You guys. Has anyone following along noticed that we have unfortunately been in the wrong place at the wrong time for a LOT of disasters (natural and otherwise) on this trip!? Because we sure have started to take note…there are only 6 more days of our trip so hopefully we are DONE with this…but seriously…check out all the disasters we saw or experienced…bonus: we missed by a DAY the typhoon in Japan!!

Notre Dame burning in Paris – not only did we happen to be in Paris at the same time, Nick spotted it when it first started and we watched it, in horror, for hours from our balcony. This also happened within a few weeks of our trip starting.

Volcano on Stromboli – whilst enjoying a relaxing cruise down the Dalmatia coast and around Italy, our captain gets out the intercom to say that in just a short time, we should watch over one particular side of the cruise ship because a volcano was actively erupting on the island of Stromboli. We didn’t just see the volcano erupting – it erupted multiple times in an almost stereotypical way, blowing hot lava into the air. Very cool. Until you realize you’re watching from a place close enough to potential be in the disaster zone. Move it along, cruise ship!!!

5.5 Earthquake in Athens – “come visit us in Greece, it’ll be great!!” What could go wrong when my sister and our friend Bob come visit? No big deal, just a 5.5 magnitude earthquake while we were on the bottom floor of the newly built Acropolis Museum in Athens. For those of you west coasters that have experienced earthquakes before, this will probably sound like just another day in paradise. However, for my sweet sister and I who grew up in North Carolina, this was *terrifying* – we were the ones frozen in place, staring up with our mouths open in horror and watching the walls literally shaking. So grateful that none of us were in any way hurt and that we were in a safe place!!

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Where we were when the earthquake hit Athens.

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Motorcycle accident – while in Sapa (Vietnam) and after a long day of trekking through the rice paddies, we decided to cool down with an icy beer and some snacks at an outdoor spot just next to our hotel. To our absolute horror, a motorcycle rider had what appeared to be a very violent accident literally 10 feet away from us on the street. We were so grateful to be sitting right next to another tourist couple who had paramedic training and to see the immediate response from all the shopkeepers and locals to help this guy. He was pretty banged up but a while later, got on the back of his brother’s bike to go home looking like he would just need some bandages and a few days to sleep it off.

Wildfires outside Sydney – the wildfires in New South Wales (Australia) had started before we got there but flying into a major city such as Sydney, we did not expect to see or really be affected much by them. But on our flight back to Sydney from Tasmania, we looked out our plane window and could see what initially looked like a plateau…and then we realized it was just a thick cloud of smoke above an incredible large stretch of fires. Quite devastating to see the scope of the destruction that was happening 🙁

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