5 Unusual Places I’ve Slept: Where, How and Why

Cappadocia cave bedroom

Because I’m a low-budget traveler (a backpacker most of the time), I’ve found myself sleeping in a number of…um…unusual situations. Sometimes it was due to the unique circumstances I found myself in. At other times, it’s been by choice…I simply chose one option vs another less desirable one.

Note: no alcohol was involved in any of these situations. Not even a drop.

And now, without further ado, here are the…

5 unusual places I’ve slept

1. On the floor of the Rome Airport next to a guy with a poodle

Why I did it

I had a flight to Copenhagen at 6 am the next morning. Rome was expensive. I’m a night person. There were no trains that were early enough to get me there on time. It was cheaper and more logical to take a cab to the airport at midnight and to catch a few hours of sleep versus spending on a hotel and not sleeping because I worried about oversleeping.

What it was like

Prior to that, I had only napped in airports. I never actually slept on the floor for the night. The anticipation of this was odd; I certainly didn’t look forward to it as one would to a bed. The airport felt completely abandoned when I arrived. I wasn’t even sure if I was allowed to sleep there. As for the experience…it wasn’t as bad as you would think. Sure my back and hips hurt just a tiny, but because of how I positioned my day pack as a pillow–up against my main backpack–my neck was comfy. And thanks to my earplugs and eye mask, I was able to drift into some sort of not-quite REM sleep. Knowing that the nice guy with the poodle was nearby gave me some bizarre sense of safety.

2. On a couch in the lobby of a busy hostel in Krakow

Shared living room

Why I did it

I’d made a mistake earlier in the day, traveling to a town in the country that was jam-packed, thanks to a national holiday I wasn’t aware of. The place was not quiet, as I’d expected. Worse yet, the room my hostel had found for me was unacceptable. It was a ‘pseudo hostel room,’ which was meant to be shared…with strangers. Not fellow backpackers. Instead, there were families and senior citizens there and the bed’s sheets had cigarette burns in them. The blankets were super scuzzy. My sleep sheet suddenly seemed irrelevant and useless. I just couldn’t do it.

I turned around and went back to Krakow (another 3 hours on the bus) and back to my hostel, which I loved. Got put in a room with 7 others, including a friend I’d made (an awesome guy named Sonny) who snored like a drunken sailor. I’m a light sleeper. Of course. And so, I had to leave the room. If I wanted to sleep. The problem? There was nowhere else to go–except the hostel’s lobby couch.

What it was like

It sucked a little bit, but wasn’t awful. I had to wear earplugs + iPod and an eye mask. But I somehow got some sleep. Hearing the door open and close was better than hearing the deep snores of my friend. Surprisingly, I actually got some sleep.

3. On the ground, in Parque Carolina, in the middle of Quito, Ecuador

Parque de la Carolina

Why I did it

Was with a friend. The weather was good. We felt like it…just because. We had not been drinking.

What it was like

It was OK. Not bad, actually, due to pleasant weather. We had sleeping bags and pillows, so we kept warm and were somewhat comfortable. But by morning, we were covered in dew–not unlike the grass and flowers. It felt odd–as if Mother Nature had gotten confused. Overall, it wasn’t bad, though.

4. In the desert, on the sand, in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Why I did it

When I was invited to be the guest of some Bedouins, the sleeping options were as follows:

  • indoors in a room (where there were a lot of flies) on a cushion on a hard floor
  • a really cool room that looked like a fancy Bedouin tent (but felt slightly claustrophobic)
  • on the ground next to a house in town (the ground was dirty)
  • on a mat on the sand in the middle of the desert surrounded by open space and with a big sky above me (this is the option I chose)

What it was like

Once I let go and trusted that my Bedouin buddy knew what he was doing (meaning that he would find a spot that was insect- and scorpion-free), I was fine. It felt odd to be on a mat on the sand, but then I got more comfortable with it. I felt very exposed since I wasn’t under shelter. But I also felt great, with a sense of freedom and connectedness to the vastness of the desert. It was quite amazing actually.

5. In the bed of a deceased man in a Cappadocian Cave

Cappadocia cave bedroom

Why I did it

I’d been on an overnight bus from Antalya and was tired. My low-budget room in Goreme, Cappadocia, was located near a construction site. One worker was drilling. Another was sawing. And there was music coming from the kitchen. I asked the guy running the place (a Gypsy who’d once danced Flamenco in Spain) for another room. He took me for a 10-minute walk to the hotel owner’s father’s home, down the street and then down a dusty path to a clearing…..in the middle of the fairy chimneys. The man and his wife were living in caves.

What it was like

After a warm Turkish welcome, I was shown to my authentic “cave room.” It seemed and felt odd and I was reluctant to get under the covers at first (odd, woolen and slightly dirty perhaps), but once tucked into my little cocoon, I slept like a corpse. Later, after I thanked the owner (who spoke German to me even though I don’t speak more than two words of it), I went back to my hotel and asked the Gypsy about the room.

