What do you do when you’re not able to travel for long periods of time? How do you still that yearning for adventure, that voice those of us with the travel bug hear so very often? We can’t stop it. All we can do is try to subdue it with the next best thing. Now, normally this is the part where I would say that the next best thing is a nice whiskey; However, this is the one time where whiskey can actually make things worse. The last thing you want is to make the brazen drunken decision to take off for the next country on your list when you’re supposed to be at work the next day. This holds even more true when you’re in my profession. Where as if I don’t go in to work I don’t get fired. I get jail time….Thank god there were no flights available at two in the morning that night. Anyways, back to my original question. Really, there are a few ways to help deal with the fact that you’re not walking around barefoot on Ko Phi Phi, and instead are deciding if you’ll spend your hour lunch break on food or sleep. In no particular order here are a few from my personal collection.
1. The Beach.
This is the first travel fiction book I ever read, and it remains one of my absolute favorites. The story follows a young man named Richard who is in Thailand in search of a real adventure apart from the well worn traveler trail. He comes across a map on which there is supposedly a hidden community of travelers living in paradise; a place tourists are nowhere to be found. That’s not the whole story, obviously, but I don’t want to ruin it. It gets…interesting. Alex Garland, the author, writes so well you really feel the atmosphere; just like you were there. For those who are too lazy to read it, it was also turned into a movie, with Leo DiCaprio set as Richard. Not as good as the book, but still pretty good.
2. 180° South.
Non fiction. This is the movie documenting Jeff Johnson’s travels from California to Patagonia, Chile. Jeff follows in the footsteps of two of his idols as he sets out to climb Corcovado Volcano. They do a great job of capturing the desire that the traveler at heart feels at all times. It’s an interesting story, and sends a great message about protecting the environment at the same time.
3. Parts Unknown.
This TV series takes you all over the globe. It follows, as you might have guessed, Anthony Bourdain in his search of amazing food. I wasn’t too excited about it at first glance, but then I realized the show doesn’t actually revolve around food. Most of the time he just drinks and discusses the country he’s in. There’s a good amount culture thrown in, and they do a great job at showcasing the struggles and successes of these places. It’s actually very entertaining, and you get to see a lot. Worth your time.
4. An Idiot Abroad.
This is a TV series where Ricky Gervais and his colleague send a friend all over the world to culture him. They try to pitch it as if he’s a small minded idiot who reluctantly took this job. It’s played up a bit is all, but it’s a fun watch. Karl, the so called idiot, is sent off with the goal of seeing the wonders of the world, but before he gets there he’s to experience some local traditions. The hosts essentially try to piss him off a bit. Karl really is the savior of the show. His analysis, both in the moment and in summary, of the different ways people live their lives is entertaining and hilarious.
5. Lord Huron.
The first band I’ve heard of whose music can actually be deemed travel music. They have a easy going vibe the whole way through their album. I really don’t know how to explain them, all I knew was I had to include them in this post. So, give them a listen.
Lastly, you could always plan a trip. You’re going to have to do it eventually…might as well if you have the time. If you need some advice on how to do that I have a post that might help you out. Oh, and if a book is too long for you….I guess you could settle for reading a travel blog instead, right?