Austria,  Chile,  Laos,  We12inspire

Valentine’s Day: our most unromantic moments while traveling

Should we or should we not …

… Post something about Valentine’s Day that is. We’ve never traveled on Valentine’s Day (at least not that I remember so it can’t have been memorable), we know nothing about romantic spots and now that I’m thinking about it, the whole idea of Valentine’s Day is pretty insane and commercialized. So, just for the sake of insanity and commerce, today we’ll share “our most unromantic moments while traveling” with you.

1. Being on the trek of a lifetime, wearing “pooped-on-by-your-significant-other- socks” 
OK, no need to admit it, we all hate poop and probably even hate it more when it’s liquid. If you are sick already after reading this first sentence , don’t worry, we won’t use the word poop anymore and you can continue reading without being afraid you will have to throw up.

Our number one least romantic moment was in Torres del Paine, Chile. We just started the third day of the famous W-trek (we had been looking forward to it forever) and were about to hike up to Valle Frances. It promised to become a long day, about 11 hours of walking, so we got up early, way before sunrise even. Watching the sun getting up above a quiet TdP was gorgeous but shortly after, Anto started to feel sick (ish). However, we continued walking as she just had a wobbly feeling in her belly and it didn’t seem like something serious. The landscape was gorgeous as the trail led us high into a lush valley surrounded by impressive cliffs. By the time we reached the end of the valley, all Anto wanted to do was sit down and drink water. By that time, we realized something might be wrong. We headed back to pick up our bags where we left them at and started to walk towards our next refugio for the night, being on the way for about 9 hours already. Anto literally had to drag herself forward and as a bonus, Martijn started throwing up, just like that, right on the middle of the trail. By then, something was very wrong indeed. We eventually managed to reach the refugio and upon check-in the lady behind the desk told us that “a virus was going on in the park”. And not just some kind of virus. While Anto had pretty much recovered by that evening, Martijn kept on being sick for the rest of the night. We were forever thankful that the receptionist was so kind not to have someone else in the room with us (it was a dorm) and made sure we got some dried rice for dinner. This was probably our worst night ever, running back and forth to the bathroom and horrible smells in a uncomfortable room… We felt really bad for the cleaners having to leave the room the state it was in. The next day, after being completely empty, we almost crawled to the next hut and we were happy it was just a 4 hour hike…

So, what’s up with the pooped-on-socks? Well, just let your imagination do its work… Wearing pooped-on-socks and still being able to smile must be true love!

Argentina 301 Argentina 316 Argentina 271

“Being in a romantic jungle lodge, but accompanied by tarantulas”
Our stay at Tad Fane resort in Laos at the end of our one month backpacking trip trough South East Asia promised to be a luxury experience. We had been staying at hostels with just cold water during most of our trip so this was going to be fun…

It actually was, until we came back from the restaurant at night and we discovered a huge black spider (size: tarantula) in our cabin. Martijn tried to catch it but it ran away underneath our bed. Anto normally doesn’t mind spiders, we had actually eaten a fried one the day before, but this one was just huge. And alive. Knowing that one was able to crawl into our cabin, other spiders would be, too. Even though we hung up our mosquito net Anto didn’t sleep for two nights in a row. Making it two really bad nights for Martijn as well. Somehow, she could just feel the spider everywhere on her body, slipping right through the mosquito net. The most romantic end of our vacation we could have wished for…

spiderLaos  Cambodja 061 Laos  Cambodja 068

Drowning our stuff in Austria
In a year we had almost no money and no vacation days, our “big trip” was going to be to Austria. We planned on going to a place where Anto had always been with her parents as a little girl. We knew the weather wouldn’t be great as the forecast promised, but still we decided to drive down…

The way over through Germany was just rain, close to Munich we got in a huge traffic jam and after standing still for 2 hours, our car began to smoke. Time to let it cool down. After an incredibly long day of driving and standing still, we finally arrived in Achenkirch and decided to get a Pension for the night instead of camping as we had planned to do. The next morning it rained but we decided to go hiking anyway, we didn’t come for sitting in our room all day. The hike was poor and the weather even worse. Still we decided to pitch up our tent at the local campsite, since we didn’t have money to stay in a Pension all week. The next day it was still raining (surprise!) so we decided to visit Innsbruck. Over there we went to an internet café and found out that it would be raining for the rest of the week. Once back at the campground we decided that the next morning we would look at the situation again, as this was just no fun. We were wet, cold and grumpy. That night it rained harder than we had ever experienced before. Water leaked into our tent from various sides and basically everything got soaking wet, including our sleeping bags, mats and clothes. We had no choice, it was time to head home again. As it turned out, that was just in time as about 15 minutes after we passed the mountain pass, it was closed by the authorities. On the way, little streams had turned into killer rivers and we had never seen that much water before. Within 8 hours we were home again, sad that our vacation got ruined like this…

(and guess what … we don’t even have any pictures of this …)

Maybe this wasn’t all very unromantic but in general I can say we have been pretty lucky so far. Although we’ve been sick a million times (ok, well, a handful of times), had to go home early for various reasons, visited hospitals, got bed bugs, have been robbed, got in touch with the police and went completely broke we never really experienced these as disasters, just minor hiccups. So on the whole, we can’t say we’ve been very unfortunate, as I can mention at least a dozen of bad things that have never happened to us. However, I just won’t do that. It’s Murphy’s Law, you know …

Oh – and did you notice the heart shaped mud pool on top of this post? Just saying that love can be found anywhere as long as you are trying to see it where you don’t expect it.


Argentina 515_1


  • Explorista

    Dat klinkt als echte liefde 🙂 Laatst hebben we nog vier uur langs de weg gestaan in vrieskou, naast een kapotte auto. Zo erg als jullie heben we het nog niet meegemaakt gelukkig 🙂 (Wel ziekte, maar gewoon in een huisje, en niet midden op een wandelpad)

    • anto

      Jaaa die heb ik gelezen … ook niet erg romantisch inderdaad. Wij gaan trouwens vrijdag naar Winterberg, dus was leuk om je tips te lezen!

  • Mel

    That was actually a really fun post! 🙂 Or how to laugh about moments that must have been frustrating back when they happened, and turn them into travel anecdotes.

  • Serena

    I do agree with Mel!!
    All these things were surely not too nice while experienced, but now they are (in a way) funny anedoctes to be shared.
    Yeah, I’ve noticed the heart-shaped pool – cute! I have a photographic soft spot for heart shaped things, I have found many unusual ones around

  • DeniseM

    Haha, enge spinnen herinner ik me ook. In een romantisch houten hutje aan het strand van Koh Samui. Met mijn toenmalige Italiaanse vriend waarmee ik in Bangkok woonde. Wat een joekel!

  • Estella Stefee

    ah, I can DEFINITELY deal with pooped-on socks, but I could not handle such a spider in my room!!!
    PS. is the one you are holding over your mouth real?!? oh my, oh my!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive a FREE and INSPIRING day hike packing list!

Sign up for my weekly hiking newsletter now and receive a FREE and INSPIRING day hike packing list that can be used for all your future hikes.