They're called Pirsig Pilgrims, the motorcycle enthusiasts who follow the route from Minnesota to California that inspired Robert Pirsig's surprise 1974 chart-busting book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
The TSA has started an Instagram page showing confiscated items from TSA checkpoints in airports around the country.
Project Kronos: is a documentary film set in the not too distant future, following a mission to achieve interstellar space travel. As the mission unfolds with extraordinary results, the scientists find themselves dealing with a much bigger agenda.
Horse (particularly harness) racing is often accused of being a dying sport, and if that's the case then Bill Finley attended a funeral at Thunder Ridge Raceway in (near?) Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Even if horse racing isn't your bag, though, a worthwhile read for those interested in a night in the life of an entertainment venue on the border of Johnson & Floyd Counties (combined population ~70k). It's not the middle of nowhere, but it's not where you'd expect to find a gambling venue either.
You may remember the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home. If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take. Switzerland:
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Summer (50m)
- Zermatt to Gornergrat in Winter Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (30m)
- Le Train de Vignes (11m)
Rome2Rio is a handy travel search engine site where you put in the place you want to start and where you want to go. It shows you the map, the cost of the ticket (air, rail, coach, ferry and mass transit routes), duration of the journey, etc.
abandonedography.com is a seemingly-endless photo collection of abandoned places and things. Explore random sites, check out the favorites, see everything at once in the archive, or submit your own.
"On an average afternoon in the area around 44th and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, you’ll find a motley crew of Chewbaccas, Buzz Lightyears, and Minnie Mouses — along with the usual Naked Cowboy and face-painted Statues of Liberty—posing for tourists’ pictures and demanding cash in return." Condé Nast Traveler editor Eimear Lynch spent a couple of days dressed up as Cookie Monster to see what it was like. Video. [more inside]
Q: I read your “How to Pack for a Weekend in Vegas” post (loved it) and was wondering how you guys get a suit jacket in a carry-on without it coming out like wrinkled tissue paper at the destination. What’s the best way to fold a suit jacket to minimize wrinkles when traveling? – Jason L. A: Hey Jason, here’s the folding method we use when we pack our suit jackets for a trip.From Ask a Black Lapel Stylist.
Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others. [more inside]
Prior to their southward migration, the godwits eat up large, until up to 55 per cent of their body weight is fat. They then reduce the size of their gut, kidney and liver by up to 25 per cent to compensate for the added weight. Godwits are amazing migratory shorebirds who travel many thousands of miles at a go. Here's a brief documentary of people studying them (12 minutes on youtube + ad, shows invasive surgery). Here's some science on their flights (creative commons). [more inside]
Trip Avisaargh - a tumblr collection of links the best (worst?) and most memorable reviews on the travel site Trip Advisor. Sales Pitches! Statues! Manager responses! (more!) It can't get worse! Mr. Toilet House! Bonny Old London! Palaces!
Gunnar Garfors is on a mission to travel to all 198* countries in the world. As of today, he's at 196. [more inside]
You've probably seen Woman with Scarf at Inspiration Point, Yosemite National Park. But you may not have realized it's just the most famous image of the entire Sightseer Series, created by photographer Roger Minick over more than 30 years.
Does BBC Worldwide's sale of Lonely Planet at an £80 million loss (after writing down its value by £67 million over 6 years), on top of Google's purchase of Frommer's last year, herald the end of travel guidebooks? [more inside]
John Cline writes book reviews for The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has co-edited two anthologies on grindhouse cinema. Last May he was awarded his PhD in American Studies and like so many others in the humanities was unable to find a job in his field. So he decided to go for a walk. Inspired by his hometown poet and drawing on his longtime interest in American music and history, John decided to follow the path of The Great Migration up the Mississippi, recording and blogging his experience. This would not be a test of endurance, but an sociological/anthropological immersion, a document about the land, history and people of the Mississippi River valley. With some help from Kickstarter John arranged to walk from New Orleans to Memphis, to work river boats from Memphis to St Louis and finally to travel by train the last leg to Chicago. Having started on Ash Wednesday, he has already visited Angola Prison, encountered a down on his luck former Rodeo Star and discovered the joys of walking fifteen plus miles with a fifty pound pack on his back. Most importantly he is sharing what he has learned of our modern lifestyle and the nature of human kindness.
To document the beautiful and often exotic locals that he and his girlfriend travel to, photographer Murad-Osmann started posting pictures of her leading him by the hand around the world with the tag #followmeto. The Daily Mail has collected the remarkable series so far. [via]
An article in the Washington Post (featuring MeFi's own Sonascope!) about a visit to Baltimore has the Charm City locals seething. Some in the capitol don't think much of it either.
In 1929, three young women (Edith, Dorothy, and Evelyn), ages 23 and 25, went on a three-month-long, 12,353-mile road trip. Learn more about their experience, and follow an effort to recreate the journey, at Three Months by Car. [more inside]
"How do we engage technology sustainably and in a way that supports creativity and freedom?... One of the things I try to do... is to somehow interrupt the use of [new and emerging] technologies so that it causes people [an] unexpected and renewed awakening or sensibility of those devices being in our lives." [more inside]
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.
