August 23, 2019

"Just don’t … This is not a recommended travel destination for 2019. I understand many people just wanna spend 2 weeks of their boring enough life in a place they think would be cool..."

"...and take a bunch of the same photos their neibours Instagramer wannabe friend’s dog also have. If that’s you, you will fit right in with 500 other moms and pops with their Canon point and shoots. You will be fighting for a spot on the plato with 500 other selfie duck faces, Lululemon yoga pants, and brim hats they just brought from the market at Aquas Calientes which also sell fluffy alpaca faces. Cool. Wake up, to the locals, you are nothing more than the 5000 other money trees. To the Peruvian tourism board, you just happily handover another $150 out of your already over budget Peruvian holiday. All these because maybe you watched some stupid Instagram influencer or YouTuber hyping about everything they see. Do you own research, don’t come to Machu Picchu because you saw a photo on your friends’ feed, or Google tell you it’s a must go location. It’s not."

Wrote Mm Ww, quoted in "The best 1-star reviews of the Seven Wonders of the World" (WaPo).

90 comments:

Unknown said...

Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. But the reviewer has a point. If you're just looking for Instagrams or photos to share on Facebook, you're missing out. Go and soak it in. Take the tour, sure, and take some photos, but take time to just sit and look and imagine. Imagine what it must have been like 500 years ago. There's so much more than the photos.

Also, it's Aguas Caliente, not Aquas Caliente... And actually the locals are quite friendly, particularly if you're trying to speak Spanish to them. We had a wonderful time.

Nonapod said...

It's a shame that so many of the greatest, awe inspiring places in the world have been reduced to the worst kind of tourist traps, overrun with vacuous and vain selfie seekers, instagramers, and social media travel braggarts. People are more interested in artiface than experience.

Laslo Spatula said...

Sounds like it is ready and plump for a return to human sacrifice.

I am Laslo.

Kevin said...

We can already photoshop you into the pictures.

Once we have the whole thing VR-available, no one will have to actually go.

Big Mike said...

And it’s “plateau,” not “plato.”

Darrell said...

I can see everything I want to see on the TV/internet.
I thought you'd like to know that.

Kevin said...

Sounds like it is ready and plump for a return to human sacrifice.

True, but you only get to see it if you buy the Platinum Tour Package.

Restricted Instagram locations included!

traditionalguy said...

Francisco Pizarro already got all the good stuff. Now it's just a long way to go to see an emptiness.

Kevin said...

And it’s “plateau,” not “plato.”

plateau, plato
potato, potahtoe

Isn't the point to call the whole thing off?

traditionalguy said...

Francisco Pizarro already got all the good stuff. Now it's just a long way to go to see an emptiness.

traditionalguy said...

Europeans excited to see Machu Picchu is like the Japanese tourist groups excited to see the USS Arizona Memorial.

Felice Luftschein said...

This reminded me of an article that speaks to what isn't as boring a vacation:
"In June of last year, with less than a week’s notice, my husband Paul and I scrapped our plans to go to Europe for our summer vacation and decided instead to follow the Dead for their entire West Coast tour (and some of the East Coast too). Over the next few weeks, we drove 4,000 miles in a rented truck, slept in 14 different places, ate at truck stops, and saw about a dozen Dead & Company shows."

https://www.salon.com/2019/06/21/communing-with-the-dead-i-followed-the-grateful-dead-to-escape-and-ended-up-finding-home/

Ann Althouse said...

"Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. But the reviewer has a point. If you're just looking for Instagrams or photos to share on Facebook, you're missing out. Go and soak it in. Take the tour, sure, and take some photos, but take time to just sit and look and imagine. Imagine what it must have been like 500 years ago. There's so much more than the photos."

But the other people are still doing the photos. If it's about imagining something that is no longer here on earth (the past) and what you want is to enter a mental space, then reading about the long lost empire is much more accurate and effective. Go hiking near home while listening to a well-written history of the Incas and sit on a rock and imagine. The Incas will be more with you than if you're surrounded by a lot of tourists doing selfies.

Phidippus said...

The only one I've visited is the Taj. I thought it was beautiful from a distance as well as close-up. The inlay work of multicolored stones was impressive. If you expect the scene to look like the promo picture in the article, you will not like the crowds, which are not decorative.

