Loved the sentiment, aye. It's a tricky issue, as the many, many troubling stories coming out of India this year have proven, and speaking from the point of view of being a man, I can't comment on how tough it is for women travelling solo, because I'm never going to encounter the problems they would. But going in with an innocent-until-proven-guilty attitude feels to me to be not just smart, but basically human. Smiling tries to set the tone, as Candace says. That feels like a good place to start to renegotiate these problems. :)
Love Lauren's writing. Her latest piece at Vela is about moving from being a freelancer to being a teacher, and I dearly hope this doesn't mean she's stopping writing there and elsewhere,..
Taken from "Findings", her massively bestselling collection of nature essays from 2005: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/dec/11/kathleen-jamie-darkness-light I used to be an archaeologist working up in Orkney, which is maybe why this essay is one of my favourite piece of writing. Love how it challenges a universally-held principle we never question, that "dark" = "bad/scary/evil". It's only universal for our age. It's like the safe, lovely countryside every urban-dweller dreams of escaping to: go back 200 years and it turns to a demon-infested metaphor for chaos and madness. [Insert joke about the north of England here].
Her latest collection is just as good: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sightlines-Kathleen-Jamie/dp/095630866X
Some browser issues for me: is unreadably juddery in Chrome, but gorgeous in Firefox.Also, I got the title wrong, it's "ATL24". :)
I've been transfixed by his work since - well, since the Afghan Girl cover photo at NG, but more recently, since I saw his photo-essays on reading and writing:http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/to-light-a-fire/http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/just-write/
Wish they'd mentioned Santorini's prices, which are astronomical compared to other islands - but I fully agree with Naxos for the traditional feel of things. The too-little I saw when I explored it was exactly the Greek island experience I'd come to see. There's something disturbingly artificial about Santorini, for me. (Eg. they import all their water.)
I NEVER lie.Apart from just then.
Agreed - it's a list of tried & tested genuine recommendations with affiliate links added, and that's why people will click and that's why they'll make money from it. :) Jodi - yep, they have the balance right, as you do yourself. It's good to see. Getting someone to bookmark your blog post because it's just too useful to forget about...that feels almost as valuable as a subscription.
Posted because it's a great compliment to Uncornered Market's recent page. So these are two of the three pages I now consider my bible for travel planning. I'll post the third another time to avoid spamming Outbounding with travel tips. ;) But yeah, I consider these unmissable.
His first despatches for National Geographic can be read here: http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/ Really gorgeous, slightly dreamlike work.
Weird to see the author lives on Papa Westray, the tiny scrap of land alongside Westray, where I worked here for a number of summers: http://www.york.ac.uk/archaeology/quoygrew/ My first thought: "They have Internet on PAPA WESTRAY?"
Beautiful, agreed. Slightly misty, colour-faded, love that look.
Eva Holland's work is always worth read, but this one is a real treat. Spent half an hour dead to the world when I spotted this last night. And it's a gorgeous design.Unsurprising that the route to the bus has the first signs of being a tourist trail - and that it's still dangerous. In a cold-blooded way I hope it remains so. Seems fitting for it to remain a difficult pilgrimage.
Not sure what to make of this piece, having no experience of the street food scene. The author seems to be arguing that it's less "street food", more "good food, and who cares where?" and that "street food" is - but ends the piece by warding people off street food in favour of going to restaurants, which is just the same thing that's being challenged but in reverse? ie."Instead of having a goal that stresses eating street food, I suggest talking to Thais and asking them which restaurants are popular with locals. Choose a restaurant by where you see the most locals eating."If that's meant as advice *alongside* enjoying street food, fine. And since the following list includes street-based "restaurants" (a restaurant in the street? Confused at this), maybe that's the case.Not sure the author is intentionally dissing what Westerners call street food culture.
Oops, broken sentence, should be "that street food is an invented label, not a traditional one".
Thanky! I'm still reeling from the minor war this post started on Facebook about whether the milk should go in before the tea or vice versa. Oh boy.
Thanks. :) I had a lot of fun writing this one. The backstory of the geology of Edinburgh is utterly bonkers.
I love this so damn much. So very well written, too, and slyly snarky. Great find.
