The Three Best Kept Travel Secrets in the History of the Universe

I was going to make this a destination piece, but figured the places I had in mind warranted their own blog posts. Yes, they’re that amazing. Maybe I’ll take those secrets to my grave. Maybe you’ll never find out. Maybe as I’m lying on my deathbed at 85 years old, I’ll beckon one of you forward, draw you close to my withered lips, and tell you everything with my last dying breaths. Or maybe I’ll post them next week.

So anyway, I was tagged by both Steph and Abbie to be a part of the Tripbase Blog Tag started by a fine lady named Katie. I give up the goods, and then tag five others to do the same. Eventually the tips get compiled into a big happy list to share with the community. Here goes.

1. Don’t Walk Barefoot in the Rain Through the Streets of Dublin

My first night in Dublin was the most memorable of my semester abroad. My friends and I participated in a pubcrawl led by a rowdy Aussie, partied in ten different bars and made a dozen new friends (although I know only two of them now). But by the end of the night, my shoes were chafing and I ditched them to go barefoot. Not even bums do this because a) the streets are filthy b) they’re smarter than I.

My lack of shoes plus other careless acts led to a violent case of gastroenteritis, which caused me to miss all my field trips for the week and destroyed the rest of my time in Ireland.

Note the gum everywhere.

2. Don’t Eat the Space Cakes From the Dampkring Coffee Shop in Amsterdam

These space cakes are creamy. They are chocolatey, smooth and delicious. They are also the most deceiving jerks you’ll ever meet.

When in London, my roommate and I encountered a guy named Michael who told us all about his latest excursion to Amsterdam. I thought he was dreamy because he whipped out a journal and showed us his stoned scribbles — side effects of the potent cake. We vowed to try them.

I’m not into drugs. I never do them, and my body simply can’t handle it. But I was in Amsterdam, and among other questionable acts that weekend, space cakes didn’t seem so bad. The group I was with all ate one, and then we split up and agreed to meet later.

About twenty minutes later, the THC smacked me in the face while I was purchasing curry fries. One minute I was fine; the next, I was stumbling past canal after canal after canal, completely fried out of my mind. The sun was peeling off my skin in layers. I stood in the Anne Frank house, staring at the guy in front of me, believing him to be my friend from home and willing him to recognize me. Somehow I found my way back to the hostel, where I passed out at 9 p.m. and slept right through Amsterdam’s ridiculous gay pride weekend celebrations. The curry fries? Just as delicious coming back up.

**So this one is getting a lot of attention, but I didn’t mention the worst part. Where did I upchuck? Inside the Anne Frank house. Thankfully it happened in the public bathroom, but I had to shove a screaming Dutch lady out of the way and assault a teenager to get there. Hands down the most shameful thing I’ve ever done, and I fully paid my respects the next day.

3. Don’t Wear Leather Sandals, Ever

There are few things more embarrassing than walking into your hostel room to discover your gorgeous Australian male roommates are discussing the rancid odour emitting from your sandals in the corner. I swear it was only because a day earlier we had trekked through the marshlands of Old Harlow and I hadn’t been able to cleanse my footwear.

Tagging these ladies and gent:

Eric of A Man Nowhere

Michelle of MusicTravelWrite

Megan of Megan’s Rants and Ramblings

Cathey of mischief & impermanent bliss

Neha of Flying Suitcase


  • Stephanie

    Oh man I am so guilty of being a drunk barefoot person. I can’t even count how many times I ended up walking barefoot through the streets of London (including one memorably chilly New Years). It’s never a good idea and that’s why I stick to flats now!

  • Abbie

    I love that your travel secrets list is a “do not” list… AND do not go barefoot in Vegas clubs because the bouncers will make you put your shoes back on no matter how bad your feet hurt…

  • Candice

    Hah, didn’t even realize I did that! I wonder what that says about my character, lol.

  • Candice

    Ok, you are way more badass than me for doing it in the winter. One million points for you.

  • Shannon OD

    Candice, you totally crack me up, seriously. I’ve tried the barefoot walk home in LA – no horrible stories thankfully but I don’t even want to think about what was on the bottom of my feet while I passed out on my bed….note to self: wash sheets the next day 😉

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  • Amiee

    Holy space cake crack up!

  • Gray

    Kudos to you for writing one of the most hilarious “3 best secrets” of the game!

