When I read that today’s travel brainster Rachel had bed bugs cause her best travel experience, I wanted to know more. And luckily for me and you, she is sharing her remarkable story as well as one with elephants and crocodiles with us. IF you want to share your own travel memories, I’d be happy to feature you as well. But for now the spotlight goes to Rachel!
What is your best travel memory?
One of the best memories I have is waking up in the pilgrim’s quarters of the Golden Temple in Amistrar (India) and finding myself surrounded by bedbugs. It was 4am, but I quickly woke my friend and we got dressed and ran out of there! The only place we could go at that hour was into the open air temple, and there was a huge thunderstorm going on. The atmosphere there was unbelievable, with the sound of chanting, people praying, and the sky flashing with lightening bolts. I’ll never forget it.
What is the strangest incident you have had during your travels?
I gave a bath to an elephant in Chitwan National Park, in Nepal. The elephant was so gentle and really cute! At one point I fell into the river and got carried downstream – I was panicking because there were these crocodiles I had seen earlier, so I flailed about a bit and tried to swim against the current. Despite the fact that my life was flashing before my eyes, the man looking after the elephant was ridiculously chilled out – he just motioned for me to go with the flow of the river. He caught up with me downstream and held out a stick for me to grab on to. The experience taught me to keep calm in a scary situation.
What’s the number one item on your bucket list?
Guilin in China looks so dreamy and magical. I want to go there so much!
If you were stranded on an island, which one should it be?
What is your secret travel tip?
My tip is controversial: don’t plan too much! It’s so important to enjoy some level of spontaneity – we get so little of it in our “normal” lives.