Traveling is fun and exciting! But sometimes the outfits we end up wearing on tours or while we’re exploring… not so much!! It’s all part of the experience though, and although they may not look cute or be flattering, the outfits should be embraced just like everything else.
Below we have a compilation of interesting outfits and the stories behind them. Let us know which one is your favorite or if you’ve ever had to wear something while traveling that wasn’t exactly sexy lol!
If you’re going to a Korean jimjilbang (day spa / sauna), get ready to wear your birthday suit, a smile, and not much else. (If you’re familiar with the Japanese onsen, these are very similar.) Pay your admission fee, get an generic uniform for after the sauna, then put everything in a locker. The only exception is your bag of shower stuff – and showering before the baths is a cardinal rule. Once showered and clean, take the bag back to the locker, then sit back and – ahhhh! – relax.
Once you’re out of the bath, head back to the locker room and put on a universally-sized set of pajama pants and shirt (typically one color for men and another for women). Head into any of the saunas (such as this salt room, complete with bags of salt for pillows!) or ice-cold rooms to help your circulation, or grab a beer for the full Korean experience!
(For obvious reasons I have no pictures of the baths. This is one of the ‘hot stone’ rooms you’d lay in while clothed.)
For some unknown reason, I found myself spending my morning climbing a volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Strapped to my back was a flimsy wooden board because to add the the insanity, I was about to slide down said volcano. The final cherry on top? These bangin’ outfits that our guide whipped out at the top. I felt like a mix of a Breaking Bad character and a Stormtrooper- and I liked it. The snazzy getups were supposedly to prevent us from getting covered in the black ash of the volcano, which is extremely suspicious because by the time I reached the bottom, I was dirtier than a chimney sweep. A crazy experience like this requires a crazy outfit to match!
Safety first is the name of the game when you’re rafting down the Ocooee River in Tennessee. That means bright blue helmets and bulky life jackets. On the morning that I was rafting, it was 58 degrees out, which meant long underwear, triple layers, and waterproof pants and jackets to boot. In short, I looked stunning: all crinkly and pink-cheeked. My boyfriend’s mom had the pleasant job of tightening my vest straps, just in case I took a spill.
Since it was my first time white water rafting, I was afraid that might happen. But it didn’t make the helmet feel any less silly. Still, as we were careening and thumping down the river, sopping wet and shivering with cold, I forgot about the goofy outfit because I was breathless with laughter and the stark beauty of the Appalachians.
One of my favourite memories from my many visits to West Africa is cooking with Ida in The Gambia, although the day didn’t get off to the best of starts. On arriving at her home she presented us with a rail of brightly coloured clothes, but none of the wraparound skirts were big enough to go around my ample hips. I made the best of it but the top was way too big and the skirt was too small and I still had a length of material left over. Luckily Ida came to my aid and deftly ties the scarf in a rather jaunty style around my head. So off we trot to the local fish market with me trying to hold the gap in my skirt together with one hand while carrying a traditional wicker shopping basket and my camera in the other.
I could smell and hear the market before we got there. Making my way past a row of trucks, market stalls and a large collection of old fridges, I found myself on the most hectic beach I’ve ever seen. Brightly painted pirogues (the local fishing boats) are being unloaded by villagers wading into the water and then carrying the fish in bowls on their heads. Bright colours are everywhere – the peoples’ clothes, the bowls on their heads, the pirogues and my red face as my headdress slipped over my eyes and my skirt fell off.
There we were, 6 weeks into our honeymoon trip and looking great thanks to a glow only achievable through a mix of sunshine, fresh air and endless travel. A group of friends had gifted us a Sydney Bridge Climb as a wedding present and we were excited to see the city from above. We wanted to look fabulous for the occasion – after all, it’s not every day you get to scale an iconic landmark and, of course, it was the perfect Instagram moment dahling!
Arriving at the bridge we checked in for our climb and, after being breathalyzed (no tipsy bridge climbers in these parts) we were handed a rather fetching jump suit which was to be our attire for the climb. I’m sure the jump suit is a necessity for health and safety and it has all manner of attachments but sexy it was not! As we ascended the bridge and caught a glimpse of the Sydney Opera House all thoughts of our fetching onsies were forgotten and we happily posed for photos against the harbour backdrop. Until we arrived back on solid ground and collected our climb pics, then we realized just how funny we looked! If only they were available for purchase as a souvenir…
All white is the dress of salt miners, and before we were invited to join the Salzwelten tour, we donned the proper attire. Wearing a white hoodie tucked into the white pants, we were ready to go, but not before our girls took some photos. From the dressing room, we straddled benches on a train and headed to the entrance. Next, we descended into the mine by sliding on a rail at speeds of over 20km/hour. For the first time, I was glad to be in long pants of a sturdy, friction reducing fabric, rather than the shorts I arrived wearing. The entrance to the mines are in Austria, but underground we momentarily crossed into Germany as we learned about the process, history, and some of the fascinating stories that miners have told over the years. The mine is not currently in operation.
During our visit to Alaska, we had the opportunity to try fly fishing for salmon on the Kenai River . It is physically and mentally challenging, but you get to spend time in one of Alaska’s most beautiful glacial rivers. I struggled a bit at first to keep the fish on the hook, but I got better. And although we were there a few hours, we stayed warm and dry thanks to the super cute waders that were provided to us. 😉
We had finally made it to Iguazu National Park in Argentina! We’d always seen gorgeous photos and were excited to be exploring the park for ourselves. With over 275 waterfalls in the park, it’s an incredible experience. What we hadn’t stopped to think of, however, was the fact that we were most likely going to get soaked. The shear power of the waterfalls is amazing and the wind and spray will most likely get to you if you venture close to the larger waterfalls. Luckily, we were able to buy a poncho. It certainly wasn’t cute, but it did the trick!
So what’s the funniest or most unflattering outfit you’ve had to wear while traveling? We’d love to read about them in the comments below! 🙂
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