39 – A Wild Ride Through Bolivia: Voyager Chat with Amanda Kingsmith and Ryan Ferguson


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It’s our fourth Voyager Chat and this week we’re sitting down with Amanda Kingsmith and Ryan Ferguson, a traveling couple from Alberta, Canada. They host the World Wanderers podcast, where they talk about their own adventures and interview guests about their travels.

We kick off this episode, as usual, with our “Not So Fab 5 Questions.” We hear about Amanda’s struggle eating boiled hot dogs in Bolivia (for days straight) and why Ryan isn’t rushing back to a particular hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Amanda Kingsmith Ryan Ferguson


Then Amanda and Ryan get into their favorite Not So Bon Voyage story. They chat about their wild ride from La Paz, Bolivia to Rurrenabaque, a village in the Amazon jungle. Amanda and Ryan knew that they were in for some adventure, like swimming with pink dolphins and cruising down the Amazon river. What they didn’t expect was just how crazy the actual trip out to the village would be. From the tiny plane to the sketchy 4×4 that was barely hanging by a shoelace, they were in for one wild ride.


Here’s what we chat about:

[4:15] Eating reheated hotdogs in Bolivia for three days

[9:20] Mount Rushmore is overrated

[13:25] Why a $5 hostel in Cambodia isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

[24:00] Taking a tiny plane out to the Amazon jungle

[29:00] The 4×4 ride from hell


World Wanderers podcast travel


You can learn more about Amanda Kingsmith and Ryan Ferguson from the World Wanderers Podcast.

The World Wanderers Podcast

The World Wanderers Podcast Instagram


You can listen to The World Wanderers Podcast here:




38 – Stuck in a South African Shoot Out and Wild Bison on the Loose


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We’ve got another episode of insane travel stories for you this week.

But first, if you missed our Voyager Chat from last week, we spoke with Bob DiMenna from the Travelers Blueprint Podcast. Bob told us his worst travel story that his wife HATES when he tells. This story was too wild for his own podcast… so he’s telling it on ours! Tune in to hear his real life Hangover 2 story.


bison attack at Yellowstone


Wild Bison Attack at Yellowstone

As National Parks start to open up all around the US, the local animal inhabitants aren’t too happy about the return of tourists. Bison in particular have had enough of people getting too close to them while in the park. Christine talks about the very recent news story of a lady who did not give the bison a wide enough berth. The woman was knocked to the ground and injured by a bison that had enough! Read the full story here.

There’s no video of the lady knocked over, but instead enjoy this delightful video of newscaster Deion Broxton who had the correct reaction when you see a herd of bison heading straight toward you.


Sani Pass Tours and Shoot Outs

This week’s main story is a Voyager submission that comes from Heather Cole at the Conversant Traveller. Heather and her husband, Peter, were traveling in South Africa and were looking to add a little extra adventure to their trip. So they booked a Sani Pass tour, which explores the treacherous mountain pass between South Africa and Lesotho.

Fully expecting it to be a wild ride, the two travelers got an even more unexpected surprise as they rounded a corner and were suddenly confronted with a scene from a Wild West movie! Listen in to hear how they jumped into action and earned themselves a rank in the South African police force for their efforts!

Remember, if you’ve got a crazy travel story to tell you can get in contact with us via our submit page.



Here’s what we chat about:

[4:20] Animals are coming back!

[8:30] Girl attacked by bison

[10:40] The Sani Pass shoot out

[28:00] Jules loves to be the hero!

37 – Deadly Hot Springs and The Unsuspecting Shoe Smuggler


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It’s getting warmer here in California and our episode this week is hot, hot, hot!

If you missed our Voyager Chat last week, we sat down with Bob DiMenna from The Travelers Blueprint Podcast. Bob told us his story from a crazy night in Thailand that is not only too wild for his own podcast, but his wife HATES when he tells it. You can have to listen to his real life Hangover 2 story.


Starbucks on North Sentinel Island

We kick off today’s episode with an update about the tribe of North Sentinel island. If you listened to episode 31, you’ll remember that North Sentinel island was the “uncontacted” tribe that missionary John Allen Chau attempted to convert. (If you haven’t heard this episode, go back and listen! It’s a wild ride!)

