Every week in the past I discovered myself the wrong way up in a ditch filled with moist cement in Canggu, Bali.
In that second, just one thought crossed my thoughts: why me? Why is it all the time me?
A veritable magnet for disasters, particularly whereas touring, for some unknown purpose misadventure and misfortune typically comply with me on my travels and stays a continuing presence in my life, like an issue zit or an annoying cousin.
Sigh, the place do I even start?
I do know, watch this video under. Like proper now. Let’s begin there.
Somewhat over every week in the past I flew to Bali with my enterprise companions, Lauren Tub and Georgia Rickard, from the Journey Bootcamp for every week of labor, smoothie bowls and deeply uncomfortable humidity.
Being based mostly in Australia (them) and New Zealand (me), Bali is a wonderful and tremendous reasonably priced place for us to satisfy and work; I continuously am asking myself what the hell am I doing dwelling in Wanaka paying $5 for avocados once I could possibly be dwelling on the seashore in Bali for 1 / 4 of the worth consuming 20 cent coconuts.
However I digress.
We stayed in a relatively ridiculous fancy villa in Canggu (aka the city that Instagram constructed) which was not rather more than rice paddies subsequent to a surf seashore on my final go to to Bali. Now it’s a thriving hub of millennial cafes, fashionable co-working areas, and much and plenty of individuals on scooters.
I didn’t need to prefer it however I liked it.
It’s like Canggu grew into a spot for individuals like me, a hub for solo digital nomads on the lookout for a spot with a cool vibe to only hang around, work, create and chill out.
Luxurious three bed room villa in Canggu in Airbnb – use this hyperlink for $50 of credit score
The primary day I awoke and walked 15 minutes to city to a restaurant for brekkie and a espresso, and by the point I arrived, I used to be pouring with sweat and so uncomfortable. Because it’s the monsoon season now, the humidity is lower than very best.
And it appeared to me like I used to be the one one strolling, in my thoughts EVERYONE in Canggu was on a scooter or motorcycle. Heaps of blond younger backpackers, locals, even whole households have been piled on this scooters whizzing round city. Even the canine journey on the motorbikes.
Fuck strolling and fuck this warmth, I used to be gonna get a scooter. If all of them might do it, so might I. How onerous might it’s?
Well-known. Final. Phrases.
In a completely extremely match of irony, I had additionally simply renewed my annual journey insurance coverage coverage with Southern Cross Journey Insurance coverage (SCTI) right here in New Zealand, and I used to be about to embark on a challenge sharing my work with them on-line and social media, principally about touring safely as a solo feminine traveler.
Being a magnet for destruction ever since my camel days in Jordan, for me it’s not a query of if however when subsequent one thing will go improper, and I discovered early on in my journey profession that journey insurance coverage is value it, even once I was broke. Additionally now that I do extra adventurous journeys to locations like Kyrgyzstan or Antarctica, it’s typically obligatory, so for the previous few years I simply purchase annual insurance coverage insurance policies that cowl me all over the world.
AND YOU SHALL SEE WHY SHORTLY.
After sweatily strolling my means again to the villa on an enormous caffeine excessive and satisfied that I used to be going to be probably the most superb scooter driver in Canggu, I instantly perused heaps of journey blogs and guides for recommendation on scooter hires in Bali, and Georgia organized one for us asap.
You’re trying to pay between $2-$four per day for a scooter rent in Bali, until you’re utterly swindled like we have been and also you’ll pay over $5 per day (nonetheless a complete discount). It was undoubtedly really helpful in all of the blogs I learn to put on lengthy pants, closed-toed footwear and to get some apply, have a world driver’s license and insurance coverage. And naturally put on a helmet. Straightforward.
We acquired this. We’re robust unbiased ladies with heaps of journey expertise in locations like Bali and really assured in our talents to succeed at something we put our minds to, i.e. not strolling anyplace in Canggu.
However right here is the place I make the identical journey mistake I discover myself repeating repeatedly all through my life. I learn, put together and acknowledge what I have to do. After which I do the exact opposite.
Why, Liz, WHY?! You need to know higher by now! Additionally, Liz, you don’t have an excellent monitor report about not falling off of issues, like bikes, horses and camels. You aren’t going to be naturally good at driving a scooter in a land of chaotic driving. However do I take heed to that voice behind my head? Nope.
As Georgia and I introduced that we have been off choosing up our scooters, Lauren, being the ever accountable certainly one of our trio, checked out us, stated one thing to the impact of we’re complete idiots and stayed within the villa. Her loss!
As I walked to select up our scooters in cool confidence, sporting sandals and my brief onesie (I’m sorry nevertheless it’s too scorching to put on pants in Bali), I feel the one factor I did proper was have insurance coverage, license and put on a helmet.