Sure enough, it had belonged to the owner’s father–who’d recently passed away. I’d slept in his room and his bed. Sure it was weird, but the energy there had been nice and I did sleep well, so…hey, why not. Better than an airport floor, dontcha think?

How about you?

Have you slept anywhere unusual? If so, why did you do it? And what was it like? Would you do it again?

Photo Credit: The first three photos are from Flickr; clicking on the photo will take you to the page of the photographer. The only exception to this is the poodle shot. Credit goes to NightRStar, whose profile page is found here.

99 Responses to 5 Unusual Places I’ve Slept: Where, How and Why
  1. Jason
    April 22, 2011 | 2:25 am

    Interesting mix Lisa. To myself, sleeping under the stars as you did in Wadi Rum is always the most interesting and enjoyable experience.

    The again, thinking back to a time in Africa where I and a couple of other travelers got caught out between the borders of Zaire and Burundi and were forced to sleep in no mans land on a bridge between the two countries. We named it Zurundi. A poor nights sleep by all, and the mozzies were out of control.

    I like the look of the Cappadocian Cave as well. Ive been a couple of times, and stayed in mud type house’s, but never a cave. Good work.
    Jason recently posted..Image of The Week- New Caledonia – Afternoon Sun On An Old Stone BuildingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 11:07 am

      Thanks, Jason. Yes–Wadi Rum was really enjoyable! And wow…you slept on a bridge in a no man’s land…that sounds intense. The mozzies, though…oh…god….not fun!

      The cave was cool despite my initial reservations….

  2. jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World
    April 22, 2011 | 11:24 am

    Hee, love this. What I’m looking forward to experience someday is to sleep inside one of the ice hotels. Wouldn’t that be ‘cool’? (pun is so intended)
    jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..Celebrating Small Victories in CartagenaMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 7:49 pm

      Hi, Jill. Thanks! I think that sleeping in one of those ice hotels would be….cool–LOL. Great pun! Seriously, they do look unique.

      Just remembered….you guys slept in a barn, right? In the hay? In Switzerland? That sounded like a real adventure to me!

  3. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
    April 22, 2011 | 12:10 pm

    Wow Lisa! Can’t say that I’ve ever slept under stars (aside from camping in a tent).

    I have had my fair share of airport slumbers though (who hasn’t?) in a variety of capitals around the world.

    I think the most unusual place I’ve slept is in a Buddhist monastery in China. They had a co-ed dorm and the most incredible wake up call ever, as the monks began their morning chants literally at the crack of dawn. It was pretty spectacular!
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..Help Me Plan a Canadian Adventure!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 7:51 pm

      Hi, Aaron. Have you done multiple airport slumbers? LOL I’ve only done it once. Hope I don’t have to do it again, but I would–if it meant saving serious cash and made sense in terms of convenience. Sometimes I just find a way to stay up all night…

      The Buddhist monastery sounds really great. I’d love to hear those morning chants. It’s just the ‘dawn’ part that might be hard. Seriously, though, I love that sort of thing. Good for you to have experienced it!

      • Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
        April 24, 2011 | 11:07 pm

        Haha yes I’ve done it multiple times! When you have a 6am international flight it’s almost better! I’ve done Bangkok & Mexico City before. And if you count long layovers you can throw Seoul in there too!

        The monastery was awesome! As for their chants being an “alarm clock” it was by far the soothest way of waking up I have ever experienced! And I wanted to get an early start anyways so it worked out rather well…
        Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..The Friday Five–Awesome Travel Blog Posts- April 22- 2011My Profile

        • CB Driver
          April 24, 2011 | 11:14 pm

          I agree, Aaron. A 6 am flight almost demands an airport sleepover–LOL. Nice re: the monastery…sounds fantastic and totally my cup of tea! :)

  4. Kristian
    April 22, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    It is amazing when you think of some of the strange places you sleep when travelling. I have done the Wadi Rum one myself, though we found a cave instead of doing it open air. It was nice, albeit on a floor covered in a foot of dung. It was beautiful though watching a meteor shower and falling asleep to the sound of absolute silence.
    Kristian recently posted..8 Things To Do In LiverpoolMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 7:54 pm

      Hi, Kristian, and thanks for your visit/comment. It is amazing to think about these places…definitely.

      A cave in Wadi Rum sounds great! But what about the dung? Oops. I hope you had a proper covering and that it didn’t smell too bad. (Was it from camels?) The meteor show sounds wonderful as does the silence. There’s something magical about Wadi Rum, I think. For me, it was one of the highlights of my time in Jordan and the Middle East itself.

      • Kristian
        April 22, 2011 | 8:09 pm

        Haha yeah that dung was the lasting impression; let’s just say I never used that sleeping bag ever again! Apparently it was a cave where the Bedouin sometimes kept their goats, but we crashed there for a week whilst it was unused. What a week that was.
        Kristian recently posted..8 Things To Do In LiverpoolMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          April 22, 2011 | 8:35 pm

          Goat poop? Oh god…not sure what it smells like, but I can’t imagine that you would get used to it. It must have been a wild week! :)

  5. Shane
    April 22, 2011 | 1:00 pm

    Tomorrow we should be sleeping in a Cappadocian cave. Hopefully no one has recently died in it but we’re told our bathroom is the entrance to another cave room (it’s not normally offered to guests for this reason) and have been warned to expect s German anthropologist to occasionally wander through. He assures us he will knock first.

