Fall is officially here as of last week, and it’s shaping up gloriously where we are, as you can tell by the picture above. However, we are the fortunate ones. It’s not a glorious fall everywhere. If it’s not travelers being overcome by poisonous gases on a volcanic mountain in Japan, it’s the ongoing, and mostly silent, drought that is slowly turning central California into a modern-day Dust Bowl. Matt Black chronicles the drought in a photo essay for The New Yorker that intentionally echoes the classic work of Margaret Bourke-White and Alfred Eisenstaedt. Sorry to hit you with something so sober on Monday morning, but not every destination is a happy one these days.
That goes double for Syria, yet you can’t blame the country for trying. Despite an ongoing not-so-civil war that has killed almost 200,000 Syrians and damaged or destroyed five of the country’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites, Syria is trying once again to spur domestic tourism. Bloomberg takes a quick look at the tourism situation in Syria, which basically boils down to this: It’s doggone hard to get people to visit when there’s a war on.
After all that, you may feel a need to get away. Permit us to suggest Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most remote inhabited island. Atlas Obscura visits TdC, walks down its one road and stops in its one grocery store. It doesn’t stay in its one hotel, though, because TdC doesn’t have one. Or an airport. Or a restaurant. As the article points out by way of explanation, “Nobody really wanted to occupy an active volcano in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean; the British just didn’t want to let the French or Americans get their hands on it.” The pictures make it look vaguely Scottish, so of course we want to go there.
We also want to go to a pumpkin patch, because it’s getting to be that time of year when we need large vegetables slowly rotting in front of our house. Yahoo Travel profiles some of its favorite pumpkin patches around the country in an article/slideshow rather grandly named “The Pumpkin Patches You Need To Visit This Fall.” Well, no. If we spent all our time traipsing around the country visiting pumpkin patches we wouldn’t have time to do meaningful work. Like visiting alpaca ranches, for instance.
Enough frivolity; it’s time to buckle down and get going. And no site is better for buckling down and getting going than Fathom. The Fathomites have just the right mix of mouthwatering destinations and nuts-and-bolts advice, and these two articles fall squarely into the latter category. Its list of the 24 best travel apps is better than the other guys’ lists because it includes a nice mix of apps we’ve heard of (Citymapper, Cuppings), apps we’ve reviewed and use (Word Lens, Duolingo), and apps we think are ineffably cool and can’t wait to try (Steller, Artifact Uprising).
Finally, packing. Packing is the one essential to good travel that’s almost always done wrong. Fathom examines packing from all angles, from tips to fit in more with fewer wrinkles to the best travel bags, and puts it all in one place. And look – videos!
Wow. That’s a lot. Give us a couple of days to take it all in (and watch those videos), and we’ll get back to you Wednesday. Promise.