Happy Memorial Day! We’re still here, posting.
The reason we’re still here posting is that while people can take off for a holiday, travel does not have that luxury. And we can’t have a holiday and not write about it, too. That would be like slacking, and we are anything but slackers.
Right. So what we do here every Monday is point you in the direction of some of the best travel stories of the past week, because not only do we not have all the fun, but we don’t do all the travel writing, either. That would be just nuts.
One of the joys of reading a lot of travel writing is reading stories where non-North American Culture A makes a recommendation on traveling to North American Culture B. It’s a fresh perspective on things that we North Americanites take for granted. And that’s definitely the case of the British newspaper The Independent and its piece on camping in Canada. Not only does it have an unmistakable whiff of the Old West (they had that in Canada, too), but it’s informative and enlightening, even for those of us who thought they knew Canada. Now, who’s for yurt camping in maritime Quebec?
For all the turmoil surrounding Ukraine, it’s almost impossible to recall that it was once a vacation destination for mainland Russia. Of course, with Russia being Russia there was a modicum of work involved, but it was still what passed for leisure in a authoritarian Communist country. Fast Company reminds us of that past with a striking series of photos of some of the old resort towns. The melancholy is close to the surface, but there’s also a definite sense of the kind of joy that only comes from pushing aside hatred and violence, if only for a moment on a warm beach somewhere.
The thing we love about The Huffington Post is that it really doesn’t matter if one of its stories is true or not. Its stories are arguably true, and as long as you’re arguing about a story that appeared in the Post, it’s done its job. Case in point: Last week’s piece on the most confusing cities in the world. Now, there’s no way that Washington, D.C., is a more confusing city than Cairo or even Quebec City, unless you’re trying to understand how a bill becomes a law, in which case we recommend this. But here we are, trying to contradict that assertion, when in fact for some people who do not get around much, Washington is one of the world’s most confusing cities. Well played, HuffPo.
Finally, travel is not a scavenger hunt. It’s not merely going from one location to another, collecting badges. Travel done right helps you understand culture and history and even politics. Things make more sense. And so it is with this fascinating gem from The New Yorker on George Solt, ramen-noodle historian. Ramen is one of the most politically charged meals in the world, Solt claims. And here we thought it was just a 19-cent lunch.
Which reminds us: It’s Memorial Day, and we’re hungry. We’re going to get a shot of inspiration from our real favorite travel writing of the week, our special Memorial Day edition of Foodie Friday, and then we’re going to fire up the grill. Our work here is finished.