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Leaving Western Style Toilets Behind

A toilet near Yangshuo China
A toilet in a village near Yangshuo, China

A warning, this article is going to be about poop and pee, if you don’t care to read about that, click here.  Otherwise, lets get to know each other a little bit…

One of the great things about travelling, and most important skills you develop from it, is stepping outside your comfort zone.  You better be able to do this, especially when venturing off the beaten path.  When you get into parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, The Middle East, and Africa, you’re going to discover a whole new appreciation for what you know as the toilet.  For what they call a toilet, is often times no more than a hole in the ground to us.

Hole in Ground Toilet
Is this somewhere you't want to go to the bathroom?

I’m a fan of potty humor, a big fan actually.  I think farts are probably one of the funniest things in the world.  I think the word “boner” is hilarious.  Some of you may call me immature for this, thats fine, but I’m doing my best to grow up slow.  That being said, I’m also very comfortable using the restroom almost anywhere.  I have friends who refuse to use any toilet other than their own, this is not me.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’ve experienced the worst of the worst.  It’s never fun at the time, but afterwards you have to be able to laugh about it.  When your friend is summoned and has to squat over the nastiest, stinkiest, fly covered hole around, thats funny.  And when you have to do the walk of shame, your friends are surely going to laugh at you.  For some reason human beings love to laugh at other peoples pain (to an extent).  Take Americas Funniest home videos for example: all that show delivers is people getting kicked in the balls, crashing their bicycles, and getting puked on by babies, but this is whats funny to us.  The same principal applies to travelling in regions without what we consider normal toilets.

Dirty Bathroom Bulgaria
The toilet at a train station in Bulgaria

So, the next time you’re on the road and have to use the toilet, think of the humor in it, laugh about it, and keep going.


When heading out for the day in areas you suspect may not use western toilets, toss a roll of toilet paper or pack of Kleenex in your day bag.  A travel size package of Kleenex is always a good thing to keep in your bag, no matter where you’re travelling.

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