Embrace the Awkward

Playing in the mud, Vang Vieng, Laos

Embrace The Awkward

Embrace the awkward in your travels.

One of the greatest things about travel is that it pushes you beyond your comfort zone, introducing you to cultures and situations that were completely foreign to you. In this journey, you are 100% certain to run into a lot of awkward situations. So let me introduce you to my own personal mantra, embrace the awkward. 

Completing the artwork, Angers, France
Completing the artwork, Angers, France


It must be a primal human instinct to seek comfortable surroundings for fear of the unknown.But if we can manage to overcome this instinct, we are rewarded with incredible experiences and encounters that open  both heart and mind to a larger world. In life, especially on the road, you will be encountered with man new situations that will leave you feeling, well, damned awkward! If you are anything like me, than your instinct will tell you to sidestep the situation as best as possible, and that’s a mistake. 

These awkward situations will turn into some of the more memorable moments of your travels and some of the funniest stories to tell your family and friends. So instead of trying to sidestep your way out of the situation, for fear of losing face, get right in there, make a fool of yourself and appreciate every moment of the ridiculousness.

Getting dreadlocks, Bangkok, Thailand
Getting dreadlocks, Bangkok, Thailand

What’s the old saying? “You regret the chances you don’t take much more than the ones you do” … or something of that sort.


So how do you fight the instinct of flight an allow the situation to become more and more awkward? Well, this is a bit of an art form, but basically you try to look at the situation from an omnipotent point of view. In other words, picture yourself as the narrator watching the situation instead of the subject within it… and imagine how you will tell the story in the future. If you manage to step back and pretend that your watching yourself, you’ll be able to appreciate the humour in the moment and realize that you can go deeper and deeper into the awkwardness in order to augment the comical value of the story.

Just think to yourself, when you tell your friend this story, what will they ask? You certainly don’t want to be left answering “I don’t know, didn’t ask” … Learn to anticipate these questions and ask them…. the weird little hazard of this technique is that you may actually learn some very valuable lessons and will certainly learn a lot about different cultures.

While you’re doing this, make sure that yoKichwa ceremony, Salasaka, Ecuadoru are not mocking or ridiculing the other person, their beliefs or their culture… Take a real interest and you’ll be rewarded with a memorable experience and interesting story. 

Many of my favourite moments throughout my travels have started with some of the most awkward situations I could’ve ever imagined. Here are a few of them:

Alone on a Camel Safari
The Hazards of Being a Small Town Traveler
Curious About Living in a Cave?

I absolutely love to hear about other people being thrown out of their comfort zone and learning to embrace the awkward, so please leave me a comment regarding when you managed to just go with it and embrace the awkward.

Kichwa ceremony, Salasaka, Ecuador.

16 thoughts on “Embrace the Awkward

  1. docdroid

    Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital infos.
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    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Whoa! Settle down over there! There are oh so few droids that may call me ‘loved one’ (C3PO and R2D2 are about it)… Damn, you certainly did make this quite awkward indeed. Well, I hope you find other posts like this to ‘peer’… good luck my… ugh… ‘unknown’ one… so programming glitch just won’t let me say ‘loved one’

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  4. Jung

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How lengthy have you ever
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    The whole look of your website is magnificent, as neatly as the content material!

    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Thanks man… Whoa… In the middle of all that praise, did you ask me how long I’ve been running blow for? Damn, that IS awkward! Mate, I’m telling ya, you don’t have to run blow to travel the world, you really don’t! I may be Canadian, but I’m not into THAT kind of snow… May be white, but I’m not into the White stuff… May love the powder on the hill, but not in my nose… Just cuz I’m cool, don’t mean I’m cool wit dat, yo!

  5. piece of shit

    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made
    or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog
    shine. Please let me know where you got your theme.
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    • Jonny Jenkins Post author

      Sorry, piece… I somehow don’t believe this is a real question… especially considering I’ve received it on at least ten other posts… But, I must ask, with a name like yours, you’ve clearly had your own fair share of awkward scenarios; with a lifetime of experience at being awkward, do you have any tips or advice? Come on Mr. Shit, this is clearly the time to speak up and let the unfortunate manner in which your parents named you (or was that self chosen?) become a shining beacon of expertise for the rest of us… Don’t let me down P.O.S.

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