Too kind. Thank you. :)
Too kind. Thanks Sonja. :)On reflection, I kinda love how baffling the Paris network is, compared to more immediately obvious systems. It's a little like my feelings about ancient English street plans (eg. York's) vs. the grid system. I know there's a functionalist argument and it's valid for anyone wanting to get from A to B really quickly, but - I like the idea of places that have to be learned. I suspected that was the case with Paris - thanks everyone for confirming it. And I like that. I started the piece by saying it was a story about complacency, and I think that's now my strongest feeling. I assumed Paris was a no-brainer, so I didn't give it my attention - then with an hour to go, it punched me on the nose. (Or I punched myself on the nose.) Now I'm a bit paranoid and over-zealous with checking timetables. But I don't mind, because it's a process of paying closer attention to everywhere I go. I reckon that's a good lesson to take away from stressful days like this: Never assume anywhere is a no-brainer.
Oh, and Maptia is terrific. Stunning design (all their own work, self-taught - clever folk) and now populated with a huge amount of talented writers. Their story collections are particularly delicious, eg. http://blog.maptia.com/posts/on-the-road-to-somewhere
I was tempted to do a giveaway! But then, I thought about that a bit more, and....no.
That sounds like a good first-time experience with the Acropolis. I'd also dearly love to get up there (somehow) when it's closed off to 90% of tourists and used just by the locals, as it apparently is more the occasional festival. (Which I love, because it shows it's not just a piece of archaeology, it's a place that is still being used by modern people for much the same purposes, thousands of years later - still, in a very real sense, surviving as a cornerstone of everyday life).I had a similar experience with Berlin. I saw it without preconceptions first, and saw "the sights" second. I was there for the ITB travel trade show a couple of years ago, first time in Berlin, and a tweetup for bloggers was held in the east of the city. My hotel was in the west - and when I got out of the bar at 1am, I found the U-bahn and S-bahn had stopped running. It was a calm night, no wind, a little light rain, so I walked. I knew nothing about Berlin at this point. Apart from the Brandenburg Gate I didn't recognise anything until I consulted my map (which was gently disintegrating in the rain, adding an extra thrill to the proceedings). I walked from West to East, right across what used to be the Iron Curtain, and from the architecture and the vast open spaces, there was a clear sense of Stuff Having Happened. I only learned the exact facts later when I traced my route on Wikipedia and in my secondary school history books. I walked for 4 hours. My first impression was of the city as it stands today - and that's still really strong in my memory, calling me back. Sometimes there's something to be gained from being selectively, temporarily ignorant...As always, thanks for the mention of my post. :)
Oops. I meant "I walked from East to West". Anyway. Proofreading! It's important, everyone. *cough*
Yep - this article is linkbait and pot-stirring. When it sparks discussion like this one here, it's serving a purpose, but I still wouldn't want to give the article credit for the good brains at work in this thread. ;)"Don't go" is useless advice. It doesn't matter how justified it is or what reasons are behind it. It's just useless. There isn't anyone who wants to visit Easter Island who will read that piece, think "oh, well then, I definitely won't go". But I'm guessing that advising "don't go" isn't why they published the article, as everyone's suggested in this thread already. They want people to argue the point in the comments and benefit from them doing all the nuanced arguing-work. It's pretty lazy of CN Traveler. :)My view on this topic is probably...a bit weird. I want everyone to go, even if they ruin the places in question.When I was an archaeology student I got involved in all sorts of discussions (read: semi-drunken rants at the pub) about the issue of conservation. Which is better: to tear a piece of history to shreds in search of its deepest truths (better known as "archaeology") or to preserve it in metaphorical amber for future generations to non-destructively analyze using tech we haven't even dreamed of yet? There's no easy answer to this question - but most of us felt that archaeology is material culture designed to be used by humans, and when something was preserved and completely sealed away from human beings, that important relationship was broken and completely devalued. The archaeology stopped becoming something incredibly profound and important and significant, buried deep in a rich network of human-focused science relationships, and just became a Thing. As if you went into the British Museum and ripped out all the information boards and labels and signs, and just left a building filled with random objects in glass cases, story-less, meaningless. That's kinda how I feel about these places. Yes, human beings leave an impact when they visit. Yes, that needs to be managed and looked at, and yes, tourism is both a blessing and a curse. But if we say "don't go"? We're saying "the magic these places have visited on people for hundreds or thousands of years....well, it's time we put a stop to it". It's not just anti-tourism, it's anti-travel.Here's something I love: the residents of Athens (Greece) still use the Acropolis. Every year, at certain points of the year, it's shut off from tourists and open only to residents, who use it for special festivals and local events. It's a piece of material culture, perhaps one of the most famous in the world, that is still being used in exactly the way it was designed, thousands of years later. *That's* awesome. And nothing of that message is "Don't go" - even though the Acropolis has plenty of structural issues. The message is "Please, GO! Although, just be aware that it might not always be open." :)
From a purely philosophical perspective, I have huge problems with the idea of telling someone not to go somewhere. That side of things is easy for me. I'd say: "Here are facts, here are my opinions. You decide. It's not my call. Ever."However, nothing is ever purely philosophical. And there are legal implications when its professional advice. And it all gets messy, and my head starts to hurt and I start to feel unqualified to say *anything*. But I like Ron Mader's point: if you'd tell a family member they shouldn't go, that's a good wider message. That feels good to me.If I was telling someone not to go somewhere, I'd have to have my facts straight. I'd have really dug into it, and I'd feel confident I knew what I was talking about - and that includes having smarter people than I am confirming that my argument is sound. Telling someone not to go somewhere is a serious line to draw, when the overall message for meaningful travel is "get out there and find out for yourself what it's like".
