Last week was a training week, and when one of the people in my class found out that I’ve written books about comic books, he said, “Whoa! That’s so meta!”
If a comic-book book is meta, what’s a column about a webpage about pictures? Mega-meta, maybe.
Anyhow, great travel photography has been synonymous with National Geographic for almost as long as there have been cameras, so when NatGeo announces its annual-photo-contest winners, it’s time to hit the website to look at the pictures that may or may not appear in the magazine, and then write about them. Mega-meta, indeed. The pictures are amazing, especially the Close Encounters of the Third Kind-inspired pic (left) that took top honors.
Speaking of NatGeo, if you’re craving a little retro flavor on your Monday, check out the (digital) magazine’s (digital) reprint of the story Amelia Earhart wrote in 1935 recounting her flight from Hawaii to California – the first flight ever from the islands to the mainland. Back it up with Yahoo Travel’s “15 Fun Facts About Amelia Earhart” in celebration of the anniversary of her disappearance (the 77th anniversary, but who’s counting?). Some of the facts stretch the definition of “fun” to the breaking point – like the fact that she’s not officially dead yet, though she’s certainly more dead-like than the serf in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – but some are downright fascinating. For instance, did you know that Earhart had her own clothing line? (Her line wasn’t available at Kohl’s, unfortunately, but did you hear that Kohl’s is having a sale?) We like to think that we invented the trappings of modern celebrity, but fact is they’ve been around as long as there have been mass media, and probably longer.
Shifting gears to the present, and even a step ahead, Yahoo Travel examined a phenomenon that may be a trend or may just be a short-term reaction to some high-profile air disasters: slow travel. Like slow food, slow travel actually refers to travel that is not fast; unlike slow food, a lot of slow travel is actually fast-ish. Fast travelers looking to slow down don’t switch from planes to yak caravans; instead, they take the train or bus. Whether it’s a for-real trend remains to be seen; we’ll believe it when we see a fleet of ocean liners plying the New York-Southampton route.
Similarly, the BBC has come out with a list of 21 (not 20 or 22, but 21) “under-the-radar” travel destinations. As with all lists of this type, some of the destinations are further under the radar than others (Kosrae, Micronesia, versus Providence, R.I., for instance), but if you’re looking to jump-start your travel thinking, this is a good place to start.
Finally, there are few smarter people in travel than George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog – and we’d be saying that even if he didn’t like AirCare. His Q-and-A with The New York Times is required reading for anyone planning a flight – and that’s pretty much everyone, right? You’re almost guaranteed to be smarter after you read this interview; for a Monday, that’s an accomplishment to be proud of.
See you Wednesday.