    Ex Python Michael Palin is pictured in our room here: http://palinstravels.co.uk/book-4381
    Shane recently posted..Three Photos- Dohuk- IraqMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 7:57 pm

      Hi, Shane. Cool re: the cave! And I hope it’s recent-death free…lol. Funny re: that door and the anthropologist… I’m sure there could be some interesting chats there! Thanks for that link. V entertaining post there.

      And happy travels…hope you’re having a wonderful time!!

  6. flip
    April 22, 2011 | 1:19 pm

    love this post… reminds me of some unusual places that i’ve slept as well. slept once outside the budget terminal of KL while waiting for my early morning flight…
    flip recently posted..Nacpan and Calitang- The most beautiful beaches in the PhilippinesMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 7:58 pm

      Hi, Flip. Glad you enjoyed. So you’ve done the airport sleeping thing, huh? It’s not ideal–that’s for sure. But if can be worth it if you’re not a morning person. Why get a room only to have to wake up a few hours later?

  7. Jools Stone
    April 22, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    ‘We hadn’t been drinking’ Ok I believe you, we’ve all been there ;)
    As for the dead man’s cave house in Goreme, damn you and your juicy adventurous travel anecdotes! :)
    Jools Stone recently posted..Comment on 3 Myths about Italian Trains by Jools StoneMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 8:00 pm

      Hey, Jules! LOL. Seriously, I don’t think we had been drinking. Not that time, anyway! :)

      Glad you like the dead man’s cave tale! It’s even better in the complete story where I talk about how bizarre the room was and what the ‘energy’ felt like… Anyway, thanks for the visit/comment! :)

  8. david
    April 22, 2011 | 6:05 pm

    Wow, that’s an impressive list! My list is pretty standard: the train station at Oostende in Belgium, the airport in Singapore, on a train from Nice to Milan and back again because we were too cheap to get a room for the night (does that really count?), and finally under the table in the cafeteria on a large ferry from Europe to Ireland. That one was the worst! The boat was jammed with too many people and the entire 17 hr. ride was spent in very rough water. EVERYONE was sick. Every hour or so the crew would open the doors to the public bathrooms and toss buckets of water in to try to wash away some of the puke. It was awful.
    david recently posted..Help Me Plan My Road TripMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 8:03 pm

      Hi, David. Thank you! I think the train station definitely counts…absolutely–especially if you did it to skip getting a room! Under the table in the caf on the ferry is a great one! It does sound awful for a few reasons, including how sick people were. Ick. I hope the backwash (or whatever you’d call it in this case) did not flow or run over to where you were sleeping.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. It definitely qualifies as ‘unusual’! :)

  9. Linda
    April 22, 2011 | 6:51 pm

    Nothing so adventurous as you that I can remember! But sneaking into a barn in the English Lake District (and, yes, waking with straw in my hair, and sneaking out before the farmer found us!…..many moons ago, but I think I’d do it again!)

    And of airports – don’t ever consider doing it in Dublin. I did that the year before last, for the same reasons you did in Rome, and it is just awful. The airport is fine for normal transit, decent food etc, but overnighting – no – it is super uncomfortable and in late May was super cold too!
    Linda recently posted..Glimpses of the Future – Bleak or HopefulMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 8:05 pm

      Hi, Linda. I love what you shared….it sounds adventurous to me! Fun that you got to sneak out before getting caught. Must have been exciting!

      Good to know about Dublin. Will keep that in mind. It does seem that some airports are better for overnights than others. Rome wasn’t too great to be honest, but…at least, it was allowed. It did feel like a ‘no man’s land,’ however.

  10. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista
    April 22, 2011 | 7:05 pm

    Ok so I am very boring but the weirdest place I have slept is in a tent! I loved reading this post but am not sure I could sleep on the dirt. Interesting though because I have an early morning flight out of Budapest this summer and thought I might have to sleep at the airport. Luckily it seems they have transportation.

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 8:07 pm

      Hi, Debbie. Actually, I’m impressed with a tent–believe it or not. I haven’t had much success with them. I admire those who can do it!

      So you considered the ‘airport slumber’ deal for Budapest, huh? Glad you won’t have to. I suppose it’s worth it in some cases, but if you can avoid it, much better.

      Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kit Whelan
    April 22, 2011 | 8:44 pm

    Sleeping out in the open desert sounds amazing! Much like sleeping on the deck of a ship… wide open space all around. I’m definitely putting this on my to-do list :)
    Kit Whelan recently posted..Hidden Treasures- Overnight in a Buddhist Temple in Koya-san- JapanMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 22, 2011 | 9:05 pm

      Hi, Kit. It was really cool! Hard to sleep the first two nights because the stars were so beautiful that I couldn’t stop looking at them. Also, it was so different out there that I felt out of my element. And I wondered about insects, etc. But the third night, I really let go and went with the flow and slept the best. Amazing in the morning to watch the sky lighten up as the sun began to rise….