As Pam said: >>"That said, I think it's a shame when, as independent content producers, we don't take the time to dig into the facts."What really worries me about this issue on Facebook and elsewhere is how it's 99% about generalisms right now. I've read basically nothing about the actual dolphin encounter venue that is allegedly the whole reason this storm has whipped up. As far as dolphin conservation goes, I am probably the most ignorant person online: I've never attended these kinds of displays, I've never worked at any, or in marine conservation, or in animal welfare, and barring watching "Blackfish" and reading articles I know little or nothing. And I want to, because animal welfare matters to me. And I respect the opinions of those that know more than me about this, which is basically everyone. But I also want this to be about specifics, because if it isn't, nothing will ever be agreed upon and it'll just go round and round and round.How is discussion about this/these specific venue/s getting lost in the debate? (If I've missed it, I'd love a pointer, thanks!)
Too few bloggers ask their readers if they're comfortable with sponsored content. I think that's a problem because it keeps sponsored content something shady, black-hat, clearly under the table and therefore Bad and Shameful, and maybe that's why readers don't want to see it, because they haven't seen any really credible uses of it. I hate that, because - 'A Week At The Airport' (Alain de Botton) - "sponsored content". The roof of the Sistine chapel - "sponsored content" (arguably). And so on.The problem, to my eyes, is that sponsored content too often fails as Art. Or quality journalism (not drawing a line between the two here). I don't think readers would give a damn if what they encountered was so relentlessly amazingly awesome that they shared it because it was so terrific *while knowing* it was sponsored. The point here, the conclusion of this study, is that for some reason, readers have a negative view of sponsored content, and that reason has to be that the times they've encountered it, it's been massively lacking in the quality department. It has failed to be as good as everything else - when in fact, it needed to be *better*, to clear the existing credibility hurdle.This is about re-educating readers to be unafraid of sponsored (or paid - I like paid, yes) content, by doing it right. The crud that bloggers (myself included) get pitched to publish for $$$ (or $$, or occasionally $) is usually poorly written link-sewage. By accepting it, bloggers burn bridges they haven't crossed, and make their readers less likely to tolerate their own sponsored content in the future. It destroys their ability to grow. It's an incredibly damaging bit of legacy-building work (legacy-tearing-down, really). I think that's my biggest beef - the stupidity of it. It's business-stupid to publish something that isn't anywhere near as good as the rest of the site, and then say you were paid to do it. Everyone has the right to do whatever they like with their site, and to accept any form of business, but - think long-term. Always think long-term. That's where your career is. And if you're a blogger or online publisher, the trust of your readers and followers is going to be worth FAR more to your career than any single payment right now. Squander that, and you are rendered irrelevant and powerless, for good.This comment was assisted by, but not endorsed by, Jura 10 yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky (no "e"). Thx.
A quick plug for Vela's Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/594960667/vela-magazine-nonfiction-written-by-women - currently in progress. Because the amazing writing that goes onto that site, including Lauren's essay as mentioned here, is all unpaid. They've never been paid a bean for any of it. Pretty incredible, but also, it's time they got something back, I reckon...