couldn’t move. I actually wrote the whole post about it as it was a really good life lesson to me.
    I’m hoping to go to Japan this year so it’s really good to know about ATMs, I will keep it in mind!
    kami recently posted…Visit Iran – practical informationMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:43h, 13 January Reply

      Thanks, Kami! I’ll have to check out the post–it’s always nice to read about life lessons. Too bad you almost missed your flight, it sounds like a frustrating experience!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Puerto RicoMy Profile

  • Ronald Robbins
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:00h, 13 January Reply

    Wow – it sounds like you had quite the year of mishaps! lol I’ve certainly been in your shoes before though. Have jumped on plenty of trains with no idea where I’m going (some on purpose, others an accident) and I usually tend to get dinged up from doing something I shouldn’t have done in the first place. haha

    When I was out in Aspen, I decided to do so downhill mountain biking. One thing led to another so I decided to go after one of the big jumps….that was a mistake. Ended up tumbling down the side of the mountain with my arms and legs scraped up and a giant bruise on the left side…a no wonder how I didn’t break my ribs! lol
    Ronald Robbins recently posted…Everglades National Park – A Look Inside Big CypressMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 05:28h, 17 February Reply

      Lol, yeah it was quite the year! Would be fun to just hop on a train and see where it ends up–maybe we will have to try that sometime! And that bike accident sounds awful! Glad you end up with only scratches and bruises even thought the sound pretty brutal!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Snowshoeing at the Minnesota Landscape ArboretumMy Profile

  • Lauren
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:01h, 13 January Reply

    Wow. Those are a LOT of mishaps. I know these things happen but … wow! I’m glad you can look back on it and you seem to have a good attitude! I can totally relate with the klutzy things, I’ve had my share of falls on hiking trips and I seem to always be bashing my limbs into things. And you totally reminded me that I need to buy another hard drive to back up all of my stuff!

    All the best for 2016 and I think you’ve had your share of mishaps so…time for things to go smoothly, right!
    Lauren recently posted…Planning the Perfect Quebec City Winter GetawayMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 05:25h, 17 February Reply

      Lol, yeah there were quite a few of them throughout the year! Thankfully always helps to laugh about it 🙂 Hope you guys have a great 2016 and hope that everything goes smoothly for you as well!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Snowshoeing at the Minnesota Landscape ArboretumMy Profile

Post A Comment

CommentLuv badge