OTOH, Agra is an utter dump, so I have to agree there. And we just saw it from the bus. India has terrible--inconceivably bad, to a Westerner--air pollution, especially in the cities, and no one picks up the trash. We passed through endless agricultural areas where the chief crops seemed to be plastic water bottles and wind-tossed bags.

Kelly said...

Those are pretty hilarious. My husband went to Petra when he was in Jordan on business and said it was really cool. He brought back souvenirs from there, wonder if he got them from the same vendor? Out of all the Middle Eastern countries, Jordan sounds like the one place I’d want to go. They have a national beer, shop owners would chase him down and thank him for coming into their shop, unlike so many other places in the Middle East where they treat you like dirt. Understandable I guess since places like Saudi and Kuwait use what amounts to slave labor for its work force.

joshbraid said...

A great article. I like to read "one-star" as most of them are hilarious. Thanks for finding something truly and intentionlly funny in the WaPo.

Fernandinande said...

The Colossus of Rhode Island was the world's first ironic wonder.

Balfegor said...

The reviews were honestly more entertaining than the tedious snide commentary from the WaPo writer, who honestly comes across really badly, a horrible blowhard who just doesn't realise how awful she is being. I'm somewhat self-conscious about that sort of thing, and I worry occasionally that I am coming off like this Natalie Compton. I suspect she's not nearly as terrible as she seems from her article -- it's a pose, and she's just miscalculated.

Fernandinande said...

World's Largest Paul Bunyon, no lines.

mockturtle said...

My nephew loved it and, from the photos he took, I can see why. The bus rides might be a bit challenging for the faint of heart but most find it worthwhile.

Mr Wibble said...

I hate seeing dating profiles with "love to travel"/"Collecting stamps for my passport"/"Planning my next overseas trip"/etc. on them. My experience is that the more someone goes on and on about how they love to travel, the less interesting they actually are. At some point, the constant trips are less a sign that you're cultured and intelligent and open to adventure, and more that you've got nothing of substance underneath your exterior and constantly fly away trying to escape the fact that your life is boring.

buwaya said...

It’s better to be than see.
The locals and their commonplace ways are more interesting than the sights.
The ground, so to speak, is also more instructive.
If your hobby is history it helps a lot to walk the ground, human and topographic.
Even hardships, like the local bureaucracy, can be fascinating and instructive to the open and curious mind.
It also helps a lot to be fluent.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

All of them, except, appropriately enough, Christ the Redeemer, the fruits of slavery.

MadisonMan said...

Rich people problems.

mockturtle said...

Althouse never sees the purpose of travel. She wouldn't understand why I'm in Jasper National Park and got up at 5:30 to get a parking spot at the Sunwapta Falls. Or why I would even drive all the way from southern AZ to Alaska when I could just look at photographs and read about it. Maybe travel isn't for everyone but please acknowledge that when you don't get it, you just don't get it.

Laslo Spatula said...

And the tourists
Gathered 'round here
Like the leaves around a tree
In their snaps of many selfies
For Instagram to see.

(Neil Young guitar solo goes here)

I am Laslo.

Tommy Duncan said...

Machu Picchu: No one goes there any more because it's so crowded.

buwaya said...

To get an idea of some of the purpose/es of travel, and an implicit commentary on its misuses, I suggest a look at “A Room with a View”. The novel, not the movie.

The point there (in ARWAV) is self knowledge, or general knowledge/perspective, through a change of context.

Another way of looking at it is as an escape. Kipling is soaked with this, on many levels. “Mandalay” is still true. So is “Kim”.

Laslo Spatula said...

Although, the McMachu Picchu burger is worth the trouble.

I am Laslo.

buwaya said...

My wife was extremely taken with “A Room with a View”.
It’s a girl-favorite of her time I guess.

I’m not too hot on it, but it’s worth a read, and it has its value.

buwaya said...

For another view of the joys of traveling, of course, have a look at Belloc’s “Modern Traveller”.
There are still parts of the world where one can travel in that mode. Some very close by.

One can (maybe) do without Maxim-guns. A good friend, in Mexico, once used a US passport and a DOD ID to similar effect.

buwaya said...

Belloc knew what he was on about, as he too was a great traveller, and produced much travel writing.
It’s worth looking for.

purplepenquin said...

Maybe travel isn't for everyone but please acknowledge that when you don't get it, you just don't get i

Not just travel - she seems to be unable to understand why anyone would enjoy doing anything that she doesn't personally enjoy doing. (Remember how confused she was that anyone would like Marvel movies?)

