RTW Travelers: The New Trend (3 of 3)

The Stories

Living every day on the road in new countries is challenging and exciting. Travelers never know what to expect next and live to tell unforgettable stories. Their stories are the reason they embark on RTW journeys. As more people read these stories on the web, in travelogues and magazines, and discover the trip planning resources, the RTW community will grow. The following are just a few of their stories:

Steve Abrams, who traveled around the world from 1968 to 1971 and back again, learned a lesson on how to prevent malaria:

“After 6 months and 5 days on the road we finally arrived in Darwin, capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. Having arrived from East Timor, the port health officer was concerned in case we were infected with malaria and inquired if we had been taking any anti-malaria tablets. When I assured him that I had been taking them regularly since we had left New Delhi in India. He asked me what type they were, so I gave him the pack to see for himself. Not being familiar with that particular type he took them away for a second opinion. He returned a few minutes later with the port doctor who asked me if I had any tablets to take in the event of a stomach upset. I got the diarrhea tablet out and he examined them carefully. He then announced that these were in fact the anti-malaria tablets and that I had been mistakenly taking the diarrhea tablets for the last few months.”

Myrna James, who traveled from early 1998 to mid 2000, learned how religion can save a spider:

“Trekking the Annapurna Sanctuary with a 19-year old Nepali guide, we hiked many days in the pouring rain. It was May, the very beginning of the monsoon. (I decided to trek in Annapurna with the threat of leeches over the threat of altitude sickness on the Everest range.) Kami and I were staying in teahouses along the way, where all trekkers usually meet and have dinner together around a large table with the heating underneath. As we sat having dinner one evening, one of the girls from Denmark came bursting in yelling, “There’s a huge spider in our room!” Kami, our saviour in many instances, jumped up and ran with her, not understanding what a spider was; he was just learning English. He came back minutes later with a crumpled piece of pink toilet paper, and I asked,”How big was the spider?” He grinned, opened the paper, and it was wiggling all around. Then Kami took it over toward the kitchen and flicked it out. I was shocked, and asked, “Why did you put it in the kitchen?” He replied, as if it was so obvious, “It’s raining outside!” Kami is Buddhist and of course will not kill any living thing.”

Scott Anderson discovered how to jump out of a moving plane when he ran out of cash:

“A friend and I were in jungle in Venezuela waiting for our flight back to Ciudad Bolivar and then connecting flight to Caracas. We had to catch our flight back to US the next morning from Caracas. Our flight from jungle did not show up and so we ran out onto runway to hitch a ride. First a soldier with machine gun chased us until someone told him what we were doing (he thought we were hijackers). We found one pilot who was willing to fly us to Margarita Island where we might catch a flight to Caracas. We got on board and as the plane was taxiing down runway the door opened and copilot yelled at us to get out, throwing our bags out. Apparently pilot only wanted cash, not traveler’s checks. We jumped out of the plane as it was moving and the exhaust from the engines as he fired them up to take off blew our bags and us down the runway. We then gave our traveler’s checks to someone to go into the jungle to exchange on the black market. After he left our plane showed up. The pilot said he’d wait 5 minutes for us before leaving. At the last minute our friend came running out of the jungle with two fistfuls of cash for us. When we got to Cuidad Bolivar we inquired to see if there was any way to get to Caracas since we assumed we missed our connecting flight. Turned out our connecting flight was four hours late in arriving and had not even shown up yet. We managed to catch that and our flight back home the next morning.”

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