(Photo above, I volunteered to be the first person into a hot mud bath in Fiji, so murky you can’t see the bottom I was so afraid of what was lurking beneath but I swear I got use to it and enjoyed it even though you might not think that from the look on my face…)

After recently having a baboon jump on me (long story for another day) and it being “scary” season (Halloween) I have been inspired to write this post about scary travel. I was thinking about the different types of travel / travel related activities out there that some might consider scary but then I had another thought. Travel itself can be a scary thing for many. People are afraid to leave their jobs, they are too scared to leave the every day norm and to some even thinking the thought of stepping on a plane is scary. Others might be confident enough to get out the door and get on that plane but then the fear comes when you loose your map or can’t find your way to your hostel. Some people crave that fear/adventure and others… well they fear the fear.

Most times I hate not having control of things and not knowing what might happen next but I also crave the fear and like to push myself to the edge by doing scary things. Some I may never try again, but I can at least say I did them once.

Here is a list of some of the scary (to me) things that I have done on my travels.

Travel by myself

I feel like I’ve always been a fairly independent person and in 2007 I went on my first solo trip. I was a bit anxious / scared of the idea but I really wanted to do it at the same time. Funnily enough friends of my mother were on the same flight as me and even took the same tube line as me into the city but after I got off at my stop I was all alone. At that point in my travels I had never stayed at a hostel either, thinking they were dirty and people would rob me of all of my belongings I paid more than I should of to stay at a hotel near Russel square. I then spent two days by myself in London before joining a Contiki tour of 45 people through out Europe and by then I think I had conquered my fear and that is when I started craving to travel solo.

Eating different foods

I’m not talking about trying McDonalds in a different country (but while on the subject I’ll have you know the burgers in Australia taste nothing like the burgers in Canada!). I’m talking about trying foods “not available” in Canada. When I was in Fiji I was constantly hearing about Kava a drink I knew nothing about, I was told everyone drank it and “was known to relax a person without disrupting mental clarity” it made my tongue and stomach numb… at first I was worried about it but as you can see in this video I embraced it / loved it.

Another thing that I was afraid to eat was on a recent trip to Iceland and the horrid fermented shark, I almost threw up like 3 times trying to eat the two little cubes of it… but I did it as you can see in this video. Never will I try that one again.

Visiting something scary

The idea of the catacombs in Paris or Rome or anywhere else was a scary idea for me the minute I heard about them but while on a trip with my University to France in 2006 it was something I had to see. Located in the south of the city underground in tunnels that use to be stone mines for the city are the bones of 6 million people stacked one on top of the other on display for people to see. A long time ago when the city was expanding they ran out of room in the cemeteries and this was the next best place they found for the remains. (read more here on wiki) It was a scary place seeing all of those skulls and bones one on top of the other. The people that worked underground guarding them were creepy and because you aren’t allowed to use flash photography I got some pretty creepy photographs.

(Photo above, an extremely ghostly looking photo of me and lots of bones in the Paris Catacombs)

Facing your fears

I have yet to jump out of  plane or off a tall building, those at the moment are far too scary for me. I have however gone caving in search of glow worms in New Zealand where you are tucked into small spaces and jump backwards off of a waterfall in the pitch black. Scary but I did it.  I’ve also climbed the Sydney harbour Bridge in Australia 440feet above the water, can be a bit nerve wracking but was an awesome experience.

(Photo above, at the very top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with my friend Henry)

What kind of scary things have you done on your travels? Maybe you are afraid of planes? Everyone has a fear or are scared of something. I’m interested to hear what you find scary and how you overcome those things 🙂

 ~Cailin