**Disclaimer: Life, Love and Adventure & fellow collaborators are in no way recommending anyone to participate in potentially dangerous activities; as well, we in no way are responsible if injuries may occur during said activities. — Please evaluate your own physical capabilities before taking on a tasking or potentially dangerous activities.
In ‘Danger, should you let it hold you back? Part 1‘ we adventured through one of the most dangerous hikes, the Kalalau Trail, in Hawaii and then down the Carretera de la muerte (Death Road) in Bolivia. We bungee jumped in Cancun, Mexico, climbed up Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Utah and experienced a traumatizing bike ride through Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam!
This time we hear of more potentially dangerous adventures, ranging from surviving an avalanche on Mt. Everest to getting robbed in Africa .. and more!, around the world from fellow travel bloggers who have experienced fear, uncertainty and danger first hand!
Alejandro || Mi Viaje por el Mundo‘s experience
Hiking Mt. Everest, during a Devastating Snowstorm
When I was planning my trip around Asia I was looking for all kinds of adventures and challenges. I was talking with my work colleagues about my plan and one of them told me, “You should do the Everest Base Camp Trek.” I got intrigued by it, so I start planning with the idea of doing it.
All the things I read about it online said it was really doable for any person and it’s an easy walk all the way to the Base Camp … and it is, however the danger about it is not in the road itself, it’s in the Himalayas Region.
You will face 2 dangers, the first one and most recognized is mountain sickness (AMS), an illness that if not treated immediately can cost you your life, and the only way to treat it is to descend to a lower altitude. Nobody knows what causes it, even the most experienced mountaineers can develop it at some point.
The second, and the most dangerous part of the adventure, is something beyond your comprehension … you will never be ready for it, it’s as if the Himalayas have their own consciousness and decides who leaves the area and who stays forever.
When I was trekking the area a huge snowstorm hit, one of deadliest tragedies in Nepal. 43 deaths, 175 injured and over 50 people missing. Nobody was prepared for such storm. A few months later one of the biggest earthquakes hit the whole region.
It doesn’t matter how much you plan your trip; you will be never ready for such things. As dangerous as all this sounds, still, hiking Everest is something that you should do, beyond the views that take your breath away, nothing will compare with the feeling of seeing Everest in front of you.
I asked some trekkers about their first impression of seeing it, they told me: “I cried”, “that was the moment I knew that God exists”, “There is nothing left to see” and I felt the same way. After traveling all over the world, nothing has compared with Everest.
Mark & Camille || 365 Travel Dates‘s experience
Traveling Africa, during Ebola and Terrorism Attacks
Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it -Nelson Mandela
“You’re going to Africa?!?!? Don’t you know there’s Ebola there?” Of course in our research of Kenya and Tanzania Ebola was the last of our concerning considering that it’s nearly double the distance of a flight across America. What we found out through various media outlets and the good ole US State Department was a recent run of terrorism attacks. Oh well lower prices on tourism and what are the chances of getting kidnapped or killed right?
After a nearly a month on beautiful and empty Diani Beach, empty because of a recent terrorist bombing, we made our way to Zanzibar Island for an extension of beaching. We survived Nairobberry (Nairobi’s nickname) and hadn’t heard any warnings of robbery or terrorism in Tanzania, we’d be safer there anyways.
After a night in downtown Dar es Salaam we got into a taxi at 8 am to the ferry. Of course having been told the ferry was only a few minutes away we got a bit wary seeing we were going in what seemed to be weird directions and through neighborhoods. Our driver picks up a friend “who works at the ferry,” then in a random neighborhood pulls a u-turn … He pulls over to the side and two men open the back doors and squeeze Camille and I in.
FUCK! We ended up in the car for over half an hour as they looked through our bags, got a couple ATM cards and pulled some cash out. Of course we saw the police drive by but were helpless. In the end they let us out, helped us put our bags on our backs and said go there where the real taxi will take you to the ferry.
Kach || Two Monkeys Travel‘s experience
living in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
So there I was in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Northern Iraq. I had come here in search of a high paying job in the oil industry, with a dose of adventure thrown in for good measure. Of course, as soon as anyone mentions Iraq, we picture the worst; injured soldiers, urban fighting, destroyed cities. Even at the time of writing this, much of the north of Iraq is under the control of ISIS forces, the scenes of intense battles, but this was not the case when I first arrived in Erbil on December 19th 2012.
It was a peaceful place, where many people still lived humble lives and donkey carts mingled with Mercedes. Life was very unique here, the original culture was still very much intact, many men and women wore their traditional clothing and the consumerist culture of chain stores and brands was nowhere near as prolific and in the Middle East.
Working for a security company, we occasionally heard stories of kidnapped Iraqi engineers snatched from the oil fields and held for ransom, but this was a long way from the city and life went on with most people never hearing about it. The simple truth is, at that time anyway, Northern Iraq was a relatively safe, interesting and rewarding place to live.
