5 Craziest Travel Moments from My First 100 Countries

“We are never gonna survive unless, we are a little crazy” – SEAL

Leopard mural in Chiayi Taiwan Jonny Blair

Top 5 Crazy travel moments

I hit my 100th country this week on arrival into Tunis, Tunisia so I thought I’d simply share my top 5 crazy travel moments and highs from the journey so far as it seems the best time to do that. Plus I’ve been asked for a few of these type of posts before and never written them. These are the craziest travel activities and adventures I have had so far. The craziest, not the best or the most off the wall – just crazy times.

Halloween party at Chilli Blue Hostel in Sydney with Jonny Blair a lifestyle of travel

Crazy times at the Chilli Blue Hostel in Sydney

1. Hyena Feeding in Harar, ETHIOPIA
Quite simply this was crazy. After a death mini-bus where I thought I was a goner, a tour of the awesome walled city of Harar, dusk fell and wild hyenas were on the loose.

Living for the moment in Ethiopia feeding hyenas.

Living for the moment in Ethiopia feeding hyenas.

It was time to lose all inhibitions and fears and feed the hyenas mouth to mouth. A truly crazy moment. I did neck a bottle of Ethiopian red wine just before it. You can read my hyena feeding in Ethiopia story here.

hyena jumping on my back

A hyena jumps on my Northern Ireland flag (and my back) in Harar in Eastern Ethiopia.

2. Bolas del Fuego in Nejapa, EL SALVADOR
In 2014 when I backpacked through El Salvador I was shocked by the quantity of off the wall activities on offer and sights to see (crocodile tour, surfing, Joya de Ceren, indigo workshop etc.) But then there was the Bolas del Fuego in the town of Nejapa.

Fire on the streets of Nejapa **

The crazy fireball festival on the streets of Nejapa

It was here on the streets of Nejapa where I watched people through fireballs at each other on a manic Sunday night in August. I have not seen anything like it, even a riot in North Belfast could not compare to this – plus this is organised and “friendly”, allegedly.

Holding balls of fire in Nejapa!

Holding balls of fire in Nejapa!

3. Bunjy Jumping in Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Back in 2007 I did the AJ Hackett bungy jump off Auckland Harbour Bridge. It’s crazy enough doing a bungy jump but I was the only one on my party bus that was doing it, which felt more scary as the night before I had been in Los Angeles and was still jet lagged.

Bungy Jumping off Auckland Harbour bridge in 2007

Bungy Jumping off Auckland Harbour bridge in 2007

4. Swimming in Whaler’s Bay, ANTARCTICA
Getting naked in Antarctica has to rate as a crazy moment. After touring the British Base, stepping on the Antarctica Mainland and hiking up Cuverville Island, we rocked up to Deception Island and sailed inside the “C” shape.

jonny blair backpacking naked antarctica

Getting Naked in Antarctica.

Once there we had the chance to go swimming, with some of the people on our boat decided to do it. I loved the freedom of it all and got my kit off in the ice cold waters. It was chilly so the girls nipples were erect and the penises shrunk, but one of the girls from Tasmania said “Jonny we could still see your willy”. They got some graphic photos which everyone on the boat saw! Once back on the boat we were given a shot of Kahlua. It was all so crazy, but inspiring.

naked in antarctica

Getting my kit off in the land down under – naked in Antarctica!

5. The Day I Lost $1000 in Vang Vieng, Laos
As Blur once said “this is a low” and probably my worst travel moment but still a crazy one so I’m including it. After a few nights out in Laos in Vientiane and Vang Vieng, my travel buddy and Belfast Boy Chaz Fitzsimmons and I decided to go tubing.

Partying in Vang Vieng (as a 32 year old!) with Chaz - my Belfast mate and fellow Northern Irish wanderer!

Partying in Vang Vieng with Chaz – my Belfast mate and fellow Northern Irish wanderer! Before it all went wrong…

I wasn’t well prepared and didn’t trust my hostel so I took my camera, my wallet, all into the water with me in a green waterproof bag. I lost the lot. Yes I lost $1000 in Laos’s rivers.

Jonny Blair tells you how not to go tubing in Vang Vieng Laos

Having shots in the tubing at Vang Vieng – just after I had lost my camera and wallet…and $1000 USD

More crazy posts do exist on here and you can find them but I’ve been busy compiling some more for my upcoming book, Backpacking Centurion. In the meantime I’ve more travels coming up in north Africa and lots to catch up on!

From a train bound for Monastir, Tunisia, Cheers!

Cheers from Tunisia

Cheers from Tunisia

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