Author: <span>Matthew Harris</span>

Story Time

Day 2264: The dangers of solo travel as a female

I got woken up at 330am last night, i didn’t know what the hell was going on, somebody absolutely banging on my door like there was a fire or something. I was like hello and there was this girl there just babbling in a russian-ish type of english.

It turned out that there was a cricket type insect that had appeared on her bed right next to her and she had freaked the frick out, fled the room screaming, and started banging on neighbours doors for help. I was about 2 or 3 doors down so i guess everyone was like NOT ANSWERING THE DOOR mode.

I figured out what she was saying and i was like ohh insect and she was like yeah please come help. So I was poking round the corner of the door at this point in my bokkies. I said hang on one minute. Then reopened the door with my shorts on and a flip flop in hand, pointing at it and wielded it menacingly. YES YES PLEASE HELP she started shouting. Just as I was going out the door I grabbed this orange box I had as well just in case it was a non violent situation where I could scoop.

She ran into the room going ahhh don’t know where it is, and she would have just seen me point: there, but it was on the side of the mattress just out of her view. Must have looked funny just seeing me swipe at something and say ok, then kneel down and beat it mercilessly to a pulp for her. I did an extra over the arm thwack just to make it clear that it was “dealt with”.

I made sure it was the right one, it was, but it wasn’t even the biggest one that I had killed two of in my room. So I got some tissue, scooped it up, put it in the bin and said ok and left her saying thank youuuuu. Hahaha.

The dangers of solo travel as a female…

Story Time

Day 2230: Don’t Forget Your International Driving Licence

Got my first police stop of the season today. And it went so well that I got used as an example of how to do it properly, for the other detainee.

There was an asian-but-not-Thai looking dude that had also been pulled over before me, looking flustered and going through his bag.

I was happy to comply because it was my first chance to use my international driving licence. I’d had to go to about 6 different post offices to get it, before I left England; if you count going back to two of them on multiple days… which I do!

He looked at it and was like yes and nodding and smiling then walks over to the other guy and shows him my licence, giving it the whole “seee” kinda vibe and just pointing at the details to explain to him that I was legally allowed to ride the vehicle.

Then he comes back over, hands it to me, says thank you in Thai, and waves me on my way.

I don’t know what happened to the other guy, it probably ended in a fine, but I was pleased to be on my way quickly, as my suitcase was in a taxi further up the street.

When it’s time to move hotels, a moped and a suitcase don’t mix. Grab / bolt taxis are super cheap, and only cost about 60-80thb (£1.50-£2). So I hire a taxi car, then send my luggage in the boot, and follow along on my moped.

Usually it goes smoothly, but because of the police checks, this time we got separated briefly.

I’m pretty smart about it though. Just to be safe, I take out any money, and all the valuables go in the backpack with me on the moped. The only thing that I would be slightly sad to lose (apart from all my clothes) is the Bose speaker that I leave in there.

Not that I have ever had any problem with taxi’s, but for some reason, way back before I ever did my first digital nomad trip, that was my primary fear. I could imagine everything else going pretty much smoothly, but i was irrationally worried about a taxi driving off with my suitcase still in the boot. I don’t know why, it’s never happened to me at home, or abroad. I’ve never even heard of it happening to anyone I know. But I was secretly so concerned about what was going to happen when I got out of my first taxi.

Anyway this guy was great, he had pulled in just around the corner and was waiting for me. Which was a good job as I was using him as the sat nav to the new hotel. We pulled in to the hotel a few minutes and the adventure was over.

Featured image was taken by Adirach Toumlamoon.

Travel Tip

Day 910: Keep your laptop safe when joining the mile-high (work) club

When I was flying home yesterday I wanted to be productive, and decided to whip the laptop out.

I just about managed to squeeze it onto the tray in front of me, with it poking into my belly a little bit.

The height of the laptop screen tucked just nicely underneath the lip of the space that the tray folded out of; a perfect fit!

Being an observant kind of person I had noticed before the elegance of how the open tray table stays level when the chair moves into the reclined position.

I worked for a few minutes snugly tucked under, but then just couldn’t shake the worry that maybe the height of the space could shrink a bit during reclining, damaging the laptop.

In the end I pulled the screen out of the lip of the seat, and just looked down on it in an awkward angle, with the screen almost at an L shape under my nose.

Well, it seems like I was wise to be cautious, because that very evening the algorithm gods read my mind and showed me this tweet:

And it’s not the first time this type of thing has happened:

Yes, it seems that inviting space for your laptop definitely does shrink, and can destroy your screen quite easily.

From reading these threads it seems that the airline will likely not reimburse you, but people have successfully for claimed it under Applecare.

If you don’t have quick access to an external monitor (and the cables), or a quality repair service at your destination it could put quite a dent in your business.

So be careful if you decide to join the mile-high (work) club!

Daily Life

Day 501: 500 days as a digital nomad

It’s now been 500 days since I first got on a plane and became a digital nomad.

In that time I’ve learned a lot about myself, about different cultures and about what truly motivates me in life.

I’m back home for Xmas and my birthday at the moment but I could not be more excited for what lies ahead in 2019.

The tough part is leaving your family and friends behind each time, but in a way, they are always in my backpack.

I see the world through the lens of which friend would enjoy this park, which one I would go drinking with at this bar, and how much my parents would enjoy a city I’m in.

Over the last 500 days, I’ve added new people from around the globe to this backpack and day by day the world feels more and more connected.

Becoming a digital nomad has given me a new sense of direction and a new lease of life; just at the point when I thought it was going to start winding down.

And for the next 500 days? I’m planning to embrace what the world has in store for me, and continue to find out what I’m really capable of.

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