Listener Sam Zucker (@zuckerandspice) sent us a hilarious screenshot of North Sentinel Island on Google Maps. Not only is there a steakhouse listed on the island, but also a Starbucks! We’re asking listeners if anyone is brave enough to do a sail-by to see if this tribe is truly isolated or if this alleged Starbucks actually exists! And grab us a flat white while you’re there.


North Sentinel Island


Yellowstone Thermal Pools

Surprisingly, Jules has a recent story from the travel news! Disobeying lockdown laws, a woman was found sneaking into Yellowstone National Park. The woman was probably having a lovely time enjoying the park to herself when she accidentally backed up into a thermal spring while taking a photo! The average temperature of the thermal springs in Yellowstone is 143 degrees! Listen up to hear Jules tell more stories of travelers who have inadvertently (or on purpose) made their way into the hot springs!

You can read the story of the woman here


yellowstone meme

South African Shoe Smuggler

For our main story on today’s episode, Christine tells Jules the tale of the “special shoes” (yes, she actually named her story for once!). This story begins in South Africa with Brigene Young, a young female bartender who simply wants to get away. She is offered a free trip to the paradise island of Mauritius for an all expenses paid vacation. But when the person organizing the trip asks for a small favor, things start to turn sour. This is a truly bananas story that will have you questioning what you would have done in the same situation.

Read Brigene’s story here

Here’s what we chat about:

[2:13] Update on the North Sentinel Island tribe

[7:45] Woman Enters Yellowstone Illegally

[15:25] The Case of the Special Smuggling Shoes

36 – The Real Life Hangover Story: Voyager Chat with Bob DiMenna


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It’s our third Voyager Chat and this week we’re sitting down with a fellow travel podcaster! Bob DiMenna is the host of The Travelers Blueprint podcast, where he and his co-host interview guests all about their adventures around the world.

We kick off this episode with our rapid fire questions. Bob tells us about the worst ever cheese fries in Hawaii and why he hated the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Then we get straight into his story because it is a wild one! As soon as Bob told us that this is the story his wife HATES the most, we knew we had to hear it. This is his first time telling his story to the public, because it’s too wild for his own podcast!


Bob DiMenna travel podcast


Bob sets the scene on his first night in Phuket, Thailand. He and his then-girlfriend (now wife) started the night drinking at a bar on the infamous Bangla Road. If you’ve ever been to Bangla Road, you know it’s filled with bars, strip clubs, tattoo parlors and lots of drunk tourists. Bob takes us through his night, from downing buckets (cheap cocktails in a literal bucket) to buying rounds of shots for the bar staff.

The rest of the night is fuzzy, but when Bob wakes up in a stranger’s bed he has to make his way back to his hotel confused, disoriented and hungover. Then he has to piece together the memory of his wild night. Listen up to hear how he was reunited with his tour group and girlfriend, and her reaction to his disappearance! All we can say is, Bob is a very lucky man!


Real life Hangover story


Here’s what we chat about:

[7:50] Hating on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

[13:00] Drinking on Bangla Road, Phuket, Thailand

[16:40] Entering a mystery 7-11

[18:15] Waking up to a mystery man

[25:00] A sweet reunion


You can learn more about Bob DiMenna and The Travelers Blueprint Podcast here:

The Travelers Blueprint Podcast website

The Travelers Blueprint on Instagram

And listen to The Travelers Blueprint Podcast here: 

35 – Taken Hostage in Colombia and Those Pesky Flight Attendants


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We kick off this week’s episode with a shout out to all the moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day!

If you missed our Voyager Chat last week, we chatted with Jeremy Scott Foster from the travel blog TravelFreak. Jeremy has been traveling for 10 years and he’s collected some wild stories. He opened up to us about his experience and challenges traveling with Lyme disease, so be sure to check it out!


Face Masks in LAX

There’s not a whole lot in the travel news at the moment, but Jules tells Christine about LAX airport’s new rule enforcing face masks inside the airport. Any type of mask will do, so feel free to pull a fresh pair of undies from your bag and cover your face! We also get to the bottom of Coronavirus Patient Zero, with an unexpected link to those pesky flight attendants… you know, those people!


bomb in airport


Bomb in Brisbane Airport

Then Christine tells Jules about a news story from 2018 that caused chaos in the Brisbane, Australia airport. A passenger from Singapore was waiting at the carousel when she saw a suspicious baggage marked “Bomb from Brisbane.” Listen up to hear what was really inside the bag!


getting kidnapped in Colombia


Getting Taken Hostage in Colombia

For our main story, Jules tells Christine about a group of backpackers that had a very “Not So Bon Voyage” in Colombia back in 2003. The group went on a trekking tour out to Cuidad Perdida, the Lost City, but got a lot more than they bargained for.

When the group was awoken at 4:30 AM by armed men and women, they realized their trip had gone very wrong. But things just got much worse from there. Listen up to here what happened next!

Story References:

My Kidnapper documentary

Great Guardian article about the story

Matthew Scott story

34 – Traveling With Lyme Disease: Voyager Chat with Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster TravelFreak


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If you haven’t heard, we’ve started a whole new series on the Not So Bon Voyage podcast! We’re still chatting about when stuff goes wrong on the road, but now we’re hearing it directly from the travelers!

Every Thursday on our new “Voyager Chat” series, we’ll be bringing on some incredible guests. They’ll range from travel influencers to journalists, entrepreneurs to comedians, and everyone in between! What do they have in common? They all have an epic story of a time their travels went completely wrong. And they’re going to tell us all about it!


Jeremy Scott Foster travel blogger


On our second Voyager Chat our guest is fellow travel blogger Jeremy Scott Foster. Jeremy is the man behind TravelFreak, an adventure travel blog that has everything you need to get started traveling. From destination guides and travel tips, to gear reviews and amazing travel insights.

Jeremy is a self proclaimed open book and he doesn’t hold anything back during this interview! Right off the bat we learn that Jeremy is not a fan of snail soup and that he had an unfortunate accident in Walmart. He chats with us about the hilarious time he went traveling with an Instagram model. The only problem? She didn’t speak a word of English!

Then we dive deep into some of the more serious challenges he’s faced while traveling, including being ghosted for his dream job, but gaining a career as a successful travel blogger.

Jeremy also opens up about getting diagnosed with Lyme disease. He chats about traveling with Lyme disease and how it has affected both his life and his career.


traveling with Lyme disease Jeremy Scott Foster


Here’s what we chat about:

[2:44] Eating snail soup in Vietnam

[10:15] Blind travel date disaster with a non-English speaking Instagram model

[19:30] Cliff jumping with crazy Russians in Greece

[22:00] The upside of losing a dream job

[28:05] Being diagnosed with Lyme disease

[36:00] Learning how to live and work with Lyme disease


You can learn more about Jeremy Scott Foster and TravelFreak here:

TravelFreak website

TravelFreak on Instagram

TravelFreak on Twitter

33 – Kidnapped in Mexico and the Papua New Guinea Phone Thief


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It’s all about international kidnapping, ransoms and thieves on this week’s episode, as we take you on a whirlwind of crazy travel stories through Mexico, Colombia and Papua New Guinea.

A special shout out goes to our Belgium and Netherlands listeners who seriously spiked our listens this week. So dank je to Belgium and bedankt to our Dutchies for spiking the listens and continuing to get the Not So Bon Voyage podcast out there!


phone thief Papua New Guinea


The Papua New Guinea Thief

Jules kicks off this week’s stories with a Voyager submission from Kez at K-in-Motion. She tells us about the time she was in Papua New Guinea and had her phone stolen. Fortunately for her, the local community banded together in support. There’s a real interesting twist to this ending. Thanks Kez for the Voyager submission, you can check out her Instagram for some great adventure pics from around the world.

If you have a crazy travel story to tell be sure to drop us a submission!


Kidnapped in Mexico

Next, Christine tells Jules about an American couple for ventured down to Mexico to scope out wedding venues, but ended up receiving a local experience they didn’t bargain for…. they got kidnapped. Listen in to hear their harrowing story of getting kidnapped and held for ransom in Mexico.

This gets Jules and Christine chatting about their own travel experiences and situations they’ve been in.


kidnapped in Mexico


Colombia Buses

To wrap up, Jules tells Christine about the time he thought he was going to be kidnapped in Colombia back in 2010 while taking a bus across the country. Considering he’s writing about it now, it’s safe to say he didn’t get kidnapped, but it’s a funny story.

