I was playing in Rob's server for the first time and I spent about 15 minutes exploring and punching random sheep when he mentioned a snow biome to the west. Being adventurous, I decided to trek over there, I collected some pumpkins, left a sign eloquently announcing my presence in the area, then started to trek back. Then the server needed to be reset because the ship burnt down, so I came back 15 minutes later and continued walking back to spawn.
It's at that point that something must have gone wrong because a few minutes later I realised I had no idea where I was. I checked the world map, but I couldn't identify my location with it, and the 1-block-tall cactuses suggested to me that I was in newly rendered terrain. I decided not to use the x,y,z coordinates or any of the warps to get back, but to wander around for a bit to find where I was. That didn't work and the sun soon went down, then it started to rain, so I made a little hovel in a rock, with wool as a roof to keep the rain out, and bunkered down for the night.
I decided to make a compass in order to get home, but I didn't have any redstone and decided that I should try to find some in a cave. After a few small caves, I finally found one that branched out all over the place and set out to find a way down to redstone level. Perhaps inevitably, this led to me getting lost in the cave. Finally, I found some redstone, along with a bunch of iron, gold, some diamonds and a dungeon that provided me with some cool things. After a few more minutes, I managed to find my way back to the surface.
So I made a compass, gathered my valuables, left a flashing redstone ring to make the hovel easier to find in future, and set out towards spawn, expecting to be only a minute or two away. I was not. It was another ten minutes before I saw some sign of civilization; a wooden house overlooking an impressive lavafall. I was expecting to approach the spawn from the north or east, but somehow I approached it from the west, which I still don't quite understand. I still can't figure out where I was. It was fun, though, because I've never actually gotten lost like that before.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that I found gunpowder in that dungeon and now I have TNT, so don't piss me off.