      I like the idea of sleeping on a ship’s deck. With calm enough water, that would be wonderful!

  12. Marsha
    April 22, 2011 | 10:54 pm

    Only you, Lisa! :P

    I haven’t slept anywhere bizarre (certainly not in a dead man’s bed–that would’ve creeped me out) but I almost stayed a couple of nights at the Orval Monastery in Belgium…but backed out at the last minute.
    Marsha recently posted..A Single Snapshot- The ArchwayMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 23, 2011 | 1:16 am

      LOL, Marsha! That monastery sounds cool…but I think I understand. When a place is old, I get a bit creeped out, too. Sometime, when we meet up in person, I’ll tell you about the old house I grew up in….

  13. Natalie
    April 23, 2011 | 2:07 am

    Number five is hilarious!! I think I have mostly managed to get to a bed. One night I slept on a pool table and that was because of too much drink!
    Natalie recently posted..Kusadasi – Not Quite The Jewel Of TurkeyMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 23, 2011 | 9:16 am

      HI, Natalie. Glad you got a kick out of #5. Turkey is definitely a country that lends itself to misadventures like that. When I think about it, I want to go back.

      A pool table, huh? Sounds like a story there….he, he, he. Was that in Turkey or elsewhere?

      Thanks for sharing!

  14. Michael "Thunder" F.
    April 23, 2011 | 10:03 am

    I guess for me, it was weird, but beautiful and fascinating. It was in a sleeping bag, under the stars, in the Sinai desert along the banks of the Red Sea. Never seen a clearer sky in my life. Also slept on a hard concrete floor in a subterranean bomb shelter in the Israeli Golan Heights.

    • CB Driver
      April 23, 2011 | 12:13 pm

      Hi, Michael. Great ones! Red Sea sounds lovely….sky must have been amazing. And the bomb shelter sounds wild–a real adventure. Golan Heights? Better yet! :)

  15. Acceleratedstall
    April 23, 2011 | 1:40 pm

    These 5 are GREAT and thanks for listing your options (or lack thereof) at the time but there HAS to be more.

    May I have some more – please?
    Acceleratedstall recently posted..Summer NightsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 24, 2011 | 10:34 am

      Glad you enjoyed them. Re: more options….hmmm….I probably could have just stayed up all night–LOL. Out of all of them, I found the one in Poland to be a real pain. The icky room, 3 hours back on the bus, hardcore snoring and then the couch…..

  16. Andrea
    April 23, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    Wow – you were super-brave on those first three! I don’t think I could sleep in a public place like that. I’m feeling pretty boring because I think my only good answer is on a boy scout bus when I was in the fifth grade: there was a huge storm where my girl scout troop was camping and our tents blew down. The boy scouts had pitched their tents properly and offered us their bus. How embarrassing!
    Andrea recently posted..Visiting a Dinosaur Excavation in NeuquénMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 24, 2011 | 10:36 am

      Hi, Andrea. Thanks and yeah, the public place was challenging. But the alternative was brutal–LOL.

      Funny re: the tents blowing down! I can’t set up a tent at all….. I think it’s sweet that you guys ended up on the bus and nice that they boys offered it. A fun adventure for sure!

  17. Jillian
    April 24, 2011 | 10:19 am

    When we were at the start of our trip I said I’d take pictures of every bed/cot/place we slept and make some sort of cool collage out of it. That lasted all of about a week, but your post makes me wish I had.

    By the way, I love sleeping outdoors. The desert must have been great! :)
    Jillian recently posted..An Earth Day Photo TourMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 24, 2011 | 10:40 am

      HI, Jillian and thanks for your comment! I love your idea…how fun. I wish I’d done than when I was in Central America. I might have done “5 Rooms I Rejected.” Would have been hilarious!

      So you like sleeping outdoors, too? Nice! Yes, the desert was great. And at first, I was sort of scared to (because of insects, etc.), but the way it felt was wonderful and how the sky looked was dreamy. So it was worth it in the end.

  18. Kelsey
    April 24, 2011 | 10:26 am

    Very unique post! Thanks to being a reenactor, I’ve slept in some very unusual places, including in barns, under tanks, on battlefields, and in my car. I’ve never slept in an airport, though I would have during my visit to Switzerland were it not for the fact that the Zurich airport actually shuts down completely at 11pm.

    • CB Driver
      April 24, 2011 | 10:43 am

      Thanks, Kelsey! I like your list there–especially under tanks and on battlefields. That sounds really cool to me (the reenactments do, too, by the way). I wonder if (on the battlefield) you were right out in the open or under some sort of shelter. And did you do it as part of a reenactment?