Ben & Jazzy || Road Affair‘s experience
Hitchhiking the United States
In the words of Simba, I laugh in the face of danger hhhhhahahaha!! Well not really, I am usually a wimp but somehow it never holds me back. Ben and I are strong believers that you must try everything for yourself and make your own opinion, regardless of the rumors, and horror stories. It was no different when we decided to hitchhike the United States.
We heard the “danger stories”, the warnings, and about the mass killers waiting to collect our faces but we still decided to do it. And guess what? We’re alive with our body parts still intact. But, I must say, hitchhiking has changed us. We have come to realize that so many people have the wrong ideas about hitchhiking. People aren’t out to kill you, in fact most of them are ridiculously nice and honestly want to help or spice up their day by giving you a ride.
Throughout our hitchhiking adventure, we met some amazing people, learned new things and even got a ride from a cop (Sweet!). Never did we once feel unsafe. If anything, the only dangerous part about hitchhiking was the wait. I heard that waiting too long for a ride can kill you, or just teach you patience, your choice.
So there you have it, hitchhiking the US is not as dangerous as many people think, but just like anything you do there are risks involved. Just like when you are crossing the street, you know that there is a small chance you might get hit by a car, but you do it anyway. You just take precautions to avoid those risks, such as looking both ways, or only crossing when it’s your light. The same goes for hitchhiking. Trust your instincts, know your life is more important than a ride, remember the license plate and send it to a friend, do research about the areas you may pass through not just the destination and so on.
But whatever you do, don’t let the risks, horror movies, and the news stop you from hitchhiking the US or anywhere for that matter.
Hannah || That Adventurer‘s experience
visiting the Favelas in Rio
When I booked my trip to South America last year, Rio was high up on my list of places to visit for many reasons; beautiful beaches and the party atmosphere at an all-time high my visit being during the World Cup were just two. Many people told me to be extra careful. Rio has a reputation for being rife with muggings and theft and the favelas, the shanty towns in Rio, have the worst reputation of them all. To some deciding to visit the favela could be seen as a stupid decision. To me, it was something I had to do in order to get an understanding of the city.
Rio’s favelas are known for their gang warfare and drug crimes. As a tourist you’d advised not to spend much, if any, time there. However, these claims and warnings were far from the truth on my visit. The people of the favela were amongst the friendliest I met throughout my time in Rio. They were welcoming and got very excited when the children in the favela beat us tourists at football. The favelas didn’t feel dangerous and I was surprised at how developed they were; that may sound naive, but accounts of favelas lead you to think of them as slums, when they’re effectively their own hillside cities.
We were informed that walking around outside the favelas of Rio is more dangerous than being in them. Which makes sense if you think about it. If someone wanted to steal or mug someone they’d go to areas with a high concentration of tourists paying little attention to their belongings or being flashy with their newest camera purchase.
Main takeout: be sensible wherever you travel, keep an eye on your belongings and use your common sense and in general you’ll be fine!
Kelsey || Route Word‘s experience
Trekking the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand
Towards the end of a 10-day New Zealand road trip, my adventurous, rock-climbing travel buddy Mark and I drove to Whakapapa Village with plans to hike the Tongariro Crossing. The weather forecast didn’t sound good and we were lacking proper equipment for the snow, but we decided to attempt the hike anyway. After a cold night sleeping in the car at a nearby campsite, we awoke early the next morning to begin.
The Tongariro Crossing is a trek around three active volcanic mountains: Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe (a.k.a. Mount Doom to all Lord of the Rings fans). Because of the poor weather forecast, we planned on hiking a small portion of the trail and turning around once the storm clouds rolled in. As we were hiking inward towards Mt. Ngauruhoe (“Mt. Doom”), Mark made the comment that it really didn’t look that big. “We could summit that,” he said. “Yeah, definitely,” I replied with obvious sarcasm. Once we reached the bottom of the mountain, he turned and said “Alright, you ready?”
Ready for what? I looked down at my worn Asics sneakers and recalled the park ranger’s advice for ice axes and crampons. I had no idea Mark was serious about climbing this mountain, but I couldn’t back out now. I hesitantly followed in his steps up the snowy ridge. The path we were following quickly disappeared, the slope inclined to a steep 30°, and we were soon crawling up a snowy screen field. A few times after some scary slips on the ice, I wanted to turn around, but going down looked even more dangerous than up. I tried to stay composed and continued to focus on wedging each foot firmly into the snow.
When we finally reached the top, it was all worth it. We couldn’t move much with the fear of cracking the summit’s ledge of solid ice, but we were able to see into the volcanic crater and through the clouds to the boundless National Park below. And it turned out, going down was much easier than up. Hiking or crawling weren’t options. The only way was to slide on your bum and hope for the best.
Come join me on this epic Adventure!
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