  • neha

    Candice, you keep upping the bar on hilarious! Will have to really work on my own list now! Also, that Amsterdam story is crazzy!

  • Candice

    Did that in Mexico! I believe there’s photos of that one too. Hahaha.

  • Candice

    That’s not even the worst part…I think I’ll make a reference to it in my post

  • Candice

    You are much too kind, thanks for dropping by!

  • Candice

    Hahahah thanks Neha, can’t wait to read yours!

  • Cathey

    Thanks for the tag! I alternated between gasps and laughter while reading this – so great! I totally relate to points 1 & 3 – leather sandals are evil, and I stopped going barefoot when I watched a terrifying show on parasites. So sorry you had to live it.

  • Sabina

    Hey, I got horifically ill in Ireland too! Which destroyed the rest of my time in Ireland! And I got robbed! Ever been robbed? It wasn’t so bad, actually.

  • Stop Having a Boring Life Rob

    hahaha, I’ll add “don’t go barefoot in the rain anywhere”. Was in Bangkok and it was pouring, half way to the knees, don’t know what you’ll step on and if you can’t walk… You can’t travel.

    Cool blog, nice work on going to a domain.

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  • Joannaline Young

    You’re hilarious!!! I will keep your recommendations in mind but I will likely eat the space cakes if I’m ever in Amsterdam. You know you will too!

  • ryan

    love it.

  • Katie, Tripbase

    A fun take on the game, thanks for your wide words!!

  • AdventureRob

    Awesome list Candice, kudos for thinking outside the box on the travel secrets :)

  • Nancy

    Hahaha-I love it! Your Amsterdam story is classic. Those space cakes will do you Again, love the site.

  • Candice

    Oh man, I wish I had seen that show on parasites. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Candice

    Hahahahahah “it wasn’t so bad really.” That’s awful!! And damn what is it about Ireland?

  • Candice

    *sigh* It’s inevitable, just try them elsewhere!

  • Candice


  • Candice

    It was fun, thanks for stopping by!

  • Candice

    Hehe, thanks Rob

  • Candice

    Thanks for stopping by! I’ve added you to my long list of new blogs to check out. And ditto on the no-barefoot policy. EEk.

  • Candice

    Seriously, I will never, ever touch one of those again, lol.

  • Abhi

    Awesome stories!
    Cakes in Amsterdam.. interesting! Gotta try that when I go there! 😛

  • Jasmine

    SO jealous of your life! How fun!

  • South Florida Lawyers


    Let’s see, I’ve done 1, but it was Cork Ireland during the Guinness Jazz Fest.

    2, been to Anne Frank’s house, but I was sober (I was also only 12 at the time).

    3 — I’d still wear ’em.

  • Candice

    There’s a Guinness Jazz Fest?! I must go. My ancestors are from Cork.

  • Candice

    Hahahaha I love this comment, thank you!

  • Candice

    If you do, please let me know how it went. And do so with great trepidation!

  • Dave and Deb

    Good advice all around. I tend to go barefoot a lot myself. I just hate shoes. So next time I am in Dublin I will be sure to keep my flipflops on, but never never leather sandals:)
    Thanks for the link love, put you up on ours too!

  • Candice

    Ahh, I’m glad I was able to prevent someone else from suffering in the manner I did. 😉 And thanks for linking!

  • Carlo

    I can attest to the space cake. I smoked my fair share of ganja back in the day but whenever I ingested it in food, never a good time! Especially in Amsterdam. I made the mistake of eating food before the space cake…so after an hour without feeling anything, we sparked up a fattie…BAD idea. It hit like a MF. The good thing was that we were back in our room so I couldn’t make a fool of myself. Just a lot of “will i ever come down from this? Am I fucked up for life?”

  • Candice

    Hahahahah, I really wish what happened to me was in privacy. I have never felt so messed up in my life, and I actually haven’t touched the stuff since. Weird, because I ate one the night before too and it was fine. Just NOT from Dampkring!

  • Akila

    I do tend to go barefoot a lot but Dublin wouldn’t be one of those places. Too cold! And that’s so funny about leather sandals. I have to say I love my leather Birkenstocks and I’m not planning on givng them up.

  • Candice

    Ah, well, maybe Birkenstocks fare better than $10 sandals I bought at Wal-Mart.

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