      The Zurich Airport closed down at 11 pm, huh? Shame….it’s probably one of the better ones to sleep in. I would imagine it’s clean and well-organized, etc. :)

      • Kelsey
        April 24, 2011 | 11:46 am

        It depends on the situation. I’ve slept in farm fields and mountains in 20 degree weather with just a fire and wool blanket a few times, but most of the time we do have a covering of some type, even if it’s just a cotton tarp. And yes, these were all part of reenactments or private, reenactor-only events.

        Here’s some photos of our various sleeping situations:

        A friend of mine, sleeping in the rain underneath a tank: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antipeople/4044594505/in/set-72157625485165858

        Marc, asleep in our tent: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antipeople/4081785464/in/set-72157625485165858

        Our tent at a recent private reenacting event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antipeople/3286213134/in/set-72157613967364468

        Asleep on the ground under a blanket, below freezing and with occasional snow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antipeople/3283882696/in/set-72157613967364468

        • CB Driver
          April 24, 2011 | 11:12 pm

          Cool shots, Kelsey. I admire you (and the others) a lot. Looks like some challenging conditions….

      • Kelsey
        April 24, 2011 | 12:20 pm

        I’ve also slept in plenty of spots like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antipeople/2191582416/

        • CB Driver
          April 24, 2011 | 11:13 pm

          Wow! Thanks for sharing the photos….very cool to see the actual places!

          • Kelsey
            April 26, 2011 | 7:47 am

            Most folks have no idea what goes on at reenactments or what the lives of reenactors are sometimes like, so I like to take shots of our “daily lives”, so to speak. Glad to know it’s appreciated.

          • CB Driver
            April 27, 2011 | 12:06 am

            Hi, Kelsey. I think you’re doing a great job of showing others what it’s really about, and that’s cool. The only time I saw a reenactment was back in the 1990s. It was of the Revolutionary War and was right here in NJ. I thought it was excellent. Over the years, I’ve become more interested in history/war, etc. Would love to see a Civil War reenactment in Gettysburg…I think it would be excellent.

            Anyway, great stuff you’re doing…really interesting how realistic it seems…

  19. Rease
    April 25, 2011 | 11:05 am

    These are great, Lisa. I’ve slept in airports mostly. I also took a nap in the park in Buenos Aires with a friend. We had several hours between buses so we took a cab for lunch and a nap in the sun!

    And one drink related night I slept on my mom’s couch, which isn’t that weird, but I woke up and realized I grabbed an Easter tablecloth instead of a blanket. I’m sure that was a funny sight.
    Rease recently posted..“My Body Does Not Have a Price”My Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 25, 2011 | 11:34 pm

      Hi, Rease. So you’ve done the airport thing, huh? It can be a bit odd… But the Easter tablecloth is priceless. Love it! Thx for sharing…

  20. Lorna - the roamantics
    April 25, 2011 | 9:54 pm

    these are awesome lisa! i have slept in some weird places! in a old borax mine cave in death valley, in the bedroom of the pakistani cab driver who picked me up from JFK airport when i moved to nyc (not what you’re thinking ;)) and in the walmart parking lot in modesto, ca. it’s fun, right? makes me feel alive! can totally get how you’d feel exposed in the open desert! good for you for doing it!
    Lorna – the roamantics recently posted..Donating My Hair in Honor of a Friend on Earth DayMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 25, 2011 | 11:39 pm

      Hi, Lorna. Glad you enjoyed my list. Yours are awesome, too. Holy crap! Boarx mine cave? Wow…trippy. LOL re: the cab driver… :) Walmart parking lot? That’s hilarious!

  21. Sarah Got A Passport
    April 27, 2011 | 10:29 pm

    Very creative post :) I’ve slept overnight on a folding chair in the Lima, Peru airport while waiting to board a flight to Cusco. And I’ve also slept under the stars in the desert in Egypt’s White Desert. It was so cold that I had trouble falling asleep.
    Sarah Got A Passport recently posted..My Multilingual Language Journey And How I Came To Speak 4-ish Languages- English- Thai- Spanish- Japanese- and ChineseMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 27, 2011 | 11:33 pm

      Hi, Sarah…thank you….glad you liked it! Under a folding chair? Nice! And under the stars in the White Desert? I love how that sounds. Awesome! But the cold…that must have been hard. When I went to Machu Picchu, there was one night like that. I just couldn’t warm up and couldn’t sleep. Hopefully, the starry sky in Egypt was really wonderful….

  22. Nomadic Chick
    April 28, 2011 | 12:33 am

    This was so funny! I’ve slept at airports, the floor of a Thai bar, In the lobby of a hostel, on a beach with sandflies.

    Oh, those misty moments. Your hilarious post brought them back.

    And I, too, have slept in a cave in Cappadocia. It was cold, but kinda neat.
    Nomadic Chick recently posted..I’m in Love… With My GuesthouseMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 28, 2011 | 8:40 am

      Hi, Jeannie…glad you laughed! The floor of a Thai bar? Sounds like there’s a story there–LOL. You also slept in a hostel lobby? Nice! Glad we share that. The beach with sandflies…oh no. We have to talk about that sometime. I was attacked by those monsters in Belize. Never saw or felt it/them–until later. Nightmare from hell.

