Recollections From the Road


One of my favorite parts of traveling the world is collecting interesting, random, unique or hilarious travel stories. I’ve always been a huge fan of stories, thanks to my parents teaching me to read at an early age and then always taking us to the library as kids. Books can take you to so many cool places before you are old enough to go travel on your own!

Now that I’ve spent the last few years living in different countries around the world, I often find myself laughing at my circumstances and saying “you just can’t make this stuff up.” Life overseas is fertile ground for funny stories. Just last night I climbed up on my bathroom counter, phone in hand, to film a gecko that I thought was stalking a cockroach on my shower (totally gross, I know). Unfortunately the gecko did nothing to help me get rid of the cockroach, but I do now have a funny video of the entire incident. In the end I sprayed the cockroach with some bug spray that I happened to have in the bathroom and forgot all about it. Until this morning when I was in the shower and suddenly looked down. The dead cockroach was about two inches from my bare feet. I screamed and jumped out of the shower, thankful that at least I hadn’t stepped on it. But I did have to scrub the shower floor before I could get back in.

I could write so many stories about various creatures from around the world. I could write about being dive bombed by a flying fox while walking down the street in Brisbane, or about almost hitting an emu that ran in front of my car while driving in Western Australia. I could tell stories about the koala we found in the middle of the road in Victoria, or about the time we had to drive around a mother cow and her nursing calf in the middle of a main road in Queensland. Or of all the times I had to slow way down to drive past kangaroos standing in the middle of the road in Western Australia. Come to think of it, most of my animal stories seem to involve driving. And Australia. Australia is pretty much an animal lover’s paradise, they are everywhere.

Our little koala friend in the road

I could also write funny stories about life overseas. Like the one time the electrical outlets stopped working in my room in Moscow and our landlord called an electrician who said he’d come at midnight. True to his word he showed up after 12 and then proceeded to ask me for Scotch tape to fix the problem. Seriously. Those are the moments where you go “is this for real right now?” And they seem to happen quite often while living overseas.

One time while living in Moscow I was on the bus at around 10:30 pm. Suddenly the bus driver stopped the bus and told us we all had to get off. He gave us our money back but I was confused as to why we were suddenly finished in the middle of the route. A few guys who could speak a little English told me, “bus driver finished. Go home. Wife. Kids.” And that was that. I walked the rest of the way home while a gentle snowfall swirled around me. I had the biggest smile on my face at the absurdity of it and could only think “only in Russia.” (I would not have been smiling had it not been only 2 bus stops away from where I was going to get off anyway. It added to my walk home, to be sure, but gave me a funny story to tell.)

The view out my bedroom window in Moscow

Maybe I should also mention that I’m actually sitting in my bathroom right now to type this, thanks to whoever built my room and decided that only one electrical outlet was necessary. My roommate just walked by and laughed at me sitting here on the closed toilet, laptop perched on the counter. And she’s seen me do this before. Oh, the things we do when we live in unique places.

I could tell so many stories of major miscommunication and nearly missed train stations. Of countless moments that took my breath away and hilarious moments that made me laugh until I cried. Travel is impossible to sum up in just a few words. It’s magical. It’s funny. It’s challenging. It’s invigorating. It’s tiring. It’s immensely more than you ever dreamed it could be. And it gives you so many more stories than anyone back home would ever want to hear.

I absolutely LOVE hearing others’ crazy stories from their life overseas. What are some of the funniest things that have happened to you while overseas?