This is an entry for the blogathong, which I heard about from Scary Scary Quite Contrary. I don't know many details about it other than people are expected to write a blog a day, Monday to Friday, for the next 2 days. I like that idea. I've been too lazy lately.
Send all complaint letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The joy of travel is in direct opposition to two of humanity's greatest comforts: familiarity and being lazy.
While it is nice to get out into the wider world and see what else is out there; there's nothing quite like sitting around the same old hole and not doing stuff.
Then again, if you don't travel, then you don't get to experience the simple pleasures that an excursion brings, such as being robbed in a foreign country, acquiring strange diseases, and eating food that tastes and smells like the inside of your oldest pair of shoes.
Of course, if you don't travel, then you might feel as though you're missing out on some of the most amazing sights in the natural world.
I wouldn't worry about it.
Thanks to the internet, you can now see fantastic pictures, in wonderful detail, of all the places worth seeing and, if you're adept at using Photoshop, you can digitally insert yourself into someone else's vacation pictures thereby saving thousands of dollars in expensive plane, hotel, and ransom, to get your kidnapped wife and children back, fees.
Now, there are a lot of folks out there in the Big Tourism industry who say "Nuts to that, exotic locales are not all diarrhea and kidnapping, besides, we've built all-inclusive resorts everywhere so you can have all the fun of travel without having to witness any of the crushing poverty and rampant crime our several hundred years of Eurocentric world domination has wrought on much of the vacation worthy world" to trick you into thinking that it's okay to leave your comfort zone for some world experience, but remember the source. The tobacco industry spent billions of dollars convincing everyone that it was perfectly okay to give cigarettes to impressionable children, which is why you shouldn't trust a travel agent or resort to give you the truth about vacations. Remember, they're called tourist traps for a reason; while you're distracted with drink specials and scantily clad native dancers, they're busy teaching your children that it's okay to have a country with socialized medicine and a religion that worships human achievements instead of mythical stories about virgins getting pregnant.
If you decide that you absolutely must leave your home to see the world, remember these three helpful tips and you just might return with the majority of your appendages intact:
1. Everyone is trying to steal your money, so get yourself a belt or neck pouch in which to hide all your identification and credit cards; then go through the hassle of partially disrobing in seedy souvenir shops to get your cash and let any passing thieves know where you keep your valuables. It will save them time if they don't have to search you and anything that makes your inevitable robbery go faster will lead to happier thieves and less partial dismemberment.
2. If the person to whom you're trying to communicate does not speak English and doesn't respond to your halting instructions and erratic gestures, that does not mean they don't understand you. They are just trying to sucker you into buying more trinkets. Repeat the exact same English phrases you unsuccessfully tried a moment before, only do it louder, and take longer pauses between your words. Continue making histrionic hand gestures until they "get it."
3. Your pale skinned, fair haired children are a valuable commodity in impoverished countries because they can earn a decent living at one of the many legal bordellos. Should you find yourself with an abundance of traveler's checks that no one will accept as legal tender, consider selling your more attractive children into sex slavery. You can make a healthy profit, even if you buy a local child from one of the dirt poor families camped outside the barbed wire fence at your resort. Tell people back home that your daughter got a tan and changed her name to Muzwadzani.
Now that you're equipped with how to stay intact on your journey, let's take a look at what you should bring:
1. Your airline allows two checked bags and two carry-ons; pack a number of outfits equal to the number of days you are staying cubed in one suitcase and fill the other with lead bricks. Airport valets and hoteliers have grown fat and lazy due to the large amounts of money pumped into the tourism industry and they need more exercise.
2. Make sure to pack only what you will absolutely need like your antique collection of ceramic prophylactics and a hair dryer. There are not enough people selling useless collectibles at tourist destinations, and why bother travelling if you're not going to take the opportunity to black out a foreign capital by plugging your foreign appliance into a 110 Volt outlet.
3. Bring a camera. When kidnapped in an undeveloped country, your captors will frequently use Polaroid and similarly antiquated photographic equipment that renders most pictures indecipherable. To make sure that your extended family recognizes you, and to capture your bruised and bloodied face in a crystal clear image, buy a digital camera.
By now, you should be ready for travel. I hope I have done my best to convince you to stay home, but, if I haven't then enjoy your voyage, be sure to drink the local water, and remember, taxi drivers will rip you off no matter where you go and who you are, unless you constantly threaten your chauffeur with a live cobra.
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