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"I love desolate landscapes."

My Saga, Part 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard [New York Times] Following the trail of the first Europeans to set foot in America, the first of two parts. Previously. Previously. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 25, 2015 - 24 comments

Walking in... single shot videos of city life

Kees Colijn's "Walking in..." project is a series of fascinating single shot videos, each up to two hours long, filmed as he walks through cities such as Yangon in Myanmar, Varanasi in India, Makassar in Indonesia and Pokhara in Nepal (Youtube links). See and hear everyday life in these places, not just the slick travel show version.
posted by AnnaRat on Feb 13, 2015 - 15 comments

Glamorous Crossing

How Pan Am Airways Dominated International Travel in the 1930s.
posted by ellieBOA on Feb 12, 2015 - 23 comments

Big Data for escaping the cold

Kayak has analyzed a billion travel searches to produce the Travel Hacker Guide, which includes the most up-and-coming beaches and destinations. For North Americans, they found that you want to book Caribbean trips 2-4 weeks ahead, and European trips 6 months ahead. There is also a nifty map showing you how much it costs to get to various destinations. The New York Times has an interview about the report. Another analysis of a different data set found that US domestic tickets are best bought 57 days out, and the best day to shop for fares is Sunday. Data outside the US is less available, but at least one paper has found that it is better to buy in the afternoon, and that 3-6 weeks is the right window.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 1, 2015 - 7 comments

How about those airplane seats?

JetBlue is adding luggage charges and packing more seats on its planes, and customers are freaking out. Is contemporary airline service so bad because the airlines are colluding to make you suffer, as Tim Wu writes in the New Yorker? Or because low-price, a la carte service is what fliers actually want, as Alison Griswold writes in Slate? For a data-rich deep dive into what passengers really hate about air travel, see "The Unfriendly Skies" (.pdf), a report on five years worth of air travelers' complaints to the US Department of Transportation.
posted by escabeche on Dec 27, 2014 - 176 comments

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue [via mefi projects] Krish Raghav wrote this beautiful minicomic about his observations on a trip to Moscow: the people, the city, the history. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Dec 7, 2014 - 17 comments

Get Lost! And found.

John Huth's 'The Lost Art of Finding Our Way': An odd and very enjoyable book [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 3, 2014 - 24 comments

The Beast of Turin

100 years ago bigger was better in search for speed and this is the biggest of them all. The beast of Turin [more inside]
posted by alfanut on Dec 3, 2014 - 26 comments

Thanksgiving Travel? Vermont Turkeys Used To Walk To Boston

"Turkey drives" were an autumnal tradition from the 1800s to the early 1900s, and involved the overland strolling of flocks of turkeys from all corners of Vermont to their destination — and demise — in Boston.
posted by terrapin on Nov 27, 2014 - 11 comments

Open your eyes and smile

This wasn’t a reality show, nor was it one of the elite bookings Anna enjoyed back in New York or Milan. We were there for a fake beauty pageant, one our Beijing modeling agency had booked us for, telling us it was a “fashion show” and providing no further details. It was only after we boarded our early-morning flight to Ordos that the true nature of the event was revealed. “We’re on our way to another ‘Miss’ thing,” a Ukrainian girl said from her seat with a groan. I was hired as Miss America; Anna, despite being Brazilian, as Miss Chile. It would have been the strangest 36 hours of my life—if, over the previous two months, I hadn’t done it twice before.
Life as a Fake Beauty Queen in Small-Town China
posted by divabat on Nov 24, 2014 - 3 comments

On Holiday

Holiday’s urbane, martini-loving editor, Ted Patrick, and visionary art director, Frank Zachary, gave postwar America a passport to the glamour of travel, packing the magazine with big-name talent: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Cartier-Bresson, Steichen, et al. But, in 1964, tragedy would ground their flight. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 3, 2014 - 7 comments

Gunther, Christine and Otto: The 26 Year Road Trip

Gunther, Christine and Otto: How a man met a woman and they set off on an epic journey across six continents in one amazing unbreakable car. 26 years road trip: Gunther Holtorf and his unbreakable Otto.
posted by milquetoast on Oct 10, 2014 - 13 comments

Aboard Amtrak

Aboard Amtrak A hauntingly beautiful description of one man's unintentional half year long Amtrak journey. [more inside]
posted by azazello on Oct 3, 2014 - 10 comments

Trip Report: The Hajj

The Trip Reports section of the venerable Flyertalk forums contains a lot of things you might expect: a fastidious appraisal of AA Flagship Suites, a Taste of Turkey in TK economy class, even a review of the business class product from Paris to Havana. But every once in a while someone posts something really out of the ordinary: Hajj, A Journey of a Lifetime: An Insiders Look.
posted by milquetoast on Oct 1, 2014 - 33 comments

how the rich fly

what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
posted by flex on Sep 30, 2014 - 175 comments

Why doth ambition so the mind distress to make us scorn what we possess?

Direct your eye-sight inward, and you'le find / A thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscover'd. Travell them, and be / Expert in home Cosmographie. / This you may doe safe both from rocke and shelfe : / Man's a whole world within himselfe. - Habington, 1635
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 20, 2014 - 4 comments

Armchair Travel to Vietnam and Cambodia

Rusty Compass is a travel website that focuses on Vietnam and Cambodia. It is the work of one man, Australian Mark Bowyer, who has lived in Vietnam since 1993. There are the usual reviews of hotels, restaurants and tourist sites, travel tips and advice, but what makes it really special are videos and blog posts about local people and events, fascinating stories told with charm. [more inside]
posted by maggiemaggie on Jul 4, 2014 - 2 comments

100 Years on a Dirty Dog

“Greyhound has become generic for bus travel,” says Robert Gabrick, author of Going The Greyhound Way. “Like Kleenex for tissues.”
posted by ellieBOA on Jun 27, 2014 - 18 comments

Travel By Drone

TravelByDrone is a site that lets anyone upload videos and add the corresponding location, which is then pinned onto a map for you to choose from. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 13, 2014 - 17 comments

Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe

Crawling the lost tracks of Latin America. Artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, a.k.a. "Los Ferronautas," converted a car into a retro-futuristic rail vehicle they dubbed SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada, "Manned Railway Exploration Probe") to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador.
posted by gottabefunky on Jun 12, 2014 - 7 comments

Mile 943: Day 44: Toulumne Meadows Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart

Writer Carrot Quinn is walking from Mexico to Canada for the second time. In 2013, she hiked the Pacific Coast Trail (2,663 miles) from Mexico to Canada. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe on Jun 9, 2014 - 13 comments

For them, every valley and desert was home.

Travel was always desirable to them / And they visited every continent … They considered travel and homeland synonymous / For them, every valley and desert was home. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 8, 2014 - 7 comments

I’m racing through the implications of opening my door and leaping free

Dave Eggers takes a Long Ride To Riyadh.
In any case, it’s a result of a gradual evolution. When I first travelled, I was naive, sloppy, wide-eyed, and nothing happened to me. That’s probably where the dumb luck came in. Then I began to read the guidebooks, the State Department warnings, the endless elucidation of national norms, cultural cues and insults and regional dangers, and I became wary, careful, savvy. I kept my money taped inside my shoe, or strapped to my stomach. I took any kind of precaution, believing that the people of this area did this, and the people of that province did that. But then, finally, I realised no one of any region did anything I have ever expected them to do, much less anything the guidebooks said they would. Instead, they behaved as everyone behaves, which is to say they behave as individuals of damnably infinite possibility. Anyone could do anything, in theory, but most of the time everyone everywhere acts with plain bedrock decency, helping where help is needed, guiding where guidance is necessary. It’s almost weird.

posted by the man of twists and turns on May 14, 2014 - 26 comments

I got lipstick stamps on my passport, I think I need a new one.

