In part two of my conversation with Danny Kaine, we dig deeper and get a peek behind the curtain into the life of skiier, biathlete, former military and founder of NomadSOS, a service which provides location based travel safety training as well as offering the Emergency Medical ID.
If you’re just joining the conversation, don’t miss out on on part one of the conversation:
Part one: Intro to the traveling life of Danny Kaine and NomadSOS.
In Danny’s travel story below you will find multiple examples of travel safety advice that he puts into practice in a very real situation to avoid being robbed. Textbook.
What’s your favorite place to travel?
As of yet I’m still actively looking for my favorite place to travel. I have traveled to 39-countries, including extended stays of 6-months plus in Brunei, Jordan, Afghanistan, Belize, Mexico and Canada. In addition, I have also spent a combined total of 3-years in Iraq, both with the military and privately. I have experienced some great things in some great countries. I am currently in Mexico and Guatemala is my next stop, maybe I will find my ‘AH HA’ moment there.
What’s your worst travel story?
What happened, how did you deal with it?
Leaving the military stories aside, the worst thing that happened to me while traveling was being held at knife-point in Bogota, Colombia. I have to add, I was in a place I had been advised not to go, at night, and I had been drinking. I was 25-years old and I had traveled there for work purposes after leaving the military. It was our last night and we decided to go for leaving drinks.
We stayed inside what we called the ‘Square’ – a safe-zone for expats of approximately 30 square miles. It was midnight and two of us had decided to go to a nightclub we heard about outside the Square. We took a taxi and after 20-minutes we had arrived. Outside, Bentley’s, Maserati’s and Range Rover’s lined the street. Inside, the music and lights were incredible and at every turn was a beautiful woman. My friend and I had arranged a place to meet if we got separated and after one-hour, that’s exactly what happened.
I went to the location we had agreed to meet which was just outside the nightclub but he wasn’t there. A woman standing by the door spoke to me in English and asked if I was looking for my other English friend. I said, “yes” and she explained that he had gone to the ATM around the corner. Foolishly, I followed her advice and as soon as I turned the corner, I was greeted by two guys. One had a knife, the other asked me in plain English for my wallet. Being former military, and having been drinking, I remember my ego telling me that I could take that knife but my inner voice told me not to do anything stupid. I did exactly as I had trained to do many times. I lowered my stature, held out my hands with my palms open, and told the guy that I didn’t want to get hurt and that he can have my wallet if he lets me reach for it. He motioned for me to get it. I slowly reached back, took my wallet from my back right pocket and handed it to him. He looked into it, saw the money and they both ran away -as did I in the opposite direction.
I ran back toward the nightclub. By this time, my friend was there waiting, we had a code-word which I shouted as I approached him and we both ran together. We jumped into the first taxi we saw and were driven back to the relative safety of the green-zone. Even back then, thankfully I carried a dummy wallet. Inside it had some expired bank and credit cards, an old library card and a couple of hundred dollars in it. My actual ID, passport, and money were in my money belt tucked under my pants.
Stay tuned for part three; Danny shares his number one piece of travel safety advice and the travel stories that laid the foundation for the ‘aha moment’ behind the creation of NomadSOS.