      Glad you’ve done the cave thing….v cool! Perhaps after my trip, I could do an interview of you. I have a feeling you have some great stories to tell–the kind that I (and those who visit this site) would love to hear. Also, I’m super curious re: India… Thanks!

      • Nomadic Chick
        April 29, 2011 | 10:19 am

        Sure thing! I’d love to. Just say when. :)
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        • CB Driver
          April 29, 2011 | 11:30 am

          Awesomesauce! Probably in mid- to late July!

  23. Rebecca
    May 12, 2011 | 7:54 am

    Ha ha, great! I’d love to sleep out in the desert under the stars.
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    • CB Driver
      May 14, 2011 | 3:46 pm

      Hope you get to try it sometime, Rebecca. It’s that cool!

  24. Jeremy
    July 20, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    We stayed in Wadi Rum right after the Perseid meteor shower was ending in August. Wasn’t at peak but we definitely enjoyed laying out under the stars watching the occasional meteor go by!
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    • CB Driver
      July 20, 2011 | 9:49 pm

      Hi, Jeremy. Watching the meteors sounds amazing! Wadi Rum is a really special place…nice to know someone else who’s been/slept there!

  25. ma re
    August 22, 2011 | 11:16 am

    Hello Lisa..I had the “great opportunity” of sleeping “on board” of a scuba divers’ boat..it was a 10-hour sailing trip from Coron to El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) with some orange life-vest as mats.. and we have all the stars and the South Pacific Sea for ourselves as the sun sets to west.. hope to read more of your trips… thanks for sharing….

    • CB Driver
      August 23, 2011 | 9:34 am

      Hi there… That sounds interesting and totally worth any discomfort there might have been. Having the sea and and the stars to yourself is the ultimate! Thanks for joining our chat here!

  26. Sam Lovell
    September 1, 2011 | 1:53 pm

    Nice post! I thought a first you slept next to a deceased person in Goreme. That would have been weird! lol
    My top 5:
    - Great Wall of China, lovely sunrise.. sunset was a little noisy as the guards were shooting off crackers at me…
    - Mt. Sinai, Egypt: Was great until I woke up at sunrise to find myself crammed in between several tourists who had invaded my space!
    -Mt Nemrut, Turkey – The night sky was the most amazing I have ever seen!
    -Several train station floors, India. Nothing beats the atmosphere of train stations in India, hence sleeping at them is quite enjoyable as well
    -Bus station floor Labe, Guinea: After 15 hours or so on a bus I arrived late so had little choice but to camp out on the dirty floor. Was fine until a random Cow kept running around close by. I was afraid I was going to get run over!

    • CB Driver
      September 1, 2011 | 2:08 pm

      Hi, Sam. Welcome aboard the bus–nice to meet you! True–next to a deceased person would have been super weird-LOL.

      Love your top 5! You slept at Mt. Nemrut, Turkey? Amazing! I visited there, which was great. I wonder what it was like to sleep there. Chilly? :) And I’m sure that sleeping on the bus station floor in Guinea was a ‘trip.’ OMG to the cow. You sound very adventurous….and that’s awesome!

  27. Valerie Hamer
    September 25, 2011 | 4:29 am

    Cool post. They are all quite different for sure, especially the last. I’m not as adventerous as you but I have slept in a couple of Tokyo karaoke rooms when I missed the last train home!

    • CB Driver
      September 25, 2011 | 8:59 am

      Hi, Valerie. Glad you liked the post; thanks for visiting! You slept in Karaoke rooms? That sounds like fun. Hopefully, everyone had stopped singing by the time you feel asleep… :)

      • Valerie Hamer
        September 25, 2011 | 10:06 pm

        There was plenty of wailing from other rooms but in these cases I just went there after the night out was over. I had friends who would sleep in all night family restaurants – lighting in those places is a bit too bright for me!

  28. Nomadic Samuel
    September 25, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    Ah, this was a fun read! I once slept against a tree while standing up :P
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..Machu Picchu | Peru | Part 2 | Travel VideoMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      September 25, 2011 | 11:33 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Did you really? That sounds challenging–lol. Were you leaning against it? Where, by the way? :)

  29. James Cook
    November 29, 2011 | 6:25 am

    Sleeping out under the stars in Jordan must have been amazing
    James Cook recently posted..Destination Summary : MajorcaMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      November 29, 2011 | 6:27 am

      Yes, it was. Glad I had the chance to do it!

  30. Robert Watson
    December 12, 2011 | 4:31 am

    Monument Valley, middle of winter, no power, no heating.

    We drove from San Francisco to Miami in a hired RV and Monument Valley appealed to us. I had filled the gas (LPG) cylinder to full that day, not realizing that this didn’t allow space for gas to form.

    Arriving at the campground, they sign said, “Closed for Winter”. So, we just had to park in the parking lot. Snow patches were around, and the heater wouldn’t light :-( No hot water either.

