“Today I’m in the Yellowstone Park, and I wish I were dead.”

The author in his natural habitat. Watch the account of his journey here. all media via.

So begins Rudyard “Mowgli” Kipling’s epic tale of the worst-roadtrip-ever, as told by PBS’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (a Ken Burns joint). In 1889, the British author/cranky traveller took the “grand tour” of Yellowstone Park, paying about $150 for the privilege of only barely enjoying this freshly minted national wonder. “The park is just a howling wilderness,” he whines, and goes on to complain generally about the poor cuisine (tinned beef and beer), his gum-snapping Chicagoan companions, and a wealth of other annoyances. You may never love Kipling as much as you will after watching this clip. Or you can read a section of his immensely entertaining takedown here.

What’s the worst trip you’ve ever taken?

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Wise Wandering: Learnvest’s Travel Tips

Learnvest’s travel archive is a worth a peek before your next trip. image via

Most of you know Learnvest as a clearinghouse for financial info, coaching and advice — but they also have tips you can take on the road. This roundup includes your run-of-the-mill cheap travel advice (opt for hostels instead of hotels, take public transport) and also goes a bit deeper, to less well-known ways to save (housesitting and repositioning cruises). Find more travel tips at learnvest.com.

fellow travelers: A Cup of Jo.

fellow travelers is our chance to shine a spotlight on greatness from the internet’s travel community. It is not our list of poputchiks. Just some wanderers who we consider outstanding.

From Austin to Amsterdam, ACoJ has got you covered. all images via

If you’re a longtime reader of the sweet lifestyle-y musings of A Cup of Jo, you might’ve noticed a trend toward travel tips as of late. She’s covering anything and everything — from travelling with your young one to simply packing your bag, to a helpful secret when you might be feeling a little jetlagged. She’s even got a guide to her home base, NYC. You’ll find her advice is always simple and straightforward and maybe secretly inspirational. Don’t you want to hit the road already? Just look at that bike…

Weekend warrior: Museums on Us.

MassMOCA in western Mass. has a Sol LeWitt retrospective. image via

If you are a Bank of America customer, there are so, so many things to make you question that relationship… but this is not one of them! Museums on Us allows BoA cardholders free admission to more than 150 museums and institutions around the country on select weekends (like this one). Just show your BoA card at the ticket desk and you’re off to explore… So what are you doing this weekend?

The Roman gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. image via

The lights at LACMA. image via

RoadReads: “Tourist Snapshots”

The blue dome of Santorini, reverse view. image via

…..I rearrange the fragments. What was I thinking when I cropped them? Why did I cut the sky-blimp out of my picture of the Chicago World Cup parade? Why did I cut Graceland Mansion out of my picture of Graceland? …Removed from the official photographic memory, the fragments demand an exercise of actual memory, an act of reclamation. They are like phantom limbs: You have to dream the body back into being.

Lucky for Design Observer, Rolf Potts delves deeply into travel vs. photography and what we’re actually doing when we click that digital shutter. (Read it in full here.)

This Was New York: NYC Municipal Archives.

Manhattan Bridge, sans bridge. all images via

We’re a little late to the NYC Municipal Archives online access party, but let’s take a moment to highlight this everchanging city. The Atlantic has a good roundup of the variety of subjects held by the Archives (in case you are stuck waiting for their traffic to slow a little) — a peek at pastoral Queens, city nightscapes circa 1930, Weegee-style crime scene photos, and your run-of-the-mill street scenes. These and so so many more to geek out over at the Archives’ online hub. Because sometimes travel should involve some time travel, too.

LaGuardia getting all Office Space on some slot machines aboard a police boat in 1934.

Harlem, 1932.

Find any good ones? Post them below!

RoadReads: “The Essential Nature of Islands”

A kayaker floats in El Nido. image via

Paddling one day about ten miles southwest to a headland, I caught sight of an island that had been hidden from my campsite — a new hump of rock where I saw a sandy beach and some huts. A Germanic-looking man in a green bathing suit stood on the beach to welcome me. “Hi,” he said and grabbed my bow line and helped pull my boat to shore.

“Nice kayak,” he said. It was salt-smeared and wet from the long haul from the headland. “Isn’t that the kind of boat Paul Theroux paddled in his travels around the Pacific?”

Being cautious, I said, “You read that book?”

“Oh, yeah. Great book.”

This happens now and then — more often in a remote place like Palawan than in places closer to home.

“I wrote it.”

“Cut the shit.”

Wherever you go, there you are — Paul Theroux gets meta (among other things) in the Philippines for Outside Magazine. (Read it in full here.)