07 Jan 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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:
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!
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!
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.
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!
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?