Behind the highlights: When shit goes wrong

Behind the highlights: When shit goes wrong

Endless adventures and travels, engagements and weddings, houses bought, babies born, ‘oh my god their life is so happy and perfect!’

Often when we see someone’s Instagram or Facebook, we can be forgiven for being a little envious of their seemingly perfect lives. We don’t often see behind the scenes, when things aren’t so peachy. Of course things go wrong, every now and then, for all of us. If we don’t have an actual conversation with someone we don’t know what’s actually going on in their lives. I share my travel photos mainly so my friends and family can see what I’m up to when I’m away for months at a time. And also hopefully maybe possibly inspire someone to go on an adventure themselves! (Well that’s my future travel blog goals anyway!)

Sharing is caring

Actually I think it’s natural for us to want to share our proudest moments, of course, but I also think taking a moment to acknowledge when shit goes wrong can make everyone feel a bit better about their circumstances if they’re not quite jetting off on a trip yet. I know travel bloggers can’t always pot about the annoying shit that happens to them. That’s not fun and it’s not why people read travel blogs. But I always felt relief when I read a travel bloggers post about their mishaps, it made them feel more real, more reachable, like oh so they experience that shit too. Phew, I thought it was just me.

So here’s my ‘when shit went wrong’ moments from the last couple of months:


Ah the once in a lifetime trip to Chernobyl that we nearly didn’t make. We arrived at London Bridge to get our train to Gatwick. ALL were DELAYED or CANCELLED! WTF?! Thank god I was with my boyfriend David (who can think quickly, which keeps me calm) and thank god we left early (this one goes to David as well) because we had time to get a train to Cannon Street, then walk/run to Blackfriars to get another train to Gatwick because the taxi we tried ordering cancelled on us. For once I’ll say thank goodness the flight was delayed! Because it meant we made it in time.

Plane Kiev My radical exploration When shit goes wrong
David and I, very happy to be on the plane to Kiev!

Then there was the nerve-racking wait at Kiev airport for my tourist visa, by myself. David zoomed through passport control ahead of me not quite realising what was involved in me getting the visa. So 2 hours later, forms are filled in, photo’s taken and a more than usual fee paid because ‘they didn’t have change’. So did not care at that point. I just wanted in so I handed them the money and said good day sir! At least there was a friendly Chinese girl there who started talking to me and offered me some of her chocolate.

So that made us 3 hours late to meet our Airbnb host, who had very nearly left as she had somewhere else to be that night. We walked around the street for about 10 minutes trying to find it, our trying-to-be helpful taxi driver watching us walk around like headless chickens. On top of that a babushka who must’ve known our host starts muttering and gesturing at us, like we just took a merry old stroll to get there, making us even more stressed! At least we got the keys to the flat in the end.

Kiev in Kiev

Oh and then I got food poisoning in Kiev. From a damn kiev. I’m normally vegetarian (obviously not a very good one) but I had to try a kiev in Kiev. I’m weird and ‘cultural’ like that. If I hadn’t had that damn Kiev I would’ve been fine! David ate way grosser stuff than me and didn’t get sick. Now I have to stop saying I’ve got an iron gut. I was up every hour purging like the exorcist. At least it stopped before our 2 hour ride to Chernobyl.

Chernobyl food poisoning my radical exploration Shit goes wrong
Welcome to Chernobyl! Struggling to stand up straight because only a couple of hours beforehand I was in the throes of food poisoning.

Leaving my love

My boyfriend David is British and lives in London. He has a really good career and a mortgage so he can’t just up and move to little ol New Zealand unfortunately. We don’t know when we’ll see each other again. So right now it’s kind of a grey haze when I think of our future. It’s completely out of my control. I had to leave the country because, you know, the government and risk of deportation and all that. I don’t know if that makes it easier or harder to leave. At least we know we love each other and we’ve done it before when I left London the first time. I also have the paradise of New Zealand to live in, with my friends and family who are so awesome!

Teething problems

And right now in Thailand, my wisdom tooth starts aching like never before! I’m about to leave for a tropical paradise island, which is 6 hours by bus, 30 minutes by ferry and an hours cab ride away from Bangkok and any dentist I’d even entertain the idea of seeing while in Thailand. I mean like I-can’t-eat-or-sleep-without-painkillers aching. So I’m having 3 square meals and a night-cap of ibuprofen and paracetamol a day.

I’ve just been lazing about all day, (ok that’s probably what I’d be doing anyway because tropical island) because I’m not that motivated to do anything. I thought I’d be pumping out a blog post every day or going exploring. Here I am writing this at 11pm the night before publishing because I know it needs to get done. I only finished it because my brain was jacked up on the first fruit I’ve had since Bangkok.

I had visions of the guy that got bit by the shark in The Beach. The one who is screaming in pain but they just leave for dead because they don’t want to take him to a doctor. So I’ve been praying/hoping that it will hold out until I’m back in New Zealand, which is still a week away. I don’t have time for this damn it! I’ve got places to see, things to do! At least the owners were kind enough to give me their paracetamol for free, and my tooth is starting to heal now.

Beach thailand Koh Chang When shit goes wrong
Trying to take a photo on a beach in Thailand, but my sore tooth means I can’t smile properly… Or is that how I look all the time?!

Still grateful

The point of this post is I wanted to show it’s not always smiles and smooth sailing while travelling. If you look behind the scenes you’ll see shit hit the fan a few times. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be with others, sometimes I’m by myself and have to put on my big girl pants and handle it. But I’m thankful for all of these experiences because they make me a stronger person. They make me grateful for when things go smoothly and hey they make for better stories now!

7 thoughts on “Behind the highlights: When shit goes wrong

  1. Such a great blog … so true. Thank goodness for Skype and instant messaging to the other side of the world. Starting to get your room ready. Love you.

  2. Speaking of being grateful, thank god I got braces when I was a teenager because they made sure to make room for my wisdom teeth to grow in so when they did I was spared the pain you went through. Sure I looked like jaws from James Bond and no girls would date me but it was worth it in the end.

    1. Ahahaha Jaws from James Bond! (I actually had to give him a quick google 😉 Braces seem like such a cruel punishment for a teenager but they’re the ones that have beautiful teeth for the rest of their life! 😀

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