Don't Even Go There—Travel Writing for the Rest of Us

Even if the world is your oyster, you can still chip a tooth on its shell. While travel magazines feature exotic locales of breathtaking beauty, we expose sites so depressing that no traveler this side of Edgar Allan Poe would venture there without a tub-load of tranquilizers. Take Las Vegas (please) and the $5.99 all-you-can-eat buffet line at Sam’s Town. That's the world we explore at Don’t Even Go There.

On this site, we tell of places we’ve visited but wish we hadn’t. We reveal vacation plans gone awry and relate horror stories from the road best abandoned. These true stories reflect where we’ve chosen to go. We only have ourselves to blame. We rarely needed to exaggerate—the truth really is stranger than a Dan Brown novel.

Don’t Even Go There: travel tips for those of us who aren’t escorted by security guards, pampered by wealthy benefactors, or provided a generous per diem. This blog is for seasoned travelers and armchair tourists who want the real world first-hand and head-on, with all its drama, horror, and humor. You’ll laugh at us, cry with us, and decide to stay home more often.

03 April 2011

Travel Philosophy of the Month

We very rarely steal others’ work. Oh, we occasionally use someone else’s quote, especially when it seems apt, but since there’s plenty of bad experiences to go around, we’ve never felt the need to use previously published material. Until now. The following excerpt comes from the highly recommended book titled Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W.Norton (ISBN 0-393-32281-5) and selling for a reasonable $11.95 in the U.S. Buy your own copy today. —MB & JS

One Step from Oblivion

“Things are entirely what they appear to be and behind them . . . there is nothing.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

Commercial air travel is a regular part of our lives, yet many of us still feel an eerie disquiet when we fly. You browse the in-flight magazine while a 37,000-foot chasm of emptiness lurks just beneath your shoes. You snack on little pretzels while a few inches away, life-sucking minus 60-degree airstreams whip by. The flight attendants point out exits that go nowhere.

In the air, as on the ground, behind every this or that lies all or nothing. This nothingness is papered over with illusion, habit, and little rituals, until something slices through the wrapper—until that moment when you hear the pilot’s strained voice and feel your gut muscles clench. Will you grow huge enough to contain the hugeness of the moment? Or will you break apart in freakish panic?

In flight, as in life, you live one step from oblivion. You stