Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum!
The web is full of great travel sites, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find at Vagobond Travel Media and then each Friday, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about a great story either contact me on G+, email me, or tap me on the shoulder.
These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the week of May 18, 2012.
I loved this article about unusual museums and how they generally start with private collections. Lately, I’ve felt pretty ‘museumed out’ but Beverley Bermeier’s fun article gave me a few I now want to visit from the Mueseum of Bad Art to the Patent Model Museum.
Nerd’s Eye View wrote a fantastic article this week called Shift, which talks about how ‘travel blogs’ and ‘travel bloggers’ have changed their audience from those who travel to those who sponsor travel. As those who saw my recent rants against ‘Travel Bloggers’ might expect – I found that this hit the nail on the head. What you might not expect is for me to admit that this article hits the nail on the head better than my rants. It does. I wish I would have written that! Thanks to Jodi Ettenberg (who, by the way is not a ‘Travel Blogger’) for pointing me to this story…
And, come to think of it, she also pointed me to this amazingly curmudgeonly and myopic piece by one of my favorite travel writers, Paul Theroux about my (and his) adopted home of Hawaii. Below is my response to Paul’s article. (by the way, the comments on his article are also worth reading) I was in Hawaii ten years and had a totally different experience. After two years of being there, being open to people, making friends both in the water, at work and in the neighborhoods – I found Hawaiian people to be incredibly inclusive, sharing and kind. What he missed is that you have to get past a serious history of exploitation, racism and transience in order to get past the barrier. White people who move to Hawaii are ‘fucking haoles’ (and he was wrong about the term, it means no breath and goes back to greetings etc) – all of them are fucking haoles whether it is said in private or publicly. And the thing is, they never stop being haole. Unless you have Hawaiian blood, you can never be Hawaiian but, once you pass a certain level of acceptance you are just a haole and it loses the fucking part, it loses the anger and the judgment. Haoles are white people that are just white people. Hawaii is a small place and when you have friends on an island you pretty much are connected to everyone there. I’ve never met Paul, but my friends tell me that he never stopped being a fucking haole. It’s part of what I love about his writing is that curmudgeon, judgmental quality – but one thing for sure, it doesn’t open any doors.
Brendan Harding shared his very enjoyable experience of Lost Towns and Found Saints in this nice piece about exploring places close to home and overcoming phobias of historical timelines.
St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in Turkey where he was buried after his death in the 4th Century. During the crusades the returning knights rescued his remains from the advancing Saracen armies and carried them to Bari in Italy where they were reburied. Legend has it that two knights removed the remains once again and carried them first to France and then here, to the furthest part of the Christian world where they would be safe forever. If the legends are to be believed, this large stone slab, lying in a windswept field in the county of Kilkenny, is the last resting place of one of Christianity’s best loved saints.
One of my favorite pieces of travel related writing this week came from a surprising source – USA Today! It might have something to do with the fact that I’m on the lookout for the perfect little seaside town to live in when I finally get the visa for my wife and we relocate back to the USA. Of course, what I really love is that my three favorite USA seaside towns didn’t make the list – and I’m not telling until I own a house in one of them!
Jack and Jill Travel the World came out with a great piece about how Morocco makes them bipolar because they love it and hate it at the same time. I can definitely relate to that. Morocco is one of the most interesting and visually beautiful countries in the world, but sometimes it makes you want to just throw your hands in the air and walk away. Still, if you haven’t been to Morocco – you really have to come.
Finally, Buzz Trips Daily came out with another article that for me, defines pretty clearly what the problem with the ‘travel writing industry’ has become. It’s not just the travel bloggers who are the problem, there are also a lot of things written for print that just ignore the reality of destinations and places. The ‘trial’ scenario in which this is written gives you a nice chance to weigh the evidence.
And that’s it for this week’s Vagabond Travel Museum. Congratulations to all of the inductees!