    So, what did we do? We rested and enjoyed the serenity! A totally magic night in an awesome place! Isn’t that the essence of travel? I think so.

    • CB Driver
      December 12, 2011 | 9:18 am

      Hi, Robert. That’s a great one. What a beautiful place to be anyway. It really does sound like it was magical!

  31. Alan Horton (@TravelFlag)
    December 16, 2011 | 7:43 am

    Can I beat this range of overnight sleeping places – absolutely not? Another great post, Lisa – you are blessed that you remain safe in these potentially hazardous situations. Still it wouldn’t be “chickybus” without a certain hint of randomness, mized in with a little “danger” and “peril”!

    • CB Driver
      December 18, 2011 | 4:19 pm

      Hi, Alan. Glad you enjoyed this post! I think you really understand what the “bus” is about. Definitely randomness and a hint of risk/edge–LOL. :)

  32. Rahul
    December 30, 2011 | 12:52 pm

    thoroughly enjoyed reading this post…You gotta surrender for taking such calls…In my guess, 4th one would have topped the list…night under the stars in the desert… worth reading…

  33. Tash
    February 5, 2012 | 6:15 pm

    Does Rome airport set up those stretchers? That’s pretty lush! I have slept on the floor at Heathrow, for the exact same reasons as you, but it was the floor. With loads of other people, and the cleaning staff are pretty active in the middle of the night with the floor polisher! Still, I didn’t miss my early morning flight, so, whatever! Ha! The things we do!
    Tash recently posted..My A to Z of TravelMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 5, 2012 | 10:41 pm

      Hi, Tash. Great question! No, actually–I found the photo on Flickr (through Creative Commons) and thought it was perfect. Imagine if they did, though.

      Slept on the floor at Heathrow? Cool! If you’re a night person and need to can save money, it’s worth it. I know what you mean re: the floor polishers. I vaguely recall hearing them, too. Trippy sleeping in airports, no? :)

  34. maria
    February 6, 2012 | 1:59 am

    love your post/blog… reminds me of some unusual places that i’ve slept as well. slept once outside the budget terminal of Jakarta Indonesia and Manila Philippines while waiting for my early morning flight… :-)

    • CB Driver
      February 6, 2012 | 12:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Maria! You slept in an airport, too? A unique experience, for sure! :)

  35. Derek
    March 9, 2012 | 3:26 pm

    I hate sleeping with bugs and your ‘desert’ picture reminded me of a place in Uganda Africa where we slept on a cement floor, with a small pad. We woke up to ants crawling around. It was either sleep there or in a van sitting up. As we packed up to leave and continue our journey we saw two spiders the size of our hands crawling around. They were huge and flat! Lets just say we stopped thinking about that experience and just went on with the trip.
    Derek recently posted..Unlimited Free Delta SkyMiles With SkyMiles DiningMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 10, 2012 | 11:37 am

      Hi, Derek. The scene you described sounds like absolute nightmare fuel–holy crap! My unusual places now sound like luxury rooms–LOL! I’ve seen some large spiders, but not the size of my hand. That is scary! Thanks for sharing…

    • CB Driver
      March 11, 2012 | 10:20 am

      Derek: PS–I think you might enjoy this sick/twisted game I created a while back, which is called Would You Rather (for Travelers). There are some buggy situations in that and you have to choose which one you’d rather be in. :)

  36. Pamela
    March 13, 2012 | 12:27 am

    My dad took my sister and me tent camping in Alaska in December. It was -25f. We had a very small wood stove that warmed part of the tent and each of us had a sleeping mat, sleeping bag combination under the sleeping bag we were using. No matter what…sleeping on a frozen lake at -25f is cold.
    Pamela recently posted..My Modernized Belizean Stewed Chicken with Rice and BeansMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 16, 2012 | 8:54 am

      Hi, Pamela. I can’t even begin to imagine how cold it was camping in Alaska. Wow. You must need special sleeping bags for that. I freeze my butt off the minute it goes below 32F. Good for you for camping in such extreme conditions!

  37. jenny truong
    May 5, 2012 | 8:46 pm

    Now those are some unusual places!

  38. Spencer
    June 6, 2012 | 12:53 am

    Sometimes you just have to sleep no matter where!
    Spencer recently posted..Ten Top Hotels in StockholmMy Profile

  39. Joann Greeme
    July 21, 2013 | 6:36 pm

    Hi, I am reading your book and had to look up some of the sites that you visited in Eastern Turkey. We went to Turkey in 1999 but didn’t do the eastern part. I love the picture of the room in Cappadocia where you slept in the cave. It looks much better than I pictured. Carpet on the floor and walls? Fancy!! Keep traveling and writing. Love the book & it brought back memories. We traveled a bit in countries that were off the beaten path, to some degree, back in the late 1990′s and 2000. Never regretted a penny spent and now health doesn’t permit us to do it so go for it while you can. You go girl!!!