All my plans of getting a lesson in a parking zone went out the window when have been confronted with a really informal “right here you go, take it or depart it” angle on the literal again alley scooter rental place. It wasn’t even a store, it was a man with an indication and some scooters in an alley. Oh nicely, it’s Bali, simply go together with it!
Liz, don’t! Use your mind! You’re 30! You realize higher than this.
Georgia and I checked out one another, shrugged our shoulders, popped on our helmets and hopped on our new rides. Very slowly (with everybody watching and commenting) we slowly made the brief journey again to our villa, the place I solely virtually crashed as soon as making a proper flip – they drive on the left in Bali.
Nicely, it’s instructed to drive on the left. The truth (from my expertise) is you do regardless of the fuck you need.
Driving in Bali is totally different. It’s organized chaos.
Everybody drives batshit loopy and it kind of all works, till it doesn’t work. For for somebody who confuses the fuel with the brakes with alarming regularity, I actually ought to have had a lesson earlier than getting into the Starvation Video games: SE Asia Version.
You beep the horn on a regular basis to let individuals know you’re there; you beep whenever you’re passing and once you’re pulling out onto a fundamental street. And also you particularly beep once you’re heckling Lauren Tub for refusing to experience on the scooters with us as we velocity previous her on the best way house. Beep. Beep. Beeeeep.
I might describe the obstacles as one thing out of Mario Kart. The roads go the place they need, typically with scary ditches subsequent to them (I now have a totally rational terror of ditches, having ended up in a single), deep rice paddies that may simply eat a scooter (and repeatedly do – simply Google the Canggu Shortcut), chickens, three-legged canine, people, monkey gangs, different scooters, different dumb vacationers on scooters, vans, garbage, you identify it, it’s in all places.
Concentrate, beep beep!
Phew we made it residence in a single piece! A couple of hours later we headed out once more, and this time is the place I completely screwed it up.
Despite the fact that I talked myself by means of the entire course of once more, I managed to make the basic vacationer mistake of making an attempt to brake and by accident yanking the fuel after which slamming on the brakes, catapulting myself over the handlebars headfirst right into a ditch. At the least I assume that’s what occurred. Fortunately there have been no witnesses, and I can’t actually keep in mind – yikes!
My ideas after the preliminary “why me” and “am I lifeless?” have been OMFG I’m in an open sewer. I’m in poop! I crashed into poop! WHY ME GOD WHY ME?! WHAT DID I EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS?
A fast sniff confirmed that it was not in truth in open sewer, quite it was thick mud-like cement. I attempted to maneuver, and couldn’t. OMG I’m paralyzed. Oh wait, I’m simply fairly actually caught within the cement.
“Georgia, assist!!!!” I hollered, wiggling making an attempt to carry my cement-laden helmet head, earlier than I simply began to snigger. I used to be utterly glued to the cement.
Listening to my giggles, I hear Georgia calling to me as she walked again to my empty scooter. The place is Liz?
Rapidly I see her peering over the aspect of the ditch taking a look at me and videoing the entire thing on her telephone laughing hysterically! With my legs within the air, my underwear on full show and my head caught in cement, I can solely simply think about what a sight I used to be to behold.
Screaming at her that this video won’t ever see the sunshine of day, I begin yelling for Lauren, who ultimately comes out with a towel they usually handle to tug me out, lovingly I’d add.
I knew I might by no means, ever reside this down.
Confronted with the inevitable disgrace that there was no method this incident was going to remain secret, I selected to embrace my misfortune and share it with the world.
Ultimately I got here to my senses, and whereas the video doesn’t show any of my grace and braveness (which I do know I’ve deep down) I couldn’t assist however share it. As soon as I received over the shock of all of it, it’s truly actually hilarious. I can’t cease watching it, it makes me snort a lot.
And sure I do know, I understand how fortunate I’m. You don’t have to inform me twice. I’ve heard sufficient scooter horror tales and seen sufficient vacationers with leg bandages in SE Asia to know I used to be an entire fool and it might have been a lot worse. I used to be actually fortunate to flee with just some scrapes, bruises, and one ruined prime.
Within the phrases of Georgia, I’ve by no means been extra “on model,” LOL.
Nevertheless, as soon as I showered and altered, I obtained again on the scooter and practiced till I used to be so much higher. Unsure what that claims about me, however I knew if I didn’t attempt once more right away, I’d by no means go close to a scooter once more, and let me inform you, driving scooters is tremendous enjoyable! I’m wondering how exhausting I hit my head? Nevermind.
Make of this story what you’ll , and let my video be a warning to you. Scooter driving is enjoyable however harmful. Don’t be like me and assume you’ll be able to simply train your self. All the time put on a helmet, and for god’s sake purchase journey insurance coverage that covers issues like scooters.
What about you? Have you ever pushed a scooter in SE Asia? Would you? Any tales to share?
And yet one more time for good measure:
Pictures by Lauren Tub, movies by Georgia Rickard