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Jul 7th 2010 4:49PM I'm not sure it's such a great idea to plan around the idea that there are some countries where you have to have been to be considered "well-traveled", and that you should thus go there simply for the traveler cred or whatever.
International travel is expensive. It can be stressful. It uses a lot of mental and psychological resources. You want it to really be worth all that, in the end. Going to France or China just because it's "where people go" is a great way to ensure that your travel experiences will be high stress, low fun, and ultimately not a great return on the investment.
Go where you want to go, not where you think you're supposed to go. If you don't know where you want to go, you could take Wanderfly's advice above. Or you could go to the travel section of a bookstore and browse a bit - there are usually coffee table books with glossy photos of exotic destinations, or at least a few copies of 1000 Places To See Before You Die. If you're really cut out to be a traveler, "where should I go?" will be the least of your problems.
Apr 15th 2010 9:53AM I play that game, too!
For myself (as opposed to gifts for friends - there it's mass produced trinket city) I try to stick to just a few things I'll really use at home. I bought my favorite scarf in Darjeeling. The onions and garlic in my kitchen live in a polychrome ceramic bowl I bought at a potter's workshop on the Amalfi Coast. That sort of thing.
On the other hand, I'm currently sitting in my office wearing (as a scarf!) a cheap mass produced sarong I bought in Goa to use in lieu of a towel. So clearly I sometimes stray from the path.
Apr 2nd 2010 10:43AM Oh, and #8 is BRILLIANT! I'm going to have to live by that one.
Apr 2nd 2010 10:41AM Re #5 - can we PLEASE retire this one?
A. Anyone who wants to hurt you probably isn't going to be deterred by the notion that you are married.
B. Anyone who is genuinely making a pass at you would probably be easy to shoot down with a verbal "I'm married, sorry". Which is free, and you can't leave it behind in a hotel room!
C. A lot of places don't have the wedding ring tradition, so wearing one is going to be pretty much meaningless there. Especially since you most often see this piece of "advice" trotted out to women traveling in the developing world - not only is it xenophobic, it's not even going to mean anything!
Mar 29th 2010 12:30PM I think not carrying a daybag at all is a little overboard. I mean, I guess it depends where you go and who you are, but to be honest, in any part of the world where carrying a small simple bag is going to mark you as a target for robbery, you're going to be a mega-outsider whether you have a daybag or not. Especially if you're wearing cargo shorts!
The bottom line is that when I'm traveling I like to have certain things with me. I think travelers who wear big bulky technical packs tend to stick out, but there's no reason you can't carry anything at all. My advice would be simply to stay away from those types of bags and carry something light and simple, maybe even something that enables you to blend in a little if that's possible.
That said, travelers carrying huge
Mar 26th 2010 3:39PM Craig - I can see it, because the phrase "new destinations" can be interpreted in different ways. If you went to different beach towns in the same basic area, different resorts, different theme parks, maybe some people would consider that a different destination every year. Even though those of us seeing the world globally would not.
I'm sooo close to a four-percenter. I traveled domestically 4 times in the last year, but only twice internationally in the last 3. And one of those trips was only Canada! I need to step up my game.