    • CB Driver
      July 22, 2013 | 5:14 pm

      Hi, Joann. Thanks so much for stopping by the ‘bus’ and for sharing that you’re reading my book. That’s so cool! Isn’t Turkey amazing? Yeah, that cave was something else (just the one carpet on the wall; mostly hanging clothes and old stuff)…trippy experience there! :) Glad you visited Turkey, too, and some other off-the-beaten-path countries. I’m also happy that my book brought back memories for you!

      I hear you re: having no regrets about travel spending. No one can ever take your experiences away and it’s important to live in the now. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement; I appreciate it all!

      PS: If you have a few minutes–and feel comfortable with it–could you leave a short review on Amazon (1-3 sentences)? I hate to ask, but I know that so many people read them and base their book decisions on them. If you can, I’d truly appreciate it.

      PPS: More books coming in the future! One will be about life-changing experiences in Ecuador; another is about some Native American encounters in the U.S. You might enjoy them, too. :)

      • Joann Greeme
        July 22, 2013 | 8:19 pm

        You bet I’ll leave you feedback on Amazon. I just did a 5 star review of your book on Goodreads. I’ll be first in line when your new book comes out. I really enjoyed this book and love your writing style? Not sure if that applies to authors, writing style? We also made it to Jordan. I wanted soooooooo much to see Petra. Awesome place and like you I hate negativity. Poor Alistar.
        I tend to see the brightly colored doors in rural Egypt that I want to photograph when others in our group were asking the guide about the garbage!!!
        If you haven’t done Morocco, it is one of my fav places and oh I’m sure you would find many adventures to tell from there. Love your sense of humor and keep traveling and writing!

        • CB Driver
          July 22, 2013 | 10:35 pm

          Joann–thank you SO much! I just checked my page and saw the incredible review you wrote. It made my day!!!

          You also went to Jordan? Awesome! Petra is cool–definitely–but know what I loved even more? Wadi Rum! I have a story about staying there, sleeping in the desert, and really wanted to include it in the book. Unfortunately, it wasn’t coming together. I tried several times, then let it go. That place is magical and I highly recommend it.

          Re: the negativity…yeah, some of those encounters in Eastern Turkey with my traveling companion were a bit of a drag. They did, however, make for good stories! LOL People were asking about the garbage when there were gorgeous doors to photograph? That sucks.

          Morocco, huh? I’m very curious–I must admit. Do you think that would be better on a tour? Is that how you went? Or did you go independently? I would imagine it’s a ‘Tout-o-Rama’–LOL–but possibly worth some of the hassles. It is definitely on my list. I hope to make the trip in a couple of years.

          Thanks again for everything–I appreciate it so much! You’ve inspired me to get to work on the other books, etc. :)

  40. Joann Greeme
    July 23, 2013 | 8:25 pm

    Hi again, we went to Jordan(1997)when it wasn’t a tourist destination. No hotels near Petra at all back then. We went in 1997 May 17-25th. All the local people we talked to were surprised that we were spending a whole week there. Most come from Israel for a few days. If we had asked for a night in Wadi Rum I’m sure we could have had it. We went on a jeep ride with our guide into Wadi and spent a whole day there. I sorta like my creature comforts and don’t think I’d sleep well on the sand!!
    We did Turkey on our own and had a driver and a guide. I do a lot of research and make sure I get a lot of bang for my buck. I think some of our trips were about as cheap as a tour bus. We did Egypt with Overseas Adventure Travel (small group) and enjoyed it except for our long winded guide. Going down the Nile is awesome.
    We did Morocco with http://www.odysseys-unlimited.com/ which is a small group tour also. Great guide, just one obnoxious couple to contend with.
    From reading your book, I think you could do Morocco alone, but it’s a big country and you’d probably only be able to do a part of it. Fez, Marrakech and the sand dunes at Merzouga – not to be missed. It’s a beautiful country and people try to be helpful if they can. I’m a bit like you – I like to get into their culture as much as possible and people have told me I can be a chatter box and make friends easily.
    I have to share a story with you. We were in Madaba, Jordan and our guide ran across another guide he knew. The guy liked my nose (not a long one, sorta pugged?) LOL and I think my blond hair and was willing to give my husband so many camels for me. Ah, but then I found out that I’d be his second wife so of course I declined LOL # 1 or nothing!!!

    • CB Driver
      July 31, 2013 | 3:34 pm

      Hi, Joann. Sorry for the delay in responding. I like the idea of Morocco. I may do that in a few years.

      That is SO funny about the camels offered. And a second wife? LOL I like that you drove a hard bargain!

      • Joann Greeme
        July 31, 2013 | 5:53 pm

        I was tempted – the men are pretty good looking but I was a lot younger then AHHHHHHHHHH those days are gone :(

        • CB Driver
          August 1, 2013 | 2:35 am

          He he…they are good looking. I agree. Cool that you had a fun time!

    • CB Driver
      July 31, 2013 | 3:35 pm

      Just realized that I responded twice to your comment. Doh! :)

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