3 years ago

It was written | The best 30 signs from A Great Journey

When you spend 17+ months on A Great Journey around the world, you see all kinds of stuff.

Beautiful landscapes, shocking driving habits, incredible architecture, an insane amount of stray dogs, ancient temples and pyramids, amazing animals, presidential speeches, a random In-N-Out in Ethiopia; the list goes on.

Some of the things you see scare you.

Modern Coast bus drivers running cars off the road. Honey badgers & elephants at your tent in the middle of the night. An angry silverback gorilla pounding his chest 3 meters away. The essay prompt on the FSOT. The price of avocados in New Zealand.

New Zealand Avos
Just the beginning of the sticker shock. And avo withdrawals.

Others leave you speechless.

The Kigali Genocide Memorials, the lava lake at the Nyiragongo volcano, Adele, an insanely bright Milky Way, and a quartered pedestrian, stand out in particular.

Salar de Uyuni tour
Twinkle, twinkle. Clear skies and no light pollution made for awesome stargazing at the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

Often, they make feel quite happy.

Like Gelada monkeys at sunset, Bag End, a negative malaria test, someone pulling over when you’re hitchhiking, single-rider line signs at Tokyo Disney, a leopard stalking near your car door, and garbage trucks (and Chelawasi!) in Arequipa.

Bag End!

Anger was warranted at times.

It was hard to stave off at the Apartheid & District Six Museums, upon seeing poacher tracks, at the Atomic Bomb dome in Hiroshima, and when looking at my watch while the adhan was blasting in Lilongwe. It was four a.m.

And then there are those that make you laugh; sometimes aloud, other times internally because you’re clearly immature, yet too mature to do the former. Or they were so great they warrant props.

That’s what this post is all about.

Bad translations, stereotypos, sage life advice, misspellings, warnings, great ads, misplaced murals, and sacrilegious (for some, not me) signs are all part of this short list of the best things I saw while on A Great Journey.

Some you’ll get right away, others require translation, and one will be understood only by Seattleites. Enjoy!

Best signs on a great journey
Favorite African mural. Loved this at Malambe Camp on Lake Malawi.
Stone Town, Zanzibar
As seen at the bar in Stone Town, Zanzibar.
Best signs on a great journey
Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Best signs on a great journey
“Morr: Exclusively for fatties.” Chiclayo, Peru
Best signs on a great journey
Great name. Great prices. Musina, South Africa.
Best signs on a great journey
Ass disposable cutlery. Kirijia, Peru.
Best signs on a great journey
Cause and effect. Johannesburg, South Africa.
Best signs on a great journey
Um, Cum Books, a Christian book store in South Africa.
Best signs on a great journey
“Used Beer” Barranco Beer Company, Lima, Peru
Best signs on a great journey
“Drinks as cold as a hug from your ex…” Santiago, Chile.
Best signs on a great journey
“Bring your wife, girlfriend, or lover for a meal…or bring all three at the same time and the four of you drink free.” Santiago, Chile
Golden Shower beer, Lilongwe Craft Beer festival, Malawi.
One of the best church signs I saw. In cool little Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Best signs on a great journey
Peru has great chiken.
Best signs on a great journey
Motherf*cker/Your whore mother cafe. Valparaiso, Chile.
Best signs on a great journey
Cheers to elementary schools in the wine lands. Mendoza, Argentina.
Best signs on a great journey
South Africa, where you can get a Seattle Freeze.
Best signs on a great journey
Hurt me just thinking about this in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Best signs on a great journey
Dr. Prince in Zambia.
“Thieves caught stealing will be burned alive.” Puno, Peru.
The father, son, and the holy ghost. Argentine pizzeria in Puebla, Mexico.
Flash! On the Zambezi night train from Livingstone to Lusaka.
Best signs on a great journey
Super polite people in Lusaka, Zambia.
Best signs on a great journey
Cheers from Bondi, Australia.
Best signs on a great journey
Chinese proverbs seemed so much wiser in the olden days. Shanghai, China.
Best signs on a great journey
Unfortunate stereotypo in Harajaku, Tokyo. But great crepes nearby.
Best signs on a great journey
This Kyoto Museum owner, ftw!
Best signs on a great journey
Shrimp stew, suck shrimp. Tomato, tomahto in Arequipa, Peru.
Best signs on a great journey
Al Anon and a store where Corona is king. Coatepec, Mexico
Best signs on a great journey
A winning beer by Behemoth in Nelson, New Zealand.
Best signs on a great journey
That 30 USD entry fee does not include “Drinking Water” at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Well-executed ad on the streets of Auckland, New Zealand.
Best signs on a great journey
A welcoming, progressive church in Auckland, New Zealand.


Best signs on a great journey
Not the best sign to see as you’re walking to Zimbabwe, but so it goes on A Great Journey.

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149 Thoughts on “It was written | The best 30 signs from A Great Journey”

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