December 28, 2008

Reasons for Strange or Extreme Travel
Istanbul, Turkey

Our hostess told me how she recently hosted a pair of CouchSurfers walking from Western Europe to India. This was their thing—their goal—to walk there.

My perspective on all this is that the younger you are, the more likely your zany travel is just to impress your peers. Oh, they may not think about it or admit as much, but trust me, more often than not, it is.

This goes doubly so for all these European kids running around doing 'wacky' travel trips all over the place. Riding a unicycle from here to there; seeing how far you can get with no money; using only one type of transportation, or transportation that doesn't use gas or isn't this or that. And of course most of 'em want to do book or a movie or raise money for charity.

The problem is that travel is such an old hat in this region of the world, that tripping around the place no longer holds much social value. When you can just jump on a train or a lost cost carrier flight and be in Prague for breakfast, who cares when the Dutch boy goes to Hungary or the French girl goes to Istanbul? That's right, no one.

Enter: The kooky travel idea.

I just recently came across entry number #120 on stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, and I absolutely loved it:

Taking a Year Off
Regardless of how a white person chooses to spend their year off, they all share the same goal of becoming more interesting to other people. Sadly, the people who find these stories interesting are other white people who are politely listening until they can tell their own, more interesting story about taking a year off."

Too true…

Personally, I think the cutoff point when zany travel is less about impressing your peers and more about accomplishing something for yourself starts around forty. Teens and twenties? Forget about it. Thirties? Maybe.

Yes, there are always going to be people out there doing something odd in the world of travel to impress or get notoriety, just as there are always going to be people out there who seek no publicity and have no goal but to please themselves. I don't judge one way or the other, but I do try to understand it.

Travel is inherently selfish, no matter what type of spin you put on it.

Comments:

Turkey

Wade| Vagabond Journey.com

February 24th, 2009

Yup, people love talking about themselves, and some of us need to do something stupid to be conversation worthy. Hell, I have been traveling for 9 years looking for something to say about myself.

Can't say I have found it yet. haha.

Maybe I will walk backwards to Iraq doing ambulations every second step to free Tibet with a jar of pickles on my head to save the whales with two rubber chickens strapped to my feet instead of shoes to fight factory farming . . . then maybe . . . maybe I will be able to hold up my end of a conversation.

No really, I'm not joking. I want to think that you think I am interesting, and beat that a-hole who did somersaults across North America.

Oh yeah, I am not a tourist, I'm an adventurer.

Wade

Turkey

Craig | travelvice.com

February 24th, 2009

Seriously laughing as I read that, Wade…

China

Zictor

February 25th, 2009

Recently I have talked to a friend of mine about Chinese travellers. The culture of traveling is coming to China (where I have been living) and a friend of mine wrote an article about it for a western newspaper.

Basically, here, Traveling is a way of showing that you have money. The Chinese way of traveling is going to as many places as possible, taking pictures in key locations. I am not exaggerating, I have taken Chinese tours.

You have the Chinese backpacker too, who is covered heat-to-toe on North Face gear enough to brave the Hymalayas, but never really gets out of his Land Rover.

But yeah, I have to give in that every traveler has a degree of "wanting to show people what he's done".

Turkey

Cihan

February 26th, 2009

Thats the reason why i am traveling. But hey, it is easier to get laid when you are more interesting. haha

Thailand

tom

April 13th, 2011

and do you to fall into that category Craig?

Note: Comments are open to everyone. To reduce spam and reward regular contributors, only submissions from first-time commenters and/or those containing hyperlinks are moderated, and will appear after approval. Hateful or off-topic remarks are subject to pruning. Your e-mail address will never be publicly disclosed or abused.