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.
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.
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 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.
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 OutsideMagazine. (Read it in full here.)