Martin Parr is a celebrated English photographer who has a reputation for being both preoccupied and inspired with notions of consumerism, foreign travel and tourism. Now you can actually go on holiday with him. The School of Life, a maverick cultural institution in London, is offering a weekend away with the sardonic snapper in the Isle of Wight. [more inside]
This is a long-awaited update to the previous Palin thread. A LOT has happened since then, which I think deserves additional discussion. The last time Palin's Travels was linked to was 2004 and his most recent book that you could view on the site was Sahara. But now you can read the full texts of two more books in Michael Palin's wonderful travel/adventure series: Himalaya and New Europe. There are also loads of pictures, video (Quicktime req.) and audio clips.
A View of America ― Aquariums, beaches, gardens, monuments, parks, zoos, etc. This site aims to describe American attractions that tourists may find interesting. Listings are sorted by state and by category. Also includes recipes, jokes, and puzzles. [more inside]
AirBed and Breakfast connects people who have a spare bed (or couch, or whatever) with people who need one. Hosts can set the price (or a charity donation), throw in breakfast (or not), and refuse any guests they want. Guests can find available options by date range, location and any other criteria (e.g. WiFi), pay by credit card, and leave reviews. Not quite enough locations yet, but otherwise looks pretty useful.
Clear passenger data stolen. A unencrypted laptop with the personal data, including name, address, SSi number, passport number, date of birth, etc. of every one of the 33,000+ users of the the Clear system has been stolen. The Clear system allows travelers who register and pay an annual fee to bypass airport security lines by using a smart card in some airports. TSA has suspended new registrations until Verified Identity Pass, Inc., a subsidiary of GE, figures out how to install PGP. VIP is the only private contractor allowed to register users to the Clear system. Via
Women Explorers and Travellers of Asia and the Middle East - In an age where women struggled for basic human rights, these individuals were literal trailblazers. Leaving their homelands for varying motivations (but often due to dissatisfaction with their social lot in life), they devoted their lives to "explore these antique lands before they are irretrievably caught up in the cacaphonic whirl of the modern world." [more inside]
62 year old emergency physician John Hall and his wife Jane took off on a Bike Ride Around America to promote cancer awareness. They started on April Fool's Day, and completed their 12,000 mile journey around the perimeter of the country just today. Along the way they encountered hundreds of towns and thousands of friendly people, and a few not so nice. All in all, a pretty amazing accomplishment in my book.
Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveler. Burton Holmes didn't invent travel stories, slide shows, moving pictures or cross-country lectures, but he put them all together and created the travelogue (a term coined by his manager) as performance art. The site is full of information, pictures and additional links (including companion pages about the Trans-Siberian Railroad) chronicling Holmes' life and legacy.
"Don’t stop. Keep right on going.... Go someplace you’ve heard about, where you can fish or hunt or collect rocks or just look up at the sky. Find out what’s at the end of some country road. Go see what’s over the next hill, and the one after that, and the one after that." In 1959 Airstream founder Wally Byam - taking his own advice to heart - led a convoy of 36 of his company's trailers - together with over 100 American adults, children and pets - on a journey from Cape town to Cairo. They stayed in remote villages, negotiated rough roads, saw upteen tribal dancers, met up with Haile Selassie and finally ended up at the pyramids of Cairo. Here is the original film account of the expedition (complete with its own theme song). Next year, on the 50th anniversary, there is a plan to do the trip again - this time there and back again. Wanna go?
"This could take exactly 77 hours and 15 minutes, if the trains keep to schedule. Most likely, they won’t." GOOD Magazine takes a cross-country train ride to examine exactly why America's rail system sucks so badly, and where we go (slowly) from here.
One World Journeys produces exciting and educational photo-documentary expeditions that connect online viewers to unique wilderness areas around the world. Travel to the remote mountain forests of the former Soviet Georgia, track jaguars in Mexico, dive on pristine coral reefs, swim with wild salmon and wildlife of British Columbia and step into the heat of the Sonoran Desert.
Where the hell is Matt? The 2008 version is oddly moving. Be sure to watch the high quality version. (Previously)
Project Genesis - "It's destined to be the world's largest cruise ship—when launched next year, Royal Caribbean's US$1.24 billion Project Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It's the most expensive ship in history, and it's longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard's QE II), 43 per cent larger in size than the world's largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas [previously]) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card—in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park which opens to the sky." cf. The Lilypad
Have you ever wondered what a real IPA tasted like after the long, hot journey to India? Pete Brown found out. [more inside]
With over 35,000,000 visitors a year, it could be argued that it is the busiest museum in the world. Yet most people are there to catch a plane. [more inside]
Are you, like many others this summer, considering avoiding the costs & hassles of pricey foreign or domestic travel by having a "staycation" at home? Daily Show commenter John Hodgman (ably backed by Jonathan Coulton on the strings) enumerates the benefits of a "Holistay" (much better name) to help you make your choice.
Top Tourist Spots Americans Can’t Visit. Some will take this as a challenge.
German newspaper Der Spiegel decided to take a look at Europe's oddest folk traditions and festivals. Perhaps you can have a metaphorical hard-on for the phallus festival of Tyrnavos, Greece. Maybe you're hungry for how a small Belgian town celebrates the practice of swallowing live fish. Or, alternately, you can look down on those bizarre practices... while chasing a giant wheel of cheese down a hill. [more inside]
Do Our Brains Change When We Travel in Outer Space? A book of compiled accounts of astronauts and cosmonauts called The Overview Effect puts forth anecdotal evidence towards that end. The Overview Institute declares it as fact and aims to induce the change in as many people as possible. One space tourist has volunteered to be a human guinea pig in 2009.
