I've been writing about Central & Eastern Europe as a guidebook author off and on for about 10 years, researching titles for Lonely Planet and other travel publishers, as well writing feature stories for newspapers and magazines. Over that time -- spending so many weeks and months on the road -- I've gotten myself into some strange and memorable situations, including the story below that still strikes me as incredibly unlikely. Not every encounter makes it into the guidebook. People often ask me what it’s really like to be a travel writer. These are stories that help me answer that question.