From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023
From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Backpacking Through the Amazon Leads to Parrot Adoption
Backpacking through the depths of the Amazon rainforest often leads to profound life-changing experiences. For Miami native Samantha Jones, her South American backpacking adventure resulted in a surprising adoption - of an Amazonian parrot named Paco.
Samantha had embarked on a 6-month backpacking journey across Peru, Brazil and other countries after graduating college. She wanted an immersive experience in nature and indigenous cultures. After hiking Machu Picchu in Peru, she journeyed deep into the Amazon jungle. She booked a multi-day tour with a local guide and was enchanted by the sights and sounds of the lush rainforest.
On day 3 of her Amazon tour, Samantha met Paco. Her guide had brought Paco along to showcase the diversity of parrots in the jungle. Paco was born in captivity and could not be released into the wild. Samantha was drawn to Paco's striking green, yellow and red plumage. She also noticed Paco seemed attached to her guide, watching him intently.
When it came time for Samantha's tour to end, she learned Paco's backstory. The guide had adopted Paco years ago but traveled too much for work to properly care for him. He hoped to find Paco a new owner who could provide stability. Samantha instantly felt a bond with Paco and agreed to adopt him.
Getting Paco back to Miami was an adventure of its own. Samantha had to obtain export permits from Peru and import permits for the U.S. She transported Paco in a special travel bird carrier. Over the next 5 months backpacking, Paco came along for the journey.
Now settled in Miami with Paco, Samantha reflects on how her parrot adoption forever changed her. She learned parrots are highly social, intelligent creatures that require lots of attention. Caring for Paco gave Samantha's life renewed purpose and meaning. She also became heavily involved with parrot conservation efforts.
What else is in this post?
- From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Backpacking Through the Amazon Leads to Parrot Adoption
- From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Hitchhiking Across Africa Uncovers Long Lost Pirate Treasure
- From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Exploring Ancient Ruins in Cambodia Reveals Mystical Powers
- From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Surviving Six Months Alone on a Deserted Island in the Pacific
From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Hitchhiking Across Africa Uncovers Long Lost Pirate Treasure
After completing university, Tyler yearned for an unconventional backpacking experience off the beaten path. He plotted a journey hitchhiking from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt over 6 months. Many warned him about the dangers, but Tyler was undeterred. He had a small backpack, camping gear, a travel guide and a sense of wonder.
Two months into his trip, Tyler was hiking through a remote coastal region in Somalia after getting dropped off by a trucker. He stumbled upon a cave along the shoreline, partially hidden by overgrown bushes. Curiosity compelled Tyler to explore inside, where he discovered aged pirate chests overflowing with gold coins and jewels.
Tyler had unwittingly uncovered troves of treasure likely hidden centuries ago by pirates who pillaged merchant ships crossing the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. As Tyler dug further into the cave, he realized the magnitude of his finding. There were chests upon chests brimming with riches.
Unsure what to do, Tyler took a few coins and a jewel-encrusted dagger and continued his journey. He reflected on the legends of ruthless pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd who once traveled these waters. Tyler realized he had found a missing fragment of pirate history.
When Tyler finally arrived in Cairo two months later, he contacted a lawyer to discuss his findings. They determined the treasure likely belonged to Somalia and Tyler could be eligible for a finder's fee up to half the value. An expedition was launched to properly retrieve the treasure caves and catalog its contents.
The story made headlines around the world - how an intrepid college grad hitchhiking across Africa accidentally uncovered a lost pirate treasure trove worth over $5 million. Museums competed for ownership of the artifacts. Tyler donated most of his finder's fee to provide fresh water wells in rural Somalia.
From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Exploring Ancient Ruins in Cambodia Reveals Mystical Powers
When 27-year old Julia embarked on a backpacking journey across Southeast Asia after completing her master's degree, she expected to take in the sights and immerse herself in new cultures. What she didn't expect was to return home with mysterious powers after exploring ancient ruins in Cambodia.
Julia's moment of destiny came while hiking through thick jungle to the sprawling 12th-century temple complex of Angkor Wat, built for King Suryavarman II. As she meandered through the elaborate rock-cut buildings and towers etched with intricate details from Hindu mythology, Julia was awe-struck by Angkor Wat's sheer size and scale. She sat amid the ruins watching the sunrise, mesmerized by the interplay of light and shadow on the ancient sandstone structures.
But Angkor Wat was just the beginning of Julia's journey into Cambodia's mystical past. Next she traveled to the partially collapsed and overgrown temples of Ta Prohm, where massive tree roots and vines slowly dislodge stones from the structures. Julia felt an energy coursing through her as she squeezed through narrow passageways to access inner chambers. Emerging into rooms bathed in rays of sunlight penetrating through cracks, she was enveloped by a sense of peace and purpose.
Julia's final stop was Beng Mealea, the most enigmatic of Cambodia's temple complexes. Situated deep in the jungle, the sprawling site has been largely reclaimed by nature with trees growing haphazardly through tumbledown buildings. As Julia climbed over piles of rubble and through haunting galleried corridors, she felt a supernatural force was guiding her explorations. She discovered a hidden chamber with sacred Hindu carvings and Sanskrit inscriptions on the walls.
Sitting quietly in meditation, Julia was suddenly able to understand the messages and was endowed with extraordinary powers - foresight, mind control and supernatural healing abilities. She emerged from Beng Mealea transformed, finally comprehending her purpose and place in the world.
From Parrots to Pirates! The 7 Wildest Travel Tales of 2023 - Surviving Six Months Alone on a Deserted Island in the Pacific
Being stranded alone on a deserted island may seem like the stuff of movies, but for intrepid travelers like Tori Murden McClure, it became an astonishing reality. In 1998, Tori set out to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean. Mid-way through her journey, her boat was capsized by a freak storm, leaving her stranded on a remote island with no food or shelter. What transpired over the next 6 months is an awe-inspiring tale of resilience.
With no survival skills or experience, Tori had to quickly adapt or perish. On the first day, she focused her efforts on building a rudimentary shelter out of washed up debris to shield her from the elements. Foraging for food involved combing the shoreline for mollusks at low tide and collecting rainwater from makeshift receptacles to stay hydrated. Tori kept her mental acuity sharp by maintaining a detailed journal of her daily experiences and using tools and fire to accomplish small tasks.
As days turned to weeks and months, Tori's isolation took a toll. She frequently battled bouts of hopelessness and depression. Her only human interactions were with sea turtles returning daily to lay their eggs. To maintain perspective, Tori reminded herself that her experience was temporary and she needed to "take it one day at a time." She focused on achieving small milestones, like constructing a sturdier shelter that doubled as a sleeping cabin. Tori also made it her mission to document everything about the ecology of the remote island.