Not sure if it's something we're born with or something learned - but some folks are definitely lacking in the "empathy" department.

Carol said...

A friend who went took a photo of some cliff on a walking tour with a tiny, inches-high rail for "safety."

LOL yeah no, not going.

Unknown said...

Hey, Machu Picchu is a staple of online dating. All single women post photos of their visit, along with ziplining in Costa Rica and tandem skydiving.

Narr said...

As a lifelong Europhilic history and culture nerd, I'm always eager to visit the place, but have to realize that most of it is no longer on my itinerary.

In October 2017 in Paris, my wife and I had finished with the Montmartre Cathedral and tourist-trap complex (interesting 19th C water-towers up there) and were on side streets looking for a small place for lunch when we turned a corner to mostly blank walls along a crooked stretch, and I glanced back to see one average-looking young guy nod his head at us in signal to another nondescript young guy.

I told my wife, just steps in front, "Hold your purse" (which had nothing much in it and was across her chest anyway) and we kept going. First guy comes up at my 5 o'clock and drop-tosses a smartphone at my feet and makes to bend in front of me. I step to the side and around and we keep walking; a few more steps and clown number 2 tries the same thing with a big shiny coin! I mean, WTFF?

This time as I step by, I nudge his back enough to let him know I could hurt him, and as they give up I turn and make the crazy-temple-finger and say "Foutre vouz!" which I hope is French for rude. They vanish. My wife never turned around and being hard of hearing wasn't aware of what was going on until I told her.

We did have a nice lunch shortly after, and I have an amusing anecdote to bore people with!
And isn't that one of the joys of travel?

Narr
I, as the intended victim, was embarrassed for them, the would-be pickpockets of Paris (TOIF)

Unknown said...

"Go hiking near home while listening to a well-written history of the Incas and sit on a rock and imagine. The Incas will be more with you than if you're surrounded by a lot of tourists doing selfies."

But one of the things about being there is that you see things that pictures really don't capture. The sound of the wind - the smell of the place for example. With Macchu Picchu in particular, photos and even video do not capture the sheer cliffs - the incredible steepness of the place. And so while I can imagine from photos and from descriptions, it pleases me for my imagination to based on something more tangible.

And while I'm there with folks taking selfies etc., I can ignore them. And who knows what they take away beyond the Instagrams? The reviewer assumes they can see into the mind of these people.

Ice Nine said...

Watching the pickpockets work the tourist mob in the plaza in front of Notre Dame cathedral is one of the interesting sights in Paris.

rcocean said...

Hilarious. But these sort of places have turned into tourist traps. A lot of these places/buildings aren't that much better in person then they are in photographs. Certainly, when you add the expense, the crowds, the waiting, etc. I loved the comment about the "Great Wall" being a bunch of sloppily laid bricks. It actually amazing, but after you've seen it and walked a little of it...

stevew said...

"Maybe travel isn't for everyone but please acknowledge that when you don't get it, you just don't get ii."

Speaking only for myself, who's opinion of tourist travel is similar to our host's, I say you are welcome to travel wherever you want, whenever you want, for whatever purpose suits you. Just don't come back and make me look at your precious photos, or listen to your hilarious stories, or otherwise try to convince me that I JUST HAVE TO GO.

gilbar said...

I'd have to say, it Staggers me how many people travel across the country/world; to go to some Famous Place... And when they get there, they snap a quick instamatic type pic of it; and leave.

IF you want a picture of the Grand Tetons; there are going to be WAY Better pix out there, then you could EVER take with your iphone.
HELL, people go to Wyoming, so that they can go to Yellowstone, so that they can wait on the bleachers; and take a picture of Old Faithful . If people would put down their phones, and LOOK, they'd see that the WHOLE World is Beautiful and full of Wonder. Instead, they wait in line, so they can take a picture of themselves with a bunch of people taking pictures of themselves.

The Good News is: This means that I can go to the Virginia Meadows on the Gibbon river; and it will be just me (and the Bisons)

Ice Nine said...

I've seen all of these except the Rio statue. This writer is wrong; they're all worth seeing. The Taj Mahal is in fact spectacular. You just go early in the morning and when you get inside the gate, make a beeline for the distant Taj while all the others are stopping along the way to take panoramic pictures of it. We were the only two people at/in the building for about 15 minutes.

