Nine Travel Bloggers Trapped on a Bus

Posted on Posted in Asia, Best Of Series, Blog

Nine travel bloggers trapped on a bus in Indonesia proceed to regale each other with stories from around the world…

On our recent trip to Indonesia we got to spend a week with seven other travel bloggers. As you can imagine, between the nine of us we’ve traversed the globe a few times over and have a whole heap of stories to tell about our adventures.

One of our many bus trips in Indonesia got us talking about our most memorable travel moments.

Funny moments. Scary moments. Unsavoury moments. Breathtaking moments. Confronting moments.

As travelers, it’s this collection of moments that fuel our desire to travel more and more. I think it’s fair to say that none of us are planning on staying in one place any time soon!

On one of our bus trips around Indo we decided it would be fun to share a selection of our memorable travel moments with you guys in a collaboration post.

So, here’s a collection of travel tales from us to you!

Tales from Nine Travel Bloggers Trapped on a Bus!

Meet Chris from Aussie on the Road!


I’d like to regale you with the tale of my golden baptism. I was staying in a hostel in Manila and had an early flight, so I had a rare night of sobriety. My roommate, a nameless Danish rogue, did not share my plans and staggered into our room falling down drunk at around 3am.

Two hours after his drunken arrival, I awoke to a meaty thump as he tumbled out of his bunk and onto the concrete floor.

“Are you alright mate?” I asked. My answer came in the form of a thick, piping hot stream of urine to the face.

Gagging on the reek of it and terrified that my beard would never be clean again, I shoved the guy away and I fought my way to my feet despite the deluge directed at my mug.

The noise summoned a security guard who questioned why one of us had his penis out and the other was threatening to tear it off.

“He pissed on me!” I roared.

“Listen buddy,” the Dane explained, “I’m not the guy who goes around pissing on people”.

“You’ve pissed on 66% of the people in this room!”

The guard held us apart and sent me to take a shower, but all the perfumes of Arabia could not get the acrid stink out of my poor beard.

It was rough.

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Meet Dave (Jonesy) from Jones Around the World!


I was in the southern part of Cebu Island in the Philippines. I was staying at a beautiful beach side area called Moalboal, and was planning my next day of activities.

I decided to rent a moto and drive all the way down the southern coast of the island, and around to Oslob to go swimming with whale sharks. Afterwards I saw signs for a waterfall that I wanted to check out, and spent an hour there swimming and relaxing at one of the most beautiful cascading falls I’ve ever seen.

The day had been going perfectly…

I decided it was time to go home and was following a different route that was an option on Google Maps.

I kept climbing up and up over this mountain, and kept thinking I would surely descend soon. I eventually hit the top, and the street basically disappeared.  I asked people if I could continue down this path and I was hearing different advice from the locals. Basically that this road was too advanced for my shitty 100cc Honda scooter.

After realizing the time, I had no option but to attempt this ridiculous road down the mountain.

The best way to describe this “street” would be an intense hiking trail.  It was comprised mainly of large rocks, which made it very difficult to manoeuver down safely with a scooter.

Not a single person came up or down this “road” while I was on it. I was terrified it was going to break down and I’d be stranded.

But fortunately after a few minor scratches – and a ridiculous amount of swearing — I made it down to the main road.

Google Maps…you failed me.

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Meet Silke from Happiness and Things!

One of my most memorable travel experiences and one of the reasons why I love to travel: a story of an unexpected find.

Kotor is an ancient town in Montenegro with a pristine old town and an impressive medieval city wall. It zigzags all the way to the top of the mountain behind the city to a ruined fortress overlooking the town and the bay.

We visited Kotor as part of a cruise, and a walk on the city walls to that fortress was one of the highlights of the day.

Halfway up the mountain we noticed a sign that said, in English, “church” but it was actually pointing to the opposite direction, away from the fortress. I decided to have a look and once I had crawled through a hole in the wall and walked for a couple of meters into a valley I ended up at a small church, which turned out to be around 1,000 years old.

The church was surrounded by tall grass, wildflowers, butterflies and crudely fenced paddocks. Inside it smelled of goats, the painted plaster was all but gone and the roof had a big gaping hole. Yet, the age of the church and the fact that it was not easy to find made this one of the best experiences in Montenegro.

This hidden church is hardly mentioned anywhere and finding it by chance was such a surprise!

Read all about it here. 

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Meet Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi!