And if you missed our very first Voyager Chat last week, don’t forget to go back and listen to Michael Hilliard chat about drinking with the Taliban, having a gun pulled him by the Russian mob, getting shot at in Krygystan and much more. It’s one crazy episode!

32 – Voyager Chat with Michael Hilliard: Russian Mafia and The Taliban


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We’re starting a whole new series here on the Not So Bon Voyage podcast! We’re still chatting about when stuff goes wrong on the road, but now we’re hearing it directly from the travelers!

Every Thursday, on our new “Voyager Chat” series, we’ll be bringing on some incredible guests. They’ll range from travel influencers to journalists, entrepreneurs to comedians, and everyone in between! What do they have in common? They all have an epic story of a time their travels went completely wrong. And they’re going to tell us all about it!


Michael Hilliard journalist


On our first ever Voyage Chat we have special guest Michael Hilliard. Michael has been a journalist for over 10 years and has traveled all over the world for his work, including war zones. Michael is the host of The Red Line podcast, where he brings on a panel of international experts to discuss the biggest geopolitical stories shaping the world today.

Based on the stories he’s got to tell it seems like he’s not shy to throw himself in the front line to capture the moment. He has a knack for getting himself into some sketchy situations. On this episode we chat about some truly incredible stories that would make even the wildest travelers think twice about tagging along on his adventures.

Here’s what we chat about:

[3:15] Drinking warm horse milk in Mongolia

[11:35] Coming under artillery fire in Kyrgyzstan

[14:15] Getting drunk with the Taliban in Uzbekistan

[20:00] Having a gun pulled on him by the Russian mafia

[25:00] Making a toast to strangers in Kazakhstan


The Red Line podcast


You can learn more about Michael and The Red Line podcast here:

The Red Line website

The Red Line on Instagram

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple

31 – The Unfortunate Fate of John Allen Chau: Bible, Bows and Arrows

This week we’re switching things up (gotta keep things interesting during quarantine!) and doing our main stories first. Jules’ story is so intense and captivating that we are saving Christine’s for next week. So buckle up, because this one gets wild!


John Allen Chau: The Christian Mission Gone Wrong

For his main story Jules tells the controversial tale of John Chau, a young Christian missionary determined to bring the word of God around the world. Chau felt a calling to convert the people of North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean.


John Allen Chau Christian Missionary


This super remote island has been a “no-go” zone since anthropologists tried to visit and had a very hostile reaction from the local community. But John made it his life’s mission to convert the island to Christianity. Unfortunately he was met with a very unwelcome response.

Two great resources to check out for this story:

Outside Magazine: The Last Days of John Allen Chau by Alex Perry

The Guardian: The Life and Death of John Allen Chau by J Oliver Conroy


crabs in an airport


Airport Crab Invasion

Then we lighten things up with a news story from an airport in the Bahamas. On the luggage carousel a cooler full of live crabs popped open and the crabs took over! Dozens of crabs were crawling all over the carousel and scuttling across the floor. Watch the hysterical video here.


Stuck Sailing the World

Finally, Jules wraps up this episode with an interesting story of a couple sailing the world. They set sail in February and were so isolated they didn’t even realize coronavirus was happening! When they tried to dock in the Caribbean they realized the entire world had gone into lockdown!

30 – Shot in the Face While Camping and the Lost Desert Runner

This week we’ve got two very different travel stories to tell, but both end up with an epic fight for survival. These stories are nerve-racking and they may have you feeling grateful that you’re forced to stay inside during quarantine.

Because our stories are so awesome this week we’re skipping our “In The News” section. And let’s be real, there’s not much happening in the travel news anyway!


Getting Lost in the Desert

Jules kicks us off with a story about an Italian man with a love for running in extreme conditions. He signs up for an endurance race through the Sahara Desert in Morocco. When a sandstorm comes, he worries that he may have lost time and won’t win the race. But soon he realizes that his situation is much more dire than his running time; now he’s on a mission to simply get out of the desert alive.


lost in the desert


Camping Horror Story on the Appalachian Trail

Then Christine tells the incredible true story of two men who go for a camping trip along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. When they befriend another fisherman near their campsite they think he’s a bit odd. Little do they know that they’ll soon be running for their lives in the dense, dark Appalachian mountains.

Read the Washington Post article Lonely, Dark and Deep by Wil Haygood.


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