I've traveled the world for forty years. By the seat of the pants - backpack, buses, trains, hitchhiking. In the last twenty it has certainly gotten worse with the mobs and the selfie drones. Damn those cheap airfares! And damn "adventure travel" tours where someone carts you around and plants you in front of the "adventure" - all safe and sound. So you can take your photos and selfies. I haven't taken pictures in decades. Found that I was too busy framing the shot, etc to really just grok the scene. If you're going to go there, you should try *being* there.

My advice, go by yourself, meet people; get lost and meet more people getting unlost; sit in a park and talk to people; take a random city bus and see where it takes you - you'll encounter wonderful things that no one sees and, yes, meet more people. What *travel* - not tourism - is all about.

Anonymous said...

mockturtle: Althouse never sees the purpose of travel...Maybe travel isn't for everyone but please acknowledge that when you don't get it, you just don't get it.

Althouse isn't against travel. She travels herself fairly regularly. I vaguely recall her linking approvingly to a travelogue of foreign travel/travel photos in a friend's blog. But you see, it was the *right* kind of travel. Althouse doesn't inveigh against this *correct* way of traveling. Just the people who are *doing it all wrong*, i.e., not the way she would do it.

MadisonMan said...

"Foutre vouz!"

Why be formal and vousvoyer the guy?

Vas-te faire foutre!

Fernandinande said...

She wouldn't understand why I'm in Jasper National Park and got up at 5:30 to get a parking spot at the Sunwapta Falls.

I worked at an open-pit coal mine near Hinton (Edson?) and so discovered the Canadian Rockies. Biggest river I'd ever seen at the time. When the mine's electric shovels lifted a load, the towns' lights would go dim. Diagnosis: skimpy Canadian wires.

Fernandinande said...

(Edson?)

The mine was just outside Cadomin.

mockturtle said...

Tangential but on the subject of travel was my Pythonesque experience this morning. Arriving at the Columbia Glacier Center south of Japer, AB, which is a visitors information and tour facility, I made a beeline for the Parks Canada booth and found it didn't open until 10:15 [this sort of thing makes me think of Jean Brodie who remarked, "She thinks to intimidate me by the use of quarter hours"]. So at 10:30 I again climbed the eight steep flights of stairs from the parking lot and met the 'information' clerk:

Me: I'd like some information on Canadian National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia.

Her: I don't have any information other than a small brochure [showing little green dots where the parks are located and which I already have].

Me: No more descriptive information about their location and facilities?

Her: You would need road maps for that.

Me: OK, could I get a road map of British Columbia and Alberta?

Her: No, you have to get those at a gas station.

Me: A gas station??? Well, what kind of information do you have?

Her: I can give you the website address where you can find all the information you need.

This was actually too funny for me to feel really pissed off about. Fortunately, here in the parking lot, I have a Verizon signal and can access the internet. Most of the park is off the cell grid.

Ken B said...

It’s an interesting example of blindness. The problem complained of is not the site, it’s not even the crowds. It’s the selfie-centered complainer.

curt said...

There are at least a half dozen Incan sites that are the equal of Machu Picchu, with few or no tourists. And you really can’t appreciate the advanced state of Incan architecture, engineering, construction, agronomy etc. without being there.

Anonymous said...

mock @12:51 PM:

Lol.

Bet it's beautiful, though. Envious.

FullMoon said...

I have a Vietnamese neighbor, a neighbor from Thailand, a Filipino neighbor and Taiwanese neighbor.

Each, at different times took their kids to the old country to visit relatives and see where they came from.

Aside from short visits with the old folks, they spent most of their time in nice air conditioned hotels.

My favorite travel author is Mark Twain. He does not overlook the miserable weather or the insects.

Ice Nine said...

My BiL is the same way. Likes to talk about how he loves to travel. Goes somewhere abroad now and then and always stays in $500 a night hotels, does tourist packages, etc at, say, Ko Samui. Comes back and tells us how wonderful it was to see Thailand. He never saw Thailand.

When I was hanging out in Mombasa we would occasionally go down to Diani Beach south of there and rent a beach hut for a few days. Occasionally went to nearby hotels to poach their swimming pools for a couple hours. Talked to the German tourists there and they all said, "I've always wanted to see Africa." Had to bite tongue to keep from LOLing.

mockturtle said...

Bet it's beautiful, though. Envious.

It is, Angle-Dyne. But it's bitterly cold right now,[mid 30's F], very windy and rainy and is supposed to snow tonight. On my way to Alaska in May it was prettier here, as there was more snow on the mountains, but I was in a hurry then and didn't explore.

mockturtle said...

Actuall, there is snow mixed in the rain now at 1:00 PM and I can see snow falling just 500 ft above. It's been so summer-like until now and I'm not really ready for winter.

Marc said...

Belloc's Path to Rome, his walking adventure from Toul in Lorraine to Rome, was published in 1902: how much has changed since then! and yet the route he walked had at that point already seen almost two thousand years of recorded history. I'm reconciled to the fact that I'm probably beyond being able to hike the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome or the Camino de Santiago from Vézelay or wherever to Compostella but those 'tours' appeal in a way that five nights at a hotel with tours of the city and the museums don't.

Begonia said...

I went to Macchu Picchu in 1998. There were a lot of people then, but it was still totally worth it. I agree with the first response (Unknown).

Althouse replies to the first commenter:

"If it's about imagining something that is no longer here on earth (the past) and what you want is to enter a mental space, then reading about the long lost empire is much more accurate and effective. Go hiking near home while listening to a well-written history of the Incas and sit on a rock and imagine. The Incas will be more with you than if you're surrounded by a lot of tourists doing selfies."

No. I disagree. I can't equate a hike at Devil's Lake with the marvel of appreciating how you are hiking on the same roads and paths of the incan empire. You can't appreciate the amazing craftsmanship of the Incan stonemasons until you're right there, in front of the massive stones that have been smoothed out to perfection and required no mortar and yet have withstood earthquakes for hundreds of years. You can't appreciate how people farmed potatoes and brought irrigation and water up the mountainsides unless you're looking at the ancient terraces (still intact).

Althouse and I have completely different ideas of adventure. She would rather order a bunch of instant ramen from Japan on Amazon and enjoy her adventure at home. I would rather just walk down to the Asian Midway on Park Street and enjoy my adventure in public. To each her own.

Anonymous said...

Ice Nine: When I was hanging out in Mombasa we would occasionally go down to Diani Beach south of there and rent a beach hut for a few days. Occasionally went to nearby hotels to poach their swimming pools for a couple hours. Talked to the German tourists there and they all said, "I've always wanted to see Africa." Had to bite tongue to keep from LOLing.

Maybe they saw all the Africa they wanted to see. If they had the means and wanted to see more of it, they probably would. Maybe your BiL really enjoys staying in $500.00 a night hotels in exotic places and wouldn't enjoy the "real" Thailand all that much. What's the problem? I bet the people running the resorts aren't put out by their inauthentic preferences.

Hey, I admit I've been as guilty of deploring the oblivious selfie-takers, bemoaning the crowds, and sniggering at the bucket-listers as the next more-authentic-than-thou monkey with a passport, but I have to bite my tongue to keep from LOLing whenever these "I'm a traveler, not a tourist" one-upper rounds get going.

Begonia said...

mockturtle you need to use your cellphone's Google Maps app to download offline maps when you can. You'll be able to access the maps (and your location via satellite) even if you don't have cell signal or service. I always do this before going "up north" or when traveling abroad.

Roughcoat said...

I love travel. I'm a military historian and I love to walk the battlefields I read and write about. The only thing that holds me back from travel is the lack of money. I like to take long walks with my wife and dogs and much the same reason I love to travel. I love to see new and different things and places. I can't explain why, but Tennyson explains it for me:

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

WK said...

The overcrowding wasn’t a problem until boats and cars and trains and airplanes were invented. Tourists are just invaders that usually leave.

Ice Nine said...

Blogger Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...
>>Maybe they saw all the Africa they wanted to see.

I'm sure they did. I *know* they did. So?

>>Maybe your BiL really enjoys staying in $500.00 a night hotels in exotic places and wouldn't enjoy the "real" Thailand all that much.

He most definitely does, and I'm sure he wouldn't. I *know* he wouldn't. So?

>>What's the problem?

There is no problem (other than the mobs...but I know how to largely avoid them). Did I say there was? What I said is that their gushing about having seen these places is ludicrous.

>>but I have to bite my tongue to keep from LOLing whenever these "I'm a traveler, not a tourist" one-upper rounds get going.

Bite and LOL away. I simply am and they aren't. I'm not one-upping anyone; my ego is pretty secure as is. Per your very point above perhaps they should feel like one-upping, for that matter. I was merely pointing out a very real fact I've observed countless times, that tied in with the theme of the thread.

D 2 said...

Buwaya - Odd, A Room with a View (movie) came up a week or two ago. Can't remember the context.

Don't you dare draw shade on Helena Bonham Carter in that movie or I swear I will fly out to SF, take a tourist priced ride on the trolley, get a selfie underneath the Golden Gate, find your ass, and drag it over to Manila (with a stop for a tour of the Hawaii volcanos)

~

As for the crowd and tourist haters: simple misanthropy. If you don't like other people, I encourage you to invest resources in fences and guns and large sized property in a place like Alaska or Yukon.

Now, if you say well I like some people, just not all types - say, you dislike the type that go to the same places that you go to, but who act differently, because they are idiots, or because there are so many of them all at once, well, again, I suggest you take out the chequebook and find a way to make this journey that you want to have, in the setting that you desire. You can pay me, for example, a few dollars, and I promise I won't go to Peru when you want to go.

Warren Zevon sang about Michael Jackson and Disneyland. Take my hand, Goofy.

I find tourist tsk-tsk-big to be too close to the idea of: "This world would be a better place if there a few billion less" which is a horrid concept that snuck into our consciousness through the overpopulation screeds of the 60s and the earlier eugenics sort. The sustainability gurus are the latest iteration. Leopards don't change their spots. If you don't like humanity, try a little harder to hide your distaste.

Roughcoat said...

Another spot-on explanation for travel is given in Tolkien's Silmarillion, when Feanor persuades the Nolder to leave the bliss of Aman and go to Middle Earth:

"At length after long debate Fëanor prevailed, and the greater part of the Noldor there assembled he set aflame with the desire of new things and strange countries."

". . . . a desire of new things and strange countries." Perfect.

D 2 said...

Splendid Isolation (W Zevon). Great song.
Especially after a rough day at work.

Roughcoat said...

I don't mind being a tourist or being labeled a tourist. And I don't mind doing touristy things. There's a time and a place for it.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Fernandistein@ 10:56 Paul Bunyan... TRULY a white supremacy figure. And, I'm still not over Macho Grande

mockturtle said...

mockturtle you need to use your cellphone's Google Maps app to download offline maps when you can. You'll be able to access the maps (and your location via satellite) even if you don't have cell signal or service. I always do this before going "up north" or when traveling abroad.

Begonia, yes, I have just finished doing that on my laptop so I have them safely stored in my document files on pdf. I guess I was naive enough to think maps would be readily available. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ice Nine: Bite and LOL away.

Can't do both at once, so right now I'm opting for the latter.

Btw, re "traveler": comic value enhanced by its being a favored buzzword in those swpl-y "adventure" tour operations' ads, targeted at the (explicit text) Discerning Traveler. (Subtext: "You don't want people to take YOU for a...a...tourist do you!?!? ")

Me, I'm a tourist, whatever level of "traveler"-approved authenticity I may be attaining in parts foreign.

tim in vermont said...

Who peed in purplepenquin’s cornflakes?

buwaya said...

". . . . a desire of new things and strange countries."

Kipling, paraphrased.

buwaya said...

"I swear I will fly out to SF, take a tourist priced ride on the trolley, get a selfie underneath the Golden Gate, find your ass, "

I will be hiding behind all the poop. There may be difficulties.

We will be abroad next month.

Phidippus said...

AAT: "Who peed in purplepenquin’s cornflakes?"

Somebody from San Francisco.

buwaya said...

"The only thing that holds me back from travel is the lack of money."

We will contrariwise be in a position of ridiculous excess, given our modest needs.
We can spend every hour of the rest of our lives traveling and living in hotels, within @1/2 our retirement income. Its a daunting proposition.

Paco Wové said...

"Somebody from San Francisco."

Hmmm. I thought it was Scott Walker.

stevew said...

Full disclosure: I'm headed to Cinque Terre in a couple of weeks. Not one of the 'magnificent' travel destinations from the article. I won't take many, if any, photos. The lovely Mrs. stevew does enough of that for both of us. Of course the only downside of that is from the photos you would think I was on a solo trip.

Phidippus said...

Roughcoat: Yes-- Ulysses. Well stated.