Which countries have visa-free access to more countries than others? Ranked at the top with 173 visa-free countries (out of a possible 218) are Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which all share the Schengen visa policy; dead last is Afghanistan, which only has visa-free access to 28 countries. (Not included in the list were places like Wonderland, Neverland, Hell, Utopia, the Unconscious, or Pangea.) Regardless of nationality, though, it can still be devillishly difficult to get visas for some countries. With the advent of RFID passports, some countries are doing away with visa labels or passport stamps, so collect as many as you can and take a look at them so you can figure out what they say about the issuing country or even turn them into art (or ad campaigns).
posted by divabat on Apr 25, 2014 - 42 comments

"Everybody dies someday - At least I saw Provence first"

"For most of my life my everyday choices were based on the assumption that I could not trust other people. I thought it was my job to foresee and prevent all harms from befalling me. [...] My life has been better since I've accepted two simple facts. ONE: everybody dies (sorry). TWO: I would like to live a little first." -- Don't let fear stop you from traveling, a cautionary comic by Natalie Nourigat, part of her webcomic/travel blog about living in France for a year. You may know Nourigat from her Oregon Book Award nominated autobio college comic Between Gears.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 22, 2014 - 58 comments

ref. Claude Lévi-Strauss

The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.
posted by growabrain on Apr 20, 2014 - 9 comments

Just when you think you have everything figured out...

"The world has a sick sense of humor and throws you for a loop." (via Permatemp Corporation.) [more inside]
posted by simulacra on Mar 5, 2014 - 1 comment

You might get an even better tan when we get to Hanford

Eric Nusbaum tours the largest environmental cleanup operation the United States government has ever undertaken, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Over the last 20 years, Hanford has also become something else: a tourist destination. If you want to see just how big the reservation is, or get an idea of how much work remains to be done there, you can sign up for an official government tour of the site. About 60 public tours are offered per year. The tours are free, but highly sought after. Last year, registration opened at midnight on March 6, and closed by 5 a.m.

posted by frimble on Feb 19, 2014 - 29 comments

Cheap Air Tix

How to Choose an Air Travel Search Site (SLNYT)
posted by storybored on Feb 12, 2014 - 21 comments

The Synchronized Bowel Movement Venue is ready

The media have begun to arrive in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which kick off this Friday. Aside from the typical local colour, journalists have flagged some, shall we say, idiosyncratic aspects of the facilities and accommodations. The quirk that has generated the most discussion? Well that would have to be the double-toilet stall, and the official PR response. Or it might be the hiring of a local company to kill stray dogs. Last minute dashes to the construction finish line are certainly nothing new for Olympic hosts. Perhaps this is just the Russian take on a time-honoured tradition. Previous coverage of the run-up to the Sochi Olympics here and here.
posted by dry white toast on Feb 4, 2014 - 158 comments

Going Mobile with Google

Google Tools for Travelers. (Glass + Wordlens. Voice Search. Now. Auto Awesome)
posted by storybored on Jan 23, 2014 - 24 comments

Nights out in a New Town

The author travels with Indian sex tourists to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
posted by reenum on Jan 18, 2014 - 30 comments

He got 20 years for lovin' her / from some Oklahoma governor

Ever been to Johnsburg, Illinois? Have you received a Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis? Maybe you left Waukegan at the slamming of the door? Or perhaps you were simply full of wonder when you left Murfreesboro. If so, the Tom Waits map is for you.
posted by scody on Jan 17, 2014 - 60 comments

She gave us each twenty dollars and a bag of cookies.

How Much Does It Cost To Hitchhike Across America? Ever been there? Cooking in the high-plains sun? Freezing under the stars? This plain-spoken accounting will take you back. "On the Road" in the 21st century.
posted by Twang on Jan 17, 2014 - 25 comments

POLAR VORTEX

'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S. right on the back of WINTER STORM HERCULES that delayed or cancelled flights all over the country, stranding holiday travelers, and dumping lots of snow all over the midwest and northeast. Planes are sliding off runways! Dogs are wearing booties! [more inside]
posted by ninjew on Jan 5, 2014 - 443 comments

Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers.