May 2013, Las Vegas – Somehow we coordinated nine kiwis to meet up in Las Vegas for a four-day reunion. The 3rd night was to be the night we were going to be ‘ballers’.

We were disciplined during the day, keeping beers to a minimum before heading to dinner. I try to be a friendly vegan so didn’t say no to steak & strippers…at least the latter I could relate to.

We made our order, a green salad for me. Not exactly enough to line the stomach for the shenanigans to come.

Eventually we were all served food; my hapless salad was going down alright before the topless waitresses came along. We were the largest group in the ‘restaurant’ so we had a girl each on our lap for a chat.

I’m not going to say no to some banter but she insisted on eating some of my sliced tomatoes. I gave her a couple but then she wanted more. I told her my dilemma.

A vegan in Las Vegas, at a steakhouse with the lads, trying to line my stomach for the night with a green salad. And a topless waitress sitting on my lap eating my sliced tomatoes.

Somehow we ended up chatting about the pros on cons of being vegan…

The evening started off in a weird fashion but all was well and we partied the night away in Marquee.

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Meet Shandos from Travelnuity!


Often, the funniest travel experiences don’t seem so funny at the time.

This was certainly the case when I “nearly got arrested” in Venice. Not that those are even my own words, but those my family use to refer to this story every time they gleefully bring it up.

So, what caused me to “nearly get arrested”? Was it leaving a bar without paying for a Bellini? Drunken carousing along the narrow streets? Perhaps littering into the not-so-sweet-smelling canals? Nothing so serious…

It was my first overseas trip after finishing university, travelling solo. After a mainly accident-free week in southern and central Italy, I was on the way to Venice and had to change trains. I was presented with the option of a train to “Venezia” or “Vincenza”.

Now, never trust the wisdom of an Englishman, because listening to such a fellow tourist, I boarded the train to the latter. After realizing I was returning back through the same stations I’d just passed, I got off at the next station and luckily straight onto a train heading to my intended destination of Venezia (Venice’s proper name). Happy to have averted a potential-crisis on my solo holiday, I then relaxed for the remaining 15-minute trip.

But prior to arriving in Venice, there was one final hurdle: the ticket-inspector. He brusquely informed me that I was sitting in the first-class carriage, but only had a second-class ticket. Being an Australian, I’d forgotten such a thing existed! So, rather than heading off to find a hostel, instead I was directed to the stationmaster’s office. Not that they “arrested” me. After sitting for a nerve-wracking 20 minutes and being unable to communicate in a common language, they took my passport and address details, and I was free.

And the fine? It never arrived!

Read more about how she nearly got arrested here.

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Meet Jasmine from Nomad Girl!



Unforgettable Sensory Overload. Arriving in Delhi. Solo.

My first time in India.

The smell. The cows. The noise. The traffic. The hustle and the bustle. The saris. The beautifully dressed women with accessories galore. The goats in the main streets. The sidewalk urinals.

I arrived in Delhi in the evening. Darkness was quickly approaching. I had heard so many horror stories from other solo females travellers about their experiences in India. I started to doubt my decision to be here. Are you crazy?! I thought to myself.

I quickly noted the address of my hotel on the back of my flight ticket to give to the taxi incase there was any miscommunication. I stepped out of the airport, wearing a strappy black dress and casual scarf.

Immediately I was hustled by drivers. I walked to the taxi rank and smoothly started the journey into the city. Driving past many slums on the way both saddened me and made me feel a little uneasy as the sun was setting.

Finally arriving in the heart of Delhi as the sun had fallen, the driver got out and put my bags to the side of the road, and pointed down a small alleyway. “Your hotel is at the end ma’am” he explained.

I exited the taxi. Immediately the smell of urine and feces assaulted my senses. This was apparently the ‘backpacker street’. The ‘Khao San’ of Delhi. The sidewalk was chaotic. Street food, saris, cows blocking traffic. It seemed as if every single car was tooting their horn.

I made it to my hotel. I questioned my decision to be here again. I had been told countless of times “do not go out alone after dark”. Nevertheless, I went out exploring at night, wandering the market bazars and eating street food.

That night, I ate dinner with 6 men who decided to join me while I was sitting alone at an open-air restaurant. I was also proposed to. I had my arm painted in henna. I had a man give me a scarf and bracelet. I participated in prayer time in a temple. My hand and arm was grabbed by men walking by countless of times. I was photographed 100’s of times. I was filmed. Stared at. I was given some bindis to wear. And met shop owners.

