In 1992, Lynn Brooks
founded the non-profit Big Apple Greeter program
, to help make a visit to New York City seem less intimidating and dangerous to first-time visitors: Pick a date, time and neighborhood, and the organization will match you up with a local who will spend several hours with you, helping you find your way around, teaching you the ins and outs of subways and buses, the cool shops, the great places to eat. (Their site also has some outstanding neighborhood profiles
and cultural attraction guides
that should be of just as much interest to local residents.) The idea spread, leading to the formation of the Global Greeter Network
, which now has greeter programs in cities all over the world
posted by jbickers
on Jan 18, 2013 -
Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead
, likely poisoned
. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET
as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks
", or the use of Chlorpyrifos
in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum
, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories
offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders
. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.
. A Facebook group
was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated
, deaths could be made public.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 9, 2013 -
Back in 1999, Wandering Earl
left home for a three month trip to Asia that still hasn't ended. As a permanent nomad, Earl's aim is to demonstrate that long-term travel is not a crazy fantasy, but a very real lifestyle option instead. Find out where Earl is now, and where he's been on his blog
. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Nov 4, 2012 -
How To Make Foreign Friends You can still mix with Americans. Imagination is a powerful thing. You can have a taste of Canada and all those creamy countries whose Visa’s you have coveted. All here in Nigeria. Granted, the foreigners who come here may not always be the cream of the lot, but beggars cannot be choosers. You will manage the ones here in Abuja. You will enjoy their company so thoroughly that your Visa rejections will cease to hurt. After all, is it not people that make a place? My job is to help you learn how to mix with and enjoy the company of foreigners from creamy countries, right here in Nigeria.
posted by modernnomad
on Sep 6, 2012 -
Take a holiday in Somaliland: journey to the state that isn’t.
"Positioned on the upper haunch of the Somali dog-leg the Republic of Somaliland looks initially unpromising. It is mainly dry and rocky, there are few paved roads, and the population is small and generally dispersed. ... Whilst the economy may be on the up, Somaliland still feels extremely isolated. An employee of a big international NGO who I met in the lobby of my hotel, The Mansoor, looked at me with astonishment when I said I’d come to Hargeisa for fun. 'The biggest danger here,' he said 'is dying of boredom.'
posted by mykescipark
on May 28, 2012 -
The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones:
Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron
and Richard Branson
are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team
(backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us
, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
posted by maudlin
on Feb 24, 2012 -
Five years ago, I flew to England to see the grand opening of something improbable: an attraction called Dickens World. It promised to be an “authentic” re-creation of the London of Charles Dickens’s novels, complete with soot, pickpockets, cobblestones, gas lamps, animatronic Dickens characters and strategically placed chemical “smell pots” that would, when heated, emit odors of offal and rotting cabbage. ... Today Dickens World survives largely as a landlord, collecting rent from the Odeon movie theater next door and the restaurants (Pizza Hut, Subway, Chimichanga) that surround it. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Feb 10, 2012 -
In one of the strangest new bids to get tourism dollars, Yves Jégo
, the current veep of France's Radical party and the former Overseas Secretary of State, has announced plans to start raising funds for a new theme park dedicated to Napoleon
. [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik
on Jan 22, 2012 -
Meanwhile, 6th and Mission St
is in the center of city. If you've ever walked it, it's like stepping into the another world, not a pleasant one either. On a rainy night, wandering into Tu Lan
, it's famed Vietnamese restaurant, is the closest experience I can recommend to feeling like you're in Blade Runner in America. I work between 5th and 6th on Mission and have wondered and despised how such a place like this came to be. Here's an answer from someone that lives there, which really has me thinking.
posted by straight_razor
on Nov 4, 2011 -
If you have spent anytime at all on the National Mall in Washington DC, you have no doubt seen the Tourmobile trolleys shuttling tourists around to the major attractions surrounding the National Mall. Some are now questioning the 40+ year old monopoly
that the operator has held on tourist transportation on the Mall, especially in light of the National Park Service's refusal to open up bidding, or even allow more economical or environmentally friendly services to compete.
posted by COD
on Jul 29, 2011 -
Halló humans on the Inter-net. My name is Iceland. I am an island, full of mountains and glaciers and hot water and sheep and many nice Icelandic people, who like to make music, and who are sometimes cold. (Maybe you have seen me on your tele-visions, or your Inter-net.) I have heard that many humans use the Inter-net to make friends, and to talk about themselves. I decided to do this, too. Iceland wants to be your friend. [more inside]
posted by carsonb
on May 19, 2011 -
Phallus paintings and wood carvings were ubiquitous, like red chilies, all over Bhutan. But now they are fading as Bhutan undergoes prudish self-censorship They come in various sizes, color schemes and embellishments. Some have ribbons tied around them like jovial holiday presents. Others are coiled by daunting dragons. A few even have eyes. They typically feature hairy testicles, from the neatly trimmed to full-on Yeti-style. And, of course, all are fully erect.
“Oh, golly,” said an elderly woman visiting from Seattle, when she stepped off the bus in the Punakha valley and found herself surrounded by an alarming concentration of penis imagery, set against a magnificent Himalayan backdrop. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Jan 6, 2011 -
Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots.
Aimed at warming the welcome for the 2012 Olympics tourist explosion, VisitBritain
, has released a number of helpful tips on being social, internationally. Prepping for Serious Business? You can visit Executive Planet
and learn all about being courteous across the world. And here are some reasonable solutions for your 112 gripes about the French
). [more inside]
posted by griphus
on Aug 11, 2010 -
"The Cleveland Tourism Board gave me 14 million dollars about 8 months ago to make a promotional video to bring people to Cleveland
. As usual, I waited till the last minute and I ended up having to shoot and edit it in about an hour yesterday afternoon. I probably should have invested more time."
posted by dhammond
on Apr 16, 2009 -
The Motel in America.
In a different America, where the novelty of driving cross-country and the charm of the highway strip drew droves of tourists--and their automobiles--from coast to coast in the name of exploration and recreation, motels provided a home away from home for weary travelers. While many of the great motels of the mid-twentieth century have disappeared from the national landscape, the linen postcards left behind in the Motel Morgue
can give us a glimpse into what this era of American tourism and leisure looked like.
posted by sarabeth
on Feb 7, 2009 -