Last week I spoke in San Francisco about the value of having a mission weaving through our travels. On the road, as in life, possessing a plan, even a ridiculous one, is better than aimlessly following the crowds. The right mission will pull you out of the tourism funnel and into places where you will meet genuine locals and have unique experiences.
Here are a few missions I've pursued on and off the Road Less Traveled:
And here are some silly ideas for future trips:
Have any other great travel mission ideas? Have you experienced travel with a silly scheme as a backbone? Please tell me about it in the comments.
Travel bloggers love to drop this ubiquitous tip:
It sure seems like good advice on the surface, but it's not. I have never carried paper when traveling. I'll tell you why.
Firstly, a lot of plumbing in the world can't handle your TP. You could plug up the system if you flush your squares. What a terrible ambassador to your country you'd be.
But here is the primary thing: The true traveler loves the local scene. Every travel blog will suggest you eat local food. They encourage you to socialize with locals. They give you insider info on where the locals hang out. It's all local, local, local until it comes down to defecating. Why not learn how to crap like a local? You traveled to expand your horizons, right?
Now in all fairness some locals do carry their own TP depending on the destination, but many do not for a reason. That reason is they use a water hose or water dipper (accompanied by the scrubbing power of the left hand), to clean their bung bung. Just like using chopsticks, there will be a learning curve before you master the technique. If you don't do deep squats at the gym you'll have to work on some strength, flexibility, and balance. You must practice to blindly locate the sweet spot on the small of your back that channels the water just right. You need a modicum of patience for the drip dry. But once you have it all down you'll find the technique better suited to the task. Moreover finding a water container is always a piece of cake no matter where you roam.
You'd be ashamed to carry a fork into a Phó restaurant in Vietnam, so why are you carrying that TP into the toilet?
I'm Jonathan Legg
I went to college, but I still graduated a closed minded young man. The road, however, has been my greatest teacher.. challenging stagnant beliefs, disarming prejudices, and facilitating understanding and appreciation for people different from me. I hope the content on this blog and my shows can bring a sliver of that juju to you.