Why write about toilets?
Toilets and how we use them is both a very private issue and a matter of great cultural significance. Like most people, we’d never thought about going to the toilet in any detail whilst at home in England. Aside from dodgy port-a-loos at festivals and occasionally peeing in a bush during a long hike, the toilets we encountered were largely uniform. All toilets were in private cubicles with a seat and a lid, and we expected toilet paper and soap to be provided.
Travelling all over the world quickly taught us that most toilets are not white thrones. Whilst in Asia and Africa we discovered squat toilets, ranging from the most basic holes in the ground to fully flushing squat facilities. We learnt that squat toilets are by no means the lesser cousin of the throne toilet; many people and cultures would much rather use a squat toilet than a sit-down toilet, for reasons of comfort, hygiene and finding a better angle to empty your bowels.
Travelling to rural and deprived areas in developing countries also taught us that a huge amount of people don’t have access to hygienic toilet facilities. Squatting over a hole in the ground, usually in the dark with unseen insects buzzing around our faces taught us about balance, keeping calm and tuning out your sense of smell. We’ve since found out nearly 1 billion people across the world defecate in the open, and around a third of the world’s population do not have access to proper sanitation, confirming our belief that toilets are a very important issue.
This is not a gross out blog. Rather, we aim to provide practical information to help people plan their trips across the world. We also share our funniest and most bizarre toilet related incidents and mishaps, the mistakes we made so you don’t have to!
Rosie and Morgan were introduced by mutual friends in 2014, and they bonded over wine, pizza and an abnormal interest in toileting. Shortly after meeting, they embarked on shared travels across Asia, bumbling through cities and villages, traversing epic mountain ranges and exploring steamy jungles and freezing deserts.
A few months into their relationship, a time when most couples are still paranoid their partner will overhear them doing a wee, the new couple found themselves huddled together under a dirty blanket in a shack on the side of a mountain, almost 4000 metres above sea level. With no glass in the windows and no running water or toilets closer than a 3 day hike away, Rosie turned to Morgan and mused,
“When you asked me if I wanted to get a drink sometime, did you ever think that question would lead you half way up a Himalayan mountain just a few months later?”
“Not in a million years” replied Morgan.
Once you’ve spent a week with your partner without access to running water, or mirrors for that matter, barriers can melt away pretty quick. Soon the dynamic duo were learning interesting squatting techniques which they laughed about and shared throughout their onwards travels.
Rosie and Morgan created this website to share their top tips for using toilets whilst travelling, so they can share their knowledge and skills with anyone who might not be confident using toilets abroad.
Would you like to know…
- How to prepare for toileting situations where there’s no electricity or running water and you’re at least 100 miles from the nearest toilet paper?
- How to poop through a hole in the floor of a moving train in Vietnam?
- How to dig a hole to squat over when you’re tracking tigers on foot through the jungle?
- How to find the best toileting spot in a moonlit desert populated by camels?
- Just where in the world can you find two toilets in one cubicle?
Follow the worldwide adventures of Go Go Guano for answers to all these questions and more!