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Flying Solo

January 23, 2012



“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain


One of the most extensive travelers of his time, Mr. Twain, knew what he was talking about when he dropped yet another timeless quote onto his journal for us throw around as morsels of wisdom at cocktail parties. As yet another one of my expeditions approach, friends come out of the woodwork inquiring about coming along for the ride (I get great discounts). I tend to ignore phone calls, emails, and texts during this process. I’ve learned my lesson. Mark Twain may have been generous in his observation, as if “love” or “hate” was a 50/50 shot. In my experience, nine times out of ten you end up contemplating leaving your vexing travel companion to fend for themselves at the bottom of the ocean as you surface early, pack in the scuba gear, raise anchor, and motor to shore. It isn’t a far swim anyways.


OK, so I’m being a bit facetious. While I have yet to strand a travel buddy to the mercy of tiger sharks, I have been known to sneak out of the hotel at the break of dawn without the slightest effort to make a wake-up call to my neighbors who lay in Mai Tai induced slumbers in adjoining rooms. Not for an espresso run mind you, but for full on excursions – a hike up a volcano crater, kayaking around a wave thrashed peninsula, paying homage to an important cultural site, or any other adventure that can be preferable in solace. I return from “me time” with a grin of anticipation that I’ll burst in on the laggard bunch to inquiries about what they missed and how they feel like buffoons from allowing a hang-over and lethargy keep them from soaking up every minute of the vacation experience. More often than not, however, they were blissfully unaware of my absence, assuming that I too was buried in my room with the curtains blocking the suns awakening rays. Defeated, I would suck it up and join them in them in the day’s subsequent adventures which usually resulted in parasailing, a moped rental, and ultimately back on a bar stool chatting with single career-moms in town for a convention. Really inspirational stuff.


I have another well traveled pal who on practically every occasion would abandon any “strenuous” activity – surfing, snorkeling, sunbathing – and head back, exhausted (from?),  to the hotel or nearest lounge half-way through. I would come back to find him with the A/C on full blast, watching grainy re-runs of Seinfeld. This guy has been all over the world, from Australia to Korea, Thailand to Prague, Cuba to Bermuda, and yet it has become clear that his mission is to find out if “the contest” episode is as funny when translated to other languages. I told another travel associate about our mutual friend’s aggravating quirk and he responded with a sympathetic snicker. A month later in yet another tropical hostel common area I would discover that his idea of exploration would be King of Queens.


I get that trips are supposed to be relaxing (depending on your perception of the concept) BUT when you do the exact same things on vacation as you do at home, then you might as well have saved the Air Miles and traded them in for a new 240hz LCD TV w/game console. Travel is about experiencing different cultures, cuisines, environments, and activities and all the other clichés I’m abashed to gush about here.


On the same token, regardless if your travel partners defy or apply to the above descriptions, the simple fact of bringing the comforts from home (friends) with you can saddle your potential to grow as a world traveler (if you fancy such a title). The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. You do the math and tell me if you or anyone you know should win an all-inclusive trip to the nearest asylum for a permanent staycation.


While I wouldn’t recommend tackling a trek through the Amazon sans companionship, nor would I advise a single female on a journey to Hedonism Jamaica unless their definition of a good time involves an obese Greek male displaying an unbuttoned chest crop of hair and 14 carats, coaxing you into a liaison with his two sheets to the wind wife, you open up a world of experiences by booking one ticket. I would not have met 75% of the people, nor experienced the subsequent exploits, I have while traveling if I was encumbered by an entourage that made me less approachable, or less likely myself to seek out impromptu conversation on an airplane, shuttle, trail, or bobbing on a surfboard in the Pacific in a “line-up” with only one or two strangers out. Perhaps I’ll never know what George Costanza sounds like screaming “serenity now!” in Sudanese dialect, but I will know serenity actually is.   


Wish You Were Here – Marcus Maraih, Editor, YAHglobal.Com

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps


Inspiring and Thought Provoking Travel Quotes for the New Year

January 03, 2012



Compiling a list of quotes may seem like a cop out of an article from an editorial standpoint but in realizing that sometimes the words of others say it best, one remains humble in the epiphany that every word that they themselves conjures is not in fact some prolific symphony of phrases that will inspire others to do whatever the piece intended.


Perhaps the holiday season and accompanying taxi rides, airport shuttles, excessive baggage fees, and security queues forcing passengers to unwrap Christmas presents in front of preschool aged recipients to make sure that the Rock Star Mickey Mouse is in fact the Rock Star Mickey Mouse and NOT some threat to international airspace, has taken its toll on my usual aloofness to the challenges of travel and thus weighed heavy on my ability to pen an inspiring article to launch our followers into the New Year with enough vigor to get them out there and explore the world in spite of the impending credit card bills piled up from the weeks passed.


In turn, I personally sought some inspiration from the passages of others to jump start my own travel agenda of 2012 and thought I'd share them here with you. The following sentences not only serve to reignite the spark for globetrotting, but in fact make you feel downright guilty for spending the first few days of the New Year cleaning up your condo as a means to procrastinate whichever worthy resolutions you may have set for yourselves. Make a mess by digging up your favourite travel clothes and gear, toss them into the nearest carry-on bag, throw some caution to the proverbial wind, and go.


Inspiring and Thought Provoking Travel Quotes for the New Year


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine


“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain


“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost


“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” – Charles Dudley Warner


“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain


“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux


“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag


“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammed


“When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.” – Edward Dahlberg


“Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting.” – Robert Thomas Allen


“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do, 
especially in other people’s minds.
 When you’re traveling, you are what you are
 right there and then.
 People don’t have your past to hold against you.
 No yesterdays on the road.
” - William Least Heat Moon


“A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change.” - Katharine Butler Hathaway


“I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself.” - James Baldwin


“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” - Caskie Stinnett


“All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.” - Paul Fussell


"Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen." - Benjamin Disraeli


“You lose sight of things… and when you travel, everything balances out.” - Daranna Gidel


"Walking ten thousand miles of the world is better than reading ten thousand scrolls." - Proverb (Chinese)


"When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money." - Susan Heller


"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin


"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Ah, if I had known this was my last time here I would have stayed a little longer - savored it a little more." - Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey


Wish You Were Here – Editor, YAHglobal.Com

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps