As much as I long to travel, and visit those parts of the world I've (until now) only read about, I must admit that - like most fruits - I don't travel well.
First there's the the stress of being out of my routine, accompanied by the inevitable disruption in my finely tuned homeostasis, both of which are, after all, the point of travel but neither of which, I must admit, I particularly enjoy. Then there's the prospect of having some minimum wage flunky from the Department of Homeland Security spelunking in my rectum, looking for Osama bin Laden and/or a portable nuclear device, neither of which would fit up there unless they're smaller than a suppository. Although I have been known to keep toxic gas up there on occasion, it's never enough to kill more than a bird or maybe a medium-sized houseplant, making me less of a threat to the United States than Taco Bell.
There are two possible solutions to the conundrum: the first is to travel for long periods of time, and the second is to harness the vast power of my imagination to make the trip. Since I cannot presently afford the first option, the second will have to do for now. In the fullness of time - not to mention given the cooperation of the Internet gods and/or the advent of several good miracles - I will hopefully be able to accomplish the former as well. Given that I have three days off a week, that seems the ideal duration for this, the first of my virtual vacations.
It's an experiment, writing these posts; I may well invent an entirely new form of travel writing, or else my flight of fancy may crash and burn. Either way, I won't know until I've tried, so here goes who knows what... Nothing? Something? Only time will tell.
This first virtual vacation is sponsored by - no, sponsored by implies financial support - has been made possible by (that's more like it) the good people at Dorling Kindersley, whose Eyewitness Travel Guides have been fueling my dreams of world travel since I picked up my first one in 1995. Alas, I can't afford to constantly update them, so the copy I'm using is from 1996; the current guide was updated in 2006. By way of a shameless plug can I just say that Eyewitness Travel Guides are the guides that show you what others only tell you.
So, without any further hoo-hah, off we go!
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