Why I Share Embarrassing Stories

Yesterday, I posted a story about shitting myself in Nepal. I’ve had this story in my back pocket for about a year now. It’s not the most flattering story, to be honest. I’ve never written about it. If you’re good friends with me, maybe you’ve heard it over a few beers.

The last time I remember telling this story, it was election day. I was in Budapest, drunk out of my mind. I told it to my climbing partner, a man I’ve known a long time and have a deep bond of trust with, and a person I’d just met that night at the hostel. “Maybe you don’t share that one on your blog,” my friend said when I finished the story, and the laughter had abated. “See, that’s the sort of stuff I love to hear!” the other guy said. “I don’t fucking care if you went to this city and drank these beers and took these pictures. That’s not real. Stories like that are what I want to hear when people tell travel stories.”

And as much as I appreciate my buddy trying to save my dignity, I have to agree with the second guy. The story of me losing control of my bowels in a Nepali trekking lodge is a lot more valuable than another whitewashed depiction of the country as some Shangri-La.

Sure, Nepal’s great. Going there transformed me. But honestly: it’s not the most sanitary place! And it was the combination of low moments like that, along with the highs, that made the experience what it was.

Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing. But here’s the thing: every time I think about that story, I laugh. It’s been a year, and it’s still funny to me. It’s hilarious. And it’s one of the most honest moments I have, to try and tell the story of my time in Nepal.

And if you’re not being honest, what’s the point?

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21 thoughts on “Why I Share Embarrassing Stories

  1. Good on you – be yourself I say! Thanks for sharing. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Have a good day, Sam 🙂

  2. I love your “shitty” and “embarrassing” accounts….and that you are so honest about the vagaries of travel. Had many moments like these and your stories make me think of mind and I have a great laugh over it.

  3. I think when we as adults, can admit to our “shitting ourselves” stories (because we all have them!) we are better people for it! Life shouldn’t be so serious.

  4. It seems the older I get the more I’m shitting myself. I wonder if my husband would find me attractive if he knew what I just cleaned up, so I sneak the hand-washed undies into the laundry bag and put on a clean pair without commenting. But it happens to him too sometimes.

  5. If you don’t have at least one of these stories, you haven’t traveled. Bad water in Malaysia or bad crab in Japan, the result is the same… some scary-ass pit toilet, darting out of a crowded commuter train, leaning against a tree in a blizzard, or just squatting under a blanket in a field… Shit happens, and most Asian cultures are more frank about it — no beer necessary (though it can be a good alternative to suspicious local water).

  6. And that’s exactly the point – why should such storing telling be only relegated to a drunk state? God knows we need to stop taking ourselves seriously and really have a good laugh. Your story did just that – made me laugh hard while empathizing with your situation. A serious possibility about trekking in remote areas told with great sense of humor. Your ability to laugh at yourself appeals at several levels.

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