Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Reading: The Travel Edition

I've come across some good links about travel lately. Or maybe, I've got travel on my mind because I've been in full on vacation planning mode. It is hard to say.

Anyway... my friend Steve just got back from a trip to France that sounds way more exciting than my upcoming vacation. I'm trying not to be jealous, but failing miserably. Click backwards through all his posts if you want to feel jealous, too, and don't miss his tongue in cheek scorecard of "us vs. them."

One of the things I have listed as a possible activity for Austin is a visit to the Umlauf Scupture Garden. I figure that the outdoor setting and size of the pieces might make it doable with children. But after reading about the aftermath of caro's visit to a sculpture garden, I wonder if I should reconsider!

I referenced this one earlier, but in case you missed it: Anandi had a post about her vacation limit, and a follow up about dreaming your own dreams, and not having travel on your list of dreams if it doesn't belong there. Now, obviously, travel is something I really enjoy and it has a prominent position on my list of dreams. And my vacation limit is clearly a lot longer than Anandi's, since I came back from a four month trip feeling a bit bittersweet about being home. But I definitely agree: don't travel out of a sense of obligation to "see things." Travel because it brings you happiness, or a since of fulfillment or whatever else you want out of life.

Speaking of not traveling... or traveling to less exotic locales, Laura Vanderkam had a post about whether or not the Disney version of things give the highlights without the lows. I think the answer to that depends on what you're hoping to get out of travel to the more exotic locales. Here is what I said in a comment on her post:

"For me, a lot of the charm of travel is getting to experience a different culture, and learn about how they approach life. Now, I suppose there is a case to be made that Disney is a culture unto itself… but I think I need to real thing. For instance, one of my lifetime highlights was going to Easter Island. Sure, seeing the big stone heads was really, really cool. But what was even cooler was seeing how the culture on that island had survived and thinking about how it was changed by the calamity of the loss of trees, and by interactions with other cultures. Disney or Vegas could recreate the big stone heads. But they can’t recreate the people and their culture."

But again- that's just me. And I don't think going to Disney or Vegas is bad. I've done both, and I'll go back! But they can't replace the "real thing" for me.

Do you have other good travel links for me? Leave them in the comments. I always enjoy a good travel post!

16 comments:

  1. Whenever we travel, I like to visit grocery stores, both large and small. They are so much more interesting than tourist restaurants!

    People always say how sad it is when we mention getting sick and going to the doctor abroad. But, I think of it as par for the course. It's an opportunity for research; we are able to compare and contrast other nations' health care delivery to ours.

    Seriously, going to the hospital in Tanzania was a highlight of my trip. The design of was ingenious! (Water collection system from roof, polycarb panels in roof for light, photovoltaic system to run hospital equipment, outdoor waiting rooms, natural cross-ventilation...)

    Also, if I hadn't been to the hospital, and then looked it up online, I would never have found out how many of the female patients around me were likely there for complications from female circumcision. That's something that tourism boards tend to downplay and it would have flown under my radar if I didn't need to go to the hospital.

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    1. YES!! We were in Ireland and I got really sick, and though not nearly as interesting as Tanzania, it was interesting to note the little things that were different about health care there.

      And we ended up at the grocery store nearly every day of our visit :)

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    2. We got terrible food poisoning in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Not a highlight... but interesting.

      But I see your point about how interesting it is to check out the mundane things in other countries, and I agree with that. Still, I prefer to avoid checking out their health care systems!

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  2. I've never been to the sculpture garden in Austin, but there is one near where I live that is just AMAZING. Full of kids, many sculptures can be touched, climbed, played like musical instruments and I thought to myself when I went: "This is how to introduce kids to art, forget art museums!" All this to say - I think you should try it!

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    1. There is a gorgeous sculpture garden in downtown Seattle and it's even got a cool walking path through it, so it's perfect for little ones learning to walk.

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  3. I don't want to be That Lady who pimps her own blog, but I have a traveling-with-little-kids post going up tonight (11pm Euro time) and also posted one on April 8. They both address southwest France, but hopefully we'll be able to go further afield in the future!

    I agree with you that at this point, Disney really is its own unique little culture. A culture that drives me batty to be sure, but still: a culture.

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    1. Hey, pimp your own blog here all you want as long as it is relevant! Here are the posts, for posterity:
      http://www.toddlerisms.net/2012/04/i-love-good-tourist-trap.html

      http://www.toddlerisms.net/2012/04/secondo-finds-his-people.html

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  4. Thanks for the shout out Cloud! I did notice a bunch of travel posts together this week and was going to do a roundup :)

    I'm still really, really glad we're back home. I had a dream last night that we were in China for a long stay and it was more like a nightmare ;)

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  5. Hey, thanks for linking to my post. Always nice to see visitors from your site!

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  6. Thanks for the link. I do really love to travel and to see things, but Disney was just very surreal from the perspective of having seen the real thing first. Given how big a destination Disney is, I imagine most people do it in the opposite order (go as a kid to Disney, and then go see the "real thing" later in life). In every case, Disney got the stuff you're hunting around to get a picture of, without any of the hassles. The post was more about questioning my own travel snobbery -- why I feel the real thing is somehow so superior. I'm still not entirely sure why I do.

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    1. I get your point. I guess I don't necessarily view the real thing as superior- just different. And real. I'm in for the experience, mostly, and Disney is a very different experience than just about anywhere else!

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  8. Really we take some time to visit the nature. So that we are familiar about that how nature is beautiful. I know that it is expensive but always working are not good. We need to spend some time with family where not office work nor any business deal.

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  9. Bangladesh has numerous sources of natural beauty, marvelous places and sceneries. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, colorful rare conch shells and tribes, delightful sea-food, Buddhist temples, ponderous pagodas —all this makes Cox’s bazaar the tourist capital of Bangladesh. The World's longest unbroken (120 km) natural sandy sea beach slopes here gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. Against the picturesque background of a chain of forested hills with rich wildlife made this beach as one of the most attractive tourist spot in the world.
    Travel

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  10. As I get ready to a little trip to the Pakistan. I bring you this week’s Suzy Stumbles Over Bangladesh, bangladesh travel . event you are new to this site, each week I ask bloggers/writers and readers to acquiesce their favorite travel posts of the week.

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