Fearless Jacey discusses insects, travel apps, and an unexpected act of kindness
Jacey began traveling the world in June of 2017 despite having little money and no plans. She has been documenting her trips along the way, posting on her YouTube channel almost daily in an attempt to show others what it’s really like to travel full-time. She is an author, a vlogger, and a teacher, and she strives to help others live their lives more fearlessly.
Jacey answered three questions for us that we thought would be helpful, insightful, or entertaining for fellow RTW travelers as part of a series of guest posts!
Have you had any crazy insect, snake, or animal experiences?
When I was in Bali, I visited the Nusa islands, which is a group of three islands just off the southeast part of Bali. They’re best known for being less touristy and having great snorkeling and diving opportunities. I did find Nusa Lembongan largely empty of tourists and Nusa Penida had great snorkeling spots, specifically a place you can snorkel with dozens of Manta Rays who swim right up next to you!
My first night in Nusa Penida was torturous. I was staying in a bungalow dorm room. The beds were all individual single beds, there were no bunks, there were two bathrooms for just sevens beds, and there was free shampoo in the shower! It seemed like a fantastic place. However, once the sun went down, the mosquitos perked up. With the thatched roof, there was no way to keep them out of the room. Unfortunately, the bed had no mosquito nets. After waking up around 1am scratching the skin off my legs, I tried to curl myself under my blanket to stay away from more bites. However, the blanket was wool and the AC was poor. I spent hours trying to get my mind off the sweat dripping down my legs, making all my bites itch like wildfires.
In addition, I also experienced a cockroach flying onto my head for the first time while I was here. As I was trying to quit scratching, I watched a spider meticulously weave its web a couple feet over my bed.
I woke up with 70 mosquito bites. Yep, I counted them as I was applying cream on them in the morning. I had 37 on one leg alone. I left after the first night even though I had booked two. I messaged the owner a very detailed and passionate letter.
I splurged for the next few days, staying in a well air-conditioned room with sealed walls and windows. By the way, ice was the best relief I found, even more so than the prescription-strength anti-itch cream I’d brought from the US.
If you were limited to THREE travel apps, what would they be and why?
- Currency Exchange
- Google Translator
I literally use Maps.Me everyday. This is a GPS map you can use off of Wi-Fi. You need to download the city/state/country map first, but once you do, you can do everything just like you can on GoogleMaps on Wi-Fi. You can plan a route, find ATMs, search restaurants, and add bookmarks all without Wi-Fi. It’s easily the most useful app I have.
Currency Exchange is an app that converts currency without Wi-Fi and it updates rates everytime it gets connected to Wi-Fi again. I use it to see how much of a rip-off exchange desks would be. I use it when I need to eat something and I’ve only been in the country for one hour (and haven’t memorized the exchange rate yet). I use it most to find out when I’m being ripped off. Sometimes taxis, tuk-tuks, or motorbike drivers will inflate their rates (sometimes 3x or more) for tourists. I do my best to not let that happen.
Google Translator is fantastic because you can download dictionaries before you leave Wi-Fi then translate phrases without connecting to the Wi-Fi. I use it to take pictures of menus written in a different language, or if I’m trying to talk to someone who knows no English. It’s great if I need to translate a street sign or the fine-print on a bus ticket.
Have you been the recipient of an unexpected act of kindness?
Along the way, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the kindest people. The event that jumps out at me the most was when I was completely lost in Bagheria, Sicily. Bagheria is a smaller town outside of the big city of Palermo. I was staying here because it was only a short train ride to Palermo and the AirBnBs were half the price.
Usually before I go to a new location, I mark the address on my Maps.Me map. I message the AirBnB host or hostel staff to agree on an arrival time, and search the best way to travel from the bus/train station to the place I’m staying.
The AirBnB I was staying at in Agrigento, Sicily had unexpected Wi-Fi issues, leaving me without Wi-Fi connection for 2 days. I couldn’t update my map or contact my AirBnB host before heading to Bagheria, my next destination.
When I arrived in Bagheria, I had a plan: find the first cafe or McDonald’s and use their Wi-Fi to do all of the above. I started walking down what seemed to be the main street leading from the train station into town. I popped into every cafe I passed and asked if they had Wi-Fi. Every single one said “No.” Even the grocery store only had private Wi-Fi.
I walked out of the grocery store–which had been my final futile attempt–and sat on a bench. I took my backpacks off, slumped over and let myself cry out my frustration. “Okay, Jacey. You can cry, just get it out, then we’ll figure out what to do.”
I spent a couple minutes with my face in my hands before I felt a pat on my shoulder.
I looked up and found this short older man looking at me with worried eyes. He asked me something in Italian, to which I shook my head, smiled (probably looking gruesome), and waved him off. He persisted. He began speaking German instead. I had taken German in college, so I remembered a few words. “Es ist gut,” I kept saying, trying to tell him I’m fine. I guess I wasn’t believable with tears still running down my face.
He tugged my arm and stood me up. I managed to tell him I just needed Wi-Fi and I could go to the place I’m staying. He walked me hurriedly to the glasses store (like Lenscrafter’s) next to the supermarket. He spoke to the young man at the desk. I stood sniffling by the window trying to look like an adult who knows what she’s doing.
The young man went to another young man who came over to me. He spoke broken English. I told him I had an AirBnB booked, but I needed Wi-Fi to find the address, and I couldn’t find Wi-Fi. He lent me his phone, but I couldn’t log into AirBnB on his phone without verifying my password with my Google account, which I could only log into by verifying my password with my Yahoo account, which I could only log into by getting a code which would go to my mom’s phone, which I could only get if I could message her over Wi-Fi. He made his cell phone a hotspot, allowing me to connect to his phone and use his data. I was able to pull up my AirBnB address and plug it into my map.
This moment was one of many when I was simply at a loss of how to make it work. While I was confident I would be able to pull myself together and find a solution on my own, it made me feel so warm that this man would approach a stranger and help her find a solution to a problem without even speaking her language. He stayed with me up until I had the route set in my map and was on the way to my AirBnB. He apologized profusely that he could not walk with me because he had to go to his doctor’s appointment.
It’s things like this that have helped me realize two things: there’s always a way to accomplish what you need to accomplish, and there are more nice people in the world than there are mean people.
Thank you, Jacey, for such great info! Be sure to check out Jacey’s YouTube channel, web site, and social media channel!