We’re excited to bring you the second edition of our new blog series entitled, “Heed the Close Call,” a play on our tagline, Heed the Call. These are stories about when amigos’ adventuring went south, fast. For this story, we interviewed three of our Howler Brothers teammates about a travel day from hell. This one is more of a comedy of errors, but has some good takeaways. Enjoy!
Thanks for telling us your story fellas. Can y'all introduce yourselves?
RW: I’m Rick Wittenbraker. I’ve been at Howler Brothers for almost nine years, but was really on this trip to drive the van. Oh, and I speak Spanish.
PG: I’m Paul Graham, VP of Marketing at Howler Brothers. I was also the innocent driver of the truck leading the way.
SR: I’m Sam Roberts, Senior Marketing Manager at Howler Brothers. I organized this shoot and it was not my first rodeo despite how this story may sound.
You heeded the close call. Sum up your experience in one sentence:
ALL: We tried to “save some time” on our journey and almost ended up spending the night in the Costa Rican jungle.
Incredible. What are three words you’d use to describe your close call?
ALL: Muddy. Dark. Endless.
This sounds like a good one, ha. How did you heed the close call?
PG: [Audible Sigh] We started the day with a 4AM wake up call for a 7AM flight from ATX to Houston. It was me, Rick, Sam, Howler Ambassadors Tegan Gainan, Nate Floyd and Kameron Brown and Boone Rodriguez, and fishing guide Diego Solis. Our friend and professional surfer, Nacho Pignataro, was traveling from Uruguay to meet us there.
As we rounded the tarmac in Houston, the guy sitting next to Sam started puking. Like, a LOT. Exorcist-level amounts of puke.
SR: He was running out of bags and was seriously about to unload on my lap, so I stand up and the flight attendants are like “Sir! Please sit down, we are about to take off.” And I go, “Yo this guy is puking everywhere!” The flight attendants flocked over as pukeboy continued to HURL into more bags. Apparently he took some meds on an empty stomach (and it wasn’t the first time!?) so he continued to puke out what did not seem like an empty stomach.
RW: The rest of us were dying laughing in our seats sending as many barf emojis back and forth. They eventually had to bring over an industrial-sized plastic trash bag.
Oh man. Did y’all still take off??
SR: After an exchange between the flight attendants and this dude that lasted too long about his ability to fly and him saying ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ we ultimately had to take him back to the gate so he could take a later flight. Challenge one: complete. We pulled out again without Sir Pukes-A-Lot and landed in Liberia 2.5 hours later.
RW: Paul had just grabbed his oversized checked luggage of clothing for the shoot and was stopped out of nowhere on suspicion of selling in bulk. I tried to intervene as the resident Spanish speaker, but they weren’t having it and separated us.
PG: After a lot of back and forth over 30+ minutes that I didn’t understand, I finally picked up some context clues that I needed to pay a “tourist tax.” We were suddenly cleared and allowed to start the next 14 hours of our day.