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.
F**king Cruise Ship (SLYT. Bleeped Cursing.)
It's not a bag, it's a coat. Tired of extra airline fees even for carry-on luggage? The Jaktogo is a bag that tuns into a... stylish coat.
I think I mentioned we also saw an actual knife fight in this same alley! With big giant meat cleavers!
Davesecretary of TIME FOR SOME STORIES fame (previously) decided to spend a year in a smallish Chinese city to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He slowly realizes that he's not having a very good time.
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]
"Every year thousands of westerners flock to India to meditate, practice yoga, and seek spiritual transcendence. Some find what they're looking for. Others give up and go home. A few become so consumed by their quest for godliness that it kills them."
"Two people. I call them "Rummy Couples", dressed allmost alike. The last 5 years I managed to photograph 56 of them."
All evidence is pointing to the fact that Voyager I has left our solar system. New data from the spacecraft, which I will discuss below, indicate Voyager 1 may have exited the solar system for good. If true, this would mark a truly historic moment for the human race — sending a spacecraft beyond the edge of our home solar system
Atomic Rockets is chock full of stuff to tickle the imagination of anyone who has enjoyed science fiction accounts of space travel. You can move your cursor over the "Show topic list" button in the top right corner of the page and start exploring.
Looper, a time travel thriller from Rian Johnson, comes out this Friday. It is being hailed as an "uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action." [more inside]
Photographer Travels China, Taking Pictures of Families and All Their Possessions Huang Qingjun has spent nearly a decade travelling to remote parts of China to persuade people who have sometimes never been photographed to carry outside all their household possessions and pose for him. The results offer glimpses of the utilitarian lives of millions of ordinary Chinese who, at first glance, appear not to have been swept up by the same modernisation that has seen hundreds of millions of others leave for the cities. [more inside]
RidePost is a trusted ridesharing community where travelers meet and share rides across the U.S. It’s a friendlier way to travel—one that’s good for the environment, good for your wallet, and great for getting to know new people. It's a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform connecting those who need a ride with drivers who have extra space in their car. They are partnered with TrustCloud, another startup that assigns a “Trust Score” to individuals, to help increase security for both drivers and passengers.
Wikitravel.org is sort of like a Wikipedia for travel information. It's a for-profit service supported by banner ads. In a recent RfC over at Wikimedia - the non-profit that runs Wikipedia and other projects - it was decided to start a new Wiki-based travel project. Meanwhile at least 38 of 48 the volunteer admins at Wikitravel.org said they would jump ship and join a new Wikimedia travel site (travel.wikimedia.org). The owners of Wikitravel, Internet Brands, have responded by issuing law suits against two of its admins in a possible bid to intimidate the creation of a Wikimedia travel site. Wikimedia is counter-suing and supporting the legal defense against the two admins.
Alfonso Calza created this video from photographs he took of the streets, desert, ocean, mountains, and ruins of Morocco.
"I chose the meditation style known as Vipassana for several reasons. It's wholly nondenominational. No gods are prayed to, no mantras chanted, all religious iconography is prohibited. If you typically wear, say, a crucifix, you must remove it for the duration of the course. Also, there is no need for prior meditation experience – in fact, I was told, a neophyte is the ideal student because you won't have any bad habits to avoid – which suited me perfectly, as I'd never meditated before." [The Quiet Hell of Extreme Meditation]
Old Ships is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A to Zambesi. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images, including ports, docks, ferries, harbors, paintings, canals, rivers, maritime scenes, onboard pictures, shipboard menus, lots of great postcards and other old historical nautical memorabilia (even the ship's cat). [more inside]
"Peter Aaslestad is both a free-lance photographer and an internationally recognized historic preservation consultant specializing in the use of architectural photogrammetry to document existing buildings." [more inside]
Gunther Holtorff has been driving a Mercedes Benz Galaendewagen named Otto around the world for 23 years. 800,000km without a breakdown. via Bring a Trailer
The Perennial Plate: An American Food Trip is an online documentary series of short videos featuring "adventurous and sustainable eating" beginning in Minnesota and continuing around the US.
In 2011 Malaysia Airlines introduced what is believed to be the world's first airline integration with Facebook. In February Air France KLM announced its Meet And Seat program, allowing customers to scan other passengers' social media profiles. to select or reject seatmates. (Previously). It prompted safety and privacy concerns, while others said it showed how a company "gets" social media. In June airBaltic announced it would trial SeatBuddy to make trips more pleasant by seating like-minded people next to each other. Now, British Airways has decided to use the Internet to create dossiers on its customers, including using Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane. The Know Me service will initially be limited to first class passengers and other 'captains of industry'. So-called 'social seating' is part of an emerging trend to marry data-mining with customer service.
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes] "Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
"Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."
'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism: What Martha Gellhorn teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
EcoAlberto Park in El Alberto, Mexico, offers a unique experience: participating in an illegal border crossing. VICE Magazine filmed the trip.