Everyone makes mistakes, here are some of the stupidest ones I’ve made while travelling. Not all of them endangered my life.

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1. Trying to get into the Canadian embassy thinking it was a member-style country club.

I’m not sure why I thought the embassy was a club and not a place of diplomatic business. Maybe it was all the movies I had seen, or maybe I was just hoping for a little house with a Tim Hortons. I tried my best to get into the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok, only to be turned away for not having an appointment – turns out they’re places for serious things. A friend I recently met had tried this as well with her embassy, so I don’t feel so stupid about the whole thing.

2. Missing a train to Bangkok because I left my retainer in the bathroom.

After a productive month in Northern Thailand I was making my way to Bangkok for the new year. I found my sleeper bunk on the train, threw my backpack onto the bed, and went to put on my retainer. Discovering it to be missing, I emptied my entire bag, quickly repacked, and ran off the train. I rushed back to my guest house, hoping to make it back in time before the train departed. The door was locked. I shelled out $200 for a flight the next morning.

3. Leaving my brand-new phone on a public piano after taking too many selfies.

It had been a while since I stayed at a hostel with a piano – so of course I needed to play. It had also been a while since my friends had received a snapchat from me, so I needed to send one. It apparently had also been a while since I used my brain, since I left my phone sitting there for nine hours. By the time I retraced my steps, it was thankfully still there. The piano wasn’t as popular as I thought.

4. Emptying an entire water bottle on my passport.

I had been exploring Istanbul with my friends from the hostel when I took my water bottle out of my backpack. I took a sip and mistakenly placed in back in my bag upside down without tightening the lid. A few minutes later my entire bag was soaked. I spent the rest of the afternoon drying my passport in public bathrooms with paper towels and hand dryers. I still travel with it today.

5. Boarding a mystery bus to Bulgaria.

I’m not sure when I realized I was completely screwed, hitting the European border unexpectedly, or being dropped off in an unknown city by myself at 3:30 AM.

6. Electing to take 9 connecting trains over a direct one to save 30 dollars.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was nearing the end of my euro-trip and trying to be frugal. Partying until 4AM, then catching the first 6AM train from Berlin started off the experience bad. By the time I got to Munich, 14 hours later, I was ready to die.

7. Getting lost in Barcelona because I thought I knew the layout from a video game.

Tony Hawk’s Underground II had never led me astray in the past, until I tried to use my knowledge of the game to make my way around gothic Barcelona. Turns out you can’t actually grind down the tram line.

8. Crazy-gluing my hair together in Indonesia.

“It’s good for your dreads” she told me. “Only 30 dollars”. I shaved my head a few days later.

9. Accidentally booking myself into first class on Iceland Air.

I really don’t have any idea how I did this one, but I was pleasantly surprised when I boarded the plane with free champagne and a comfy seat. As it turns out, one way flights to North America don’t often go above $1000.

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