Have you ever dared yourself to do something while you were traveling that you would never do or think to do at home or out of your normal routine? It could have happened while you were out taking a walk, or in an airplane, on a business trip, a vacation, a family reunion, or a road trip ‚— somewhere not at your home base. A few of the interviews involved eating unusual food in foreign countries: cuisine you would never even thought of or dared to eat at home. A lot of these adventures happened when we were younger and naive, but we have since learned from the experiences. It’s part of growing up and growing older. Many of us have tested the waters and gotten humbled by it.
What is one of the most daring things you have done when traveling?
Eating weird food in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand while traveling in Southeast Asia. Ate random street food and never got sick. Went to crazy outdoor markets in Thailand. I drank snake booze in a seedy, sketchy bar. I had no fear of the food because it was fun to dare to experience it. To be in the moment and eat what the culture was doing and offering.
One time driving from a camping trip on the northern coast in California. I was driving my red Nissan with my baby boy in the back. It was late out, nighttime, dark. Out of nowhere a huge buck runs straight out in front of me. I am driving at about 55 miles per hour. I slam on my brakes and skid forward. I stop head to head with the buck. He has huge antlers and he’s staring at me. My heart is racing, his heart is racing, and then he runs off. It made me question which vessel was more powerful. Him or the car? It was profound. Can man-made stuff withhold nature? Nature proves it every day, it’s an equal playing field: nature being stronger is what is humbling.
I am in my 20s lost in London in my rental car. I fly from Houston to London to meet my friends who were coming over from Holland. We were going to rent a car in London and go visit our friend, Chris, in Wales, my guitar mentor. I was going to pick up the rental car, they were coming in on a ferry, then traveling by train and I would then meet them at the train station. This was all perfectly timed. There were no cell phones. You could only make public phone calls with a special coin. There are a lot of alleyways and roads. I need to get a map and find the Kings Cross railroad station and I am running out of time to meet my friends. I am on the wrong side of the car, everything is on the right. The lanes are reversed on the streets. All the street signs are above eye level. I am completely lost. I took a chance that I could figure out that it would be no big deal. Going to a foreign country alone humbled me and taught me to do more research beforehand.
One time I ate a bunch of elephants in Africa. I never would have done that nor would I do that here. When you are traveling, you have to be open. The trail itself is the dare, what is happening. The elephant was very gamey. I was doing non-profit work, micro-financing chicken farms in small villages. It was a grassroots organization called The Elias Fund.
I was on my honeymoon on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I dared myself to be adventurous to go on the rocks while the tide was low… and not knowing when the tide was coming back in. The waves tend to be snarly there. I was fishing and lost track of time. I was out on a rock that turned into an island. I tried to make it back, jumped from the island to the main peninsula. I missed when I jumped and fell into the ocean. Huge waves and a rip current pulled me out. I was drowning, bobbing up and down, thinking I was about to die, screaming for help. I had to stop panicking. I put the fly rod in my mouth and floated on my back. I used my flip flops as paddles and floated back to shore with the last bit of energy and adrenaline I had. It was one of the scariest traveling experiences I have ever had and a huge life lesson.