The next morning, I ventured out to explore one of my favourite cities. Complete with bindi, Indian scarf and feeling confident that I would meet friendly locals and have the experience of a lifetime, as I had done the night before.

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Meet Aga from A Matter of Taste


 When we were in Nagoya, in the middle of summer (and if you haven’t experienced Japanese summer – it’s very hot) we walked around in the sun for a few hours. I didn’t feel too good from the heat and decided we should stop somewhere for ice cream. Almost immediately I spotted a shop with a big plastic soft-serve green tea ice cream in front and went inside while my two companions waited for me and ice creams outside.

Inside the shop was an elderly man. With my Japanese language skills (I know a few words, mostly food related) I ordered three ice creams. He looked at me – I bet I looked terribly red and tired – sat me down, brought three cups of cold green tea and invited my companions inside. We drank our cold tea very quickly, ate the ice creams and cooled down under a fan.

We were ready to leave but more cups of cold tea appeared in front of us and now the whole family. The man, his wife and daughter were standing there, looking at us and smiling. We drank the tea, paid for the ice cream and started to move towards the door. Then, they tried to have a conversation with us. With their very limited English and our very limited Japanese, we had a quick chat about our trip. We wanted to catch the next train to Kyoto so we were trying to thank them again for taking such great care of us and exit the shop. That’s when they spotted our big metal bottle we carried in the backpack and suggested they will give us a drink to go.

They cleaned the bottle, filled it with ice and green tea. The best green tea I’ve ever had – life saving. We were there maybe for 20 minutes, but when we finally left, they followed us to the door waving, smiling and saying goodbyes. We’ve felt like we just visited a very close family and believe me, it wasn’t easy to say goodbye.

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And finally us…The Freedom Travellers!

On our trip to Sri Lanka (where we started The Freedom Travellers!) we’d decided that one of the things we wanted to tick off our list was spotting blue whales!

I picked Raja and the Whales to take us out on the high seas to spot Moby Dick after reading about them in Lonely Planet as one of the companies who are running safe and ethical trips to spot blue whales.

We headed out of the harbor that morning with excitement and anticipation but very quickly we realized that this might not be such a good day to try and spot blue whales.

Just a short distance out of the harbor, our modest boat was tackling some VERY big waves. Needless to say this resulted in several people getting seasick…very seasick. As time went on, the conditions got progressively worse. More vomit, tears, screaming, the lot. People were also getting soaked as the swell crashed against the boat and over onto the deck. A few people were begging with the crew to turn the boat around and go back.

To say we were a little freaked out by the enormous swell would be an understatement. Luckily neither of us got sick but we were definitely scoping out the lifeboat situation. Yep, it was that bad. Raja and his crew were very attentive and reassured everyone that the boat was perfectly safe and wasn’t going to capsize!

Raja made the point that if we wanted to see whales this was the only way we were going to do it so those people had to shut up and put up with it. I did feel sorry for the kids on board who were sick and obviously scared out of their wits!

The trip was usually a three-hour round trip but we ended up being out to sea for five grueling hours.

But did we see the whales I hear you cry?!

In short, no we did not see a blue whale. The dorsal fin of a blue whale is only 1/3 meter so pretty bloody small in relation to the size of its body. It was highly unlikely that we would spot that in huge swell!

This story ends on a high note though. As the trip went on two hours longer than expected and the conditions were not ideal Raja offered everyone a full refund or to come and do the trip another day! Good on you Raja!

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There you have it a collection of travel tales from nine travel bloggers trapped on a bus!

If you want to read more on the adventures that we had in Indonesia check this out. We all had a blast and had an epic adventure sailing around Komodo National Park and wrestling the biggest lizards on the planet. So cool!

What’s your most memorable (PG Rated) travel moment? Comment below as we’d love to hear it!

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Born in the USA. Raised in England. Relocated to Australia 6 years ago. You could say that she’s a bit of a world citizen.
With a degree in Brand Promotion & Journalism, Victoria loves the written word and as such is our resident writer. One of her fave things to do anytime of day is to enjoy a good breakfast accompanied by an equally good coffee.

Vic loves a good road trip where she can rock out to good tunes (and some not so good, ahem, Taylor Swift fan alert!). She’s a demon on the squash court and loves to scuba dive. One of her dreams is to cage dive with great white sharks…way outside her comfort zone! She loves to travel and has lived in five countries. Her plan is to add a few more to the list.

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