Time travel has captured the public imagination for much of the past century, but little has been done to actually search for time travelers. Here, three implementations of Internet searches for time travelers are described, all seeking a prescient mention of information not previously available. (SLarXiv; PDF)
posted by Mistress on Jan 3, 2014 - 69 comments

GeoQuiz

Can you name a firth in Scotland where the dolphins have individual names? The destination of Haiti's Kita Nago parade? A Sami Village in Lapland where tourists go to see the Northern Lights? A former "city of pirates" on the Adriatic Coast? Every weekday, listeners of PRI's international-news radio show The World are treated to the serendipity of a brief journey to a distant point on the globe. It's part of the daily GeoQuiz, a challenging geographical trivia game enhanced with ambient audio, imagery, mapping, and revealing details of history and landscape. You can play along via Twitter or subscribe to the podcast - either way, this 5 minute vacation will make you a little bit smarter about this incredible planet.
posted by Miko on Dec 13, 2013 - 6 comments

You can't get there from here

I did not know that there were no roads connecting Central and South America. Previously, but it was over 10 years ago...
posted by COD on Nov 27, 2013 - 68 comments

Traffic Waves

Lewis Lehe created an interactive graphic that shows what happens when one driver brakes in traffic
posted by reenum on Nov 16, 2013 - 65 comments

Places Are Made Of A Thousand Stories

"I want to see the world. Follow a map to its edges, and keep going. Forgo the plans. Trust my instincts. Let curiosity be my guide.
I want to change hemispheres and sleep with unfamiliar stars and let the journey unfold before me."

Maptia is on a mission to gather first-person stories from travelers, "to create the most inspirational map in the world." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2013 - 3 comments

"You can move, but you'll still be you when you get there."

Reflections from a lawyer about her five years on a small tropical island. (SLHuffPo)
posted by mark7570 on Nov 12, 2013 - 51 comments

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage

Travel posters for imaginary destinations, from Ryhope Wood to the Dream Archipelo, with side jaunts to e.g. the end of the earth and the wreckage of the Nomad.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 9, 2013 - 23 comments

Guidebooks for Time Travelers

Numerous "Stranger's Guides" written for 19th Century tourists can be found on the Internet Archive. A sample: New York (1828). Boston (1857). Washington DC (1884). Montreal (1872). London (1828). Paris (1822). United States and Canada (1838).
posted by ShooBoo on Nov 1, 2013 - 16 comments

Especially Azerbaijan

The Top 80 Highlights of the World according to Michael Spencer Bown, a Calgarian who may lay claim to the title of 'the most extensively travelled person in human history'. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 4, 2013 - 31 comments

Snowden documents shed light on Shiban, Akbar, and Trojanov cases

New documents released by Glenn Greenwald from trove leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency officially viewed arguments about 'due process' to be an 'adversary propaganda theme', listed alongside military threats to drones. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 1, 2013 - 80 comments

Farewell to Tilting

The most Irish island in the world. Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright travels to the edge of Newfoundland. (single page version, may trigger printer).
posted by rollick on Sep 25, 2013 - 66 comments

Our journey, as is the sea of stars

Get lost in 75 forum pages full of amazing photography taken in China (Central North China chase Star Travels). The itinerary (You can also step through just the images from the itinerary link and avoid the forum posts. First link processed through Google Translate. This is not photography done by tourists. These guys are good.
posted by spock on Sep 11, 2013 - 16 comments

Weilue: The Peoples Of The West

This country (the Roman Empire) has more than four hundred smaller cities and towns. It extends several thousand li in all directions. The king has his capital (that is, the city of Rome) close to the mouth of a river (the Tiber). The outer walls of the city are made of stone. - A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE, Quoted in zhuan 30 of the Sanguozhi. Published in 429 CE. Draft English translation
posted by The Whelk on Sep 1, 2013 - 28 comments

I am an intruder; I am a stranger; I am a woman in public spaces

"My desire for experience, for openness, for adventure, had been overpowered by a stronger imperative, one I had internalized without realizing it: Don’t get yourself raped." Travel writer Tara Burton writes about her different opportunities and experiences, and the changed values they have brought her.
posted by corb on Aug 29, 2013 - 139 comments

"...I assumed that this was another such check."

Don't fly during Ramadan. Aditya Mukerjee describes his experience while attempting to clear the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's checks and board a JetBlue flight. After being cleared by the TSA, following two hours of questioning and checks, Mukerjee was prevented by JetBlue from boarding his intended flight. He was offered rebooking for the following day and, when he declined, given a refund.

This isn't the first time that the TSA and JetBlue have been called out for this type of action.
posted by fireoyster on Aug 22, 2013 - 149 comments

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