Fascinating account (w/ pix) of a motorcycle journey through Angola. Stumbled onto this from the Black Flag forums and have not been able to stop reading it.
The amazing (but true!) journey of a can of S & W® brand black beans as they make their way across this great land of ours, and to other nations!
A few years ago when I was visiting Alaska, one of the more interesting portions of the trip was the 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. This is one of the world's rare bodies of water that features bore tides, an amazing scene. The highway is one of only 15 roads in the United States that have been designated an "All-American Road." What about some of the world's greatest highways? [more inside]
I know a man who once went to Sioux City, not one of the world’s leading destinations, precisely because he had never been there before. More than a decade later he still talks about the experience, from the Sergeant Floyd obelisk to the dog track of North Sioux and the meat packing plant converted to a shopping mall. The same impulse explains a non-specialist’s reading a history of Byzantine iconography or a survey of Australian wildlife. Both offer a break in daily life and an enlargement of our sense of wonder and possibility. That awareness can provide a sense of transcendence, and connection, or even the spark of divine discontent that leads people to change their lives.Reading as Vacation, an essay by J. D. Smith and Subway Reader, pictures of people who read while using public transportation.
360 Cities contains over 6,000 fantastically shot virtual reality panoramas of 50+ cities worldwide. It's also accessible through Google Earth and Google Maps. Too immersive for you? Well, check out VeniVidiWiki to discover points of interest with videos, nature areas and parks, restaurants, hotels, and other travel-related stuff.
All those passengers delayed amid the chaotic opening of Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 5? Some are actually homeless locals wearing "floral shirts, fanny packs and other travel accessories to blend in."
A "no-return, solo mission" to Mars? The comments - 179 of them as of the time of this post - are even more interesting than the article.
I'll jack your gold-plated pen knife, bitch, and that's reality, you better lose you pre-9/11 mentality
Plan your trip to a far away spot on the globe. You might wish to walk in a straight line or maybe just take the shortest route (other than, perhaps, digging). Take your camera in case you pass one of these. [more inside]
Why is your plane late? Airlines can make more money selling 70 airplanes worth of tickets per hour than they could if they limited themselves to the 60 airplanes per hour that the runway can handle. A long but excellent post on what is causing the delays at the airport.
Is this the end of the bus timetable? It can be bloody cold in Helsinki in January. The last thing you want to do is hang around too long for a bus or tram. Soon you won't have to because Helsinki City Transport is currently fitting *its entire fleet* with Linux servers. Not only will each bus or tram become a travelling wireless hotspot, but you will be able to see exactly where in the city your new bus actually is. Meaning that you only step into the bitter cold the minute before it arrives. (its in beta but you can see the effects of the live trial) [more inside]
Odyssey of State Capitols and State Suspicion. "The story behind an exhibition: postcards, designs, photography, travels, history, stamps and law enforcement." [Via BB.]
Like to faire une photo? You're not alone. The inimitable (but perhaps for not much longer) National Geographic magazine has advice for taking portraits, travel photography, landscapes, excitingly vague 'adventure' photos and even plan old digital photography. After you've created magic how about selling it or getting published? Sharing is so 2007.
Sacred Destinations. Nearly every culture in human history has sought to encounter and honor the divine, the mysterious, the supernatural or the extraordinary in some way. This most often occurs at sacred sites - special places where the physical world seems to meet the spiritual world. From ancient wonders, to Greek temples, to Biblical sites, and everything in between, the website has a vast collection of photo galleries and maps. The website's founder also maintains a travel blog and posts recent pictures on Flickr. [more inside]
"23 days, 12 states, five Canadian provinces, and 10,923 miles. We came within a hundred miles of the Arctic Circle and 500 miles of Russia. And we saw the most beautiful place that can be imagined." In June of last year, Clint and Robin drove from Chicago to Alaska and back again. Last August they headed into the great American west. Along the way they took some beautiful photos and made some inspired observations. If you've got some time on your hands, and some wanderlust in your heart, read along.
Warp Drive, When? "Have you ever wondered when we will be able to travel to distant stars as easily as in science fiction stories?"
The Four Essential Travel Phrases in 435 languages + 242 dialects + 49 conlangs!
Including Popculture English and more!
See also: I Can Eat Glass...it does not hurt me.
Including Popculture English and more!
See also: I Can Eat Glass...it does not hurt me.
"My humble efforts to assist in the elucidation of the social condition of a distant and comparatively unknown race."
Carta Marina - From 1518 to 1519, Olaus Magnus made a journey across Sweden. On his journey, he encountered fish the size of elephants, sea serpents, demons and a tribe of pygmies.
Footloose in America: around the world in 20 years A husband-wife team left their home in June of 2001 to circumnavigate the world by foot, and they took their mule along with them. They haven't gotten very far but it sounds like they've had lots of adventures in the past six years, as they walk from town to town doing odd jobs. [via this flickr photo/story]
Remember when air travel was viewed as glamorous and exciting? Of course you don't. So check out this collection of vintage flight attendant photos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
UK native Karl Bushby has been walking around the world since 1998. No, literally: walking. around. the. world. It hasn't been without its trials, of course (resolution). He isn't expected home until 2012.
An interesting post detailing how airline prices for the holidays have been going up faster than last year.
Bike Hacks! Bored with your generic two-wheeler? Check out this collection of funky bicycle modifications. My favorite is the grocery cart.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing new rules regarding passenger pre-screening both domestically and internationally. Interestingly, this includes flights that overfly the continental US without ever touching the ground. [more inside]
Do you know the way to San Jose? I found this googling for map images for an animated title sequence I am doing. Wow. A treasure trove of antique maps of every age, description and location.