Let us all drink life to the lees, each in our own way.

buwaya said...

"Full disclosure: I'm headed to Cinque Terre in a couple of weeks."

A friend of mine just came back from there, after getting married in an Italian castle.
Getting married in Italian castles seems to be a thing.

He has a pile of pictures from the Cinque Terre.
I suppose we have to go sometime.

Phidippus said...

Ken B alluded earlier to the selfie-centered complainer. We could actually simplify a bit to "self-centered".

I visited Yosemite in 2008 on a photography workshop. One evening we were setting up our cameras at a well-known overlook, when a car rolled by. A passenger rolled down his window, held up a cellphone, and made a picture of the Valley with us standing there in the foreground--all without actually stopping. A kind of drive-by shooting, as it were.

That said, I didn't come home from the trip with pictures any better than what the cell phone guy most likely did, so there's that. The part that stays with me was walking past the base of Yosemite Falls in the dark on the last night, surrounded by the mist and the roar of the water, and hearing the the voice of the bear somewhere in the darkness nearby.

JLScott said...

So, don't go to Machu Picchu for the wrong reasons, because then you'd be one of those people, and Mm Ww simply despises those people and their boring little lives.

Kinda makes me want to go, actually.

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stevew said...

@buwaya: arrangements can be made. many of the photos will not include me or mrs. stevew. i can share a few that you can repurpose as our own so you don't actually have to go. lmk.

tcrosse said...

A few years back we took a boat trip up the Danube, Budapest via Vienna to Regensburg with bus connections to Salzburg and Prague. For the Salzburg jaunt we docked at Linz, alongside a boatful of Japanese. They all had a gadget that I had never seen before, a selfie stick. They were all over Salzburg with them, much to the wonder of the locals.
One of our shipmates was a camera nut, who carried around a lot of very expensive and fussy photo gear. He admitted over drinks that for all his piety and wit he could not take better photos than the many people who were armed with cell phones. Yet he enjoyed the practice of pure photography, the manipulation of camera gear for its own sake.

Narr said...

We took some 625 photos (now slides) in our two months in Europe in 1978 . . . and my wife takes too many pix on her phone wherever she travels now. Like others here I try to feel the place where I am, whether palace, battlefield, or residence; I don't need the distancing distractions of photography any more.

BTW, I mentioned Montmartre Cathedral, and nobody said a thing! It's a basilica. (Dr. Orr is spinning in his grave.)

Narr
And you call yourselves pedants!

Seeing Red said...

Go hiking near home while listening to a well-written history of the Incas and sit on a rock and imagine. The Incas will be more with you than if you're surrounded by a lot of tourists doing selfies.

Their spirits aren’t with you.

Marcus said...

As for those dating profiles with the "Love to Travel!" description in them:

I married my last wife after meeting her on Match.com. It was after five years of online dating, a quest that I wrote about for our local rag. (They paid me, so...)

What "Love to Travel" means is "Love to Travel and expect you to pay for it". Same with those who like boating, tennis and golf. I met a hardworking oncology nurse who on the anniversary of our first date, woke me up with a morning surprise and took me out to and bought me a new Miata.

THEOLDMAN

Miss her.

Phidippus said...

tcrosse: Expensive but not futile lesson in my case. In more recent years, my best photographs have all been made within 60 miles of my house.

The important thing, which I have learned, is not the equipment, or the place, but the mindset of the photographer. One must relearn to use one's shoshin, or "beginner's mind, open mind", or even "empty mind", in order to see creatively.

Easier said than done, of course, and best done alone, and in silence.

buwaya said...

It is indeed best done alone and in silence.
Very rarely in company, even if like minded.

I have never had the luxury of an assistant though, but that may change.

readering said...

Nothing on bleeding Watney's Red Barrel?

Bart Hall said...

I have worked frequently in the Peruvian Andes -- agricultural development -- and have never visited MP, even though frequently nearby. Never even wanted to go there, largely for the reasons described. Speak Spanish with near-native fluency, along with enough Quechua to be polite. Very much at home there, but cannot stand the tourists who are checking things off a list, rather than actually getting to know (let alone understand) a place.

I've often eaten a delicioius Andean potato-quinoa-onion-cuy [guinea pig] soup I wish I could make here in the States, but the guinea pigs are 20 bucks each, for pets.

MB said...

If you're not an interesting person, just going to Machu Piccu won't turn you into one.