What a specimen of a 21 year vintage I am. :) tehe

What it means to be a man:

I think being a man means being honest in all you do, and always striving to be better. Being knowledgeable about the local and global affairs. Having an educated opinion, standing by it, and always being able to rethink it. About being passionate about life, your interests, your family and friends and your gal. Being a man means living life, laughing, and loving. These are The Things I see, live, do, think, read, watch, love, like, want and more.

Cheers, Jared

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1 Story and My Thoughts on Guidebooks

I read the article on Matador's Traveler's Notebook and it spawned a great response, which I posted as a comment.  I love it so much, though, that I decided to post it here as well.


I just want to say that on my flight from Boston to London, my first solo trip outside of the country, I had Lonely Planet’s guide to London. I was thumbing through every page that I thought could even be remotely relevant to my trip, focusing on the areas around where I was going to be (Lambeth area, South of the Eye). I couldn’t stop getting more excited, I think I slept about 2 hours on that flight (mistake). By the time I arrived at customs I probably had 15 to 20 different pages dog eared in my guidebook, destinations, restaurants and attractions highlighted, I was ecstatic. However, I’m an extremely sociable person, and my excitement could not be contained. Every single person I talked to I asked if they had been to London before:

“You have?! If you could only see one thing, eat one thing, do one thing, or all of the above, while here, which would it be?! If you can’t pick one….then just give me a couple!”

Literally everyone, I asked the cute Indian lady at the customs counter the same thing. She was, and still is, the only happy customs agent I have EVER had, literally ever… She was more than glad to give me some tips. If I hadn’t spoken to her I never would have found out about Burrough Market, this place is Heaven.

It’s like God came down to Earth, decided he was going to group every cuisine in the world that is known for good food, bring natives from those countries, experts on their food, and group them all in this one open air market across from the London Bridge. During that week, I should have been Turkish with the amount of Turkish delight I ate; maybe Argentine, because I ate two jars of dulce de leche for dessert( lie, whenever I so chose ); I reached back to my roots with this old Italian gentleman who made the best bread in the world, filled with garlic, dried peppers and tomatoes, topped with golden cheese, made every night before; I sipped fine, home crafted wine from a new bottle every day from this English guy who had grown up in France; devoured strips of meat cut off a dry roast where the Spaniards loved my feeble attempts at Spanish; I ate mozzarella cold out of the water from the young Italian woman who I had a huge crush on that week.

My ramble over- I sit here at my desk in my dorm room and look at the books leaning at the top of my desk, and right there in the middle, dwarfed by my larger copies of The Prince, Utopia, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Looking Backward, Beowulf, Fight Club, The Illustrated Man, and Bless Me Ultima sits my copy of Lonely Planet’s guide to London. The same pages are still dog eared and I have opened that book maybe twice since I returned from London. The only information I received from that book was from the tear out map of London from the back, which was invaluable. However, I would still buy another guidebook before my next trip. Who knows if I would have been as excited about London had I not. There will always be a special place in my heart for London, maybe it’s thanks to Lonely Planet, or the cute Indian woman at customs, but whatever it is, it was a great trip.

This is the article I read: Twilight of the Travel Guidebook?
You'll find my comment a long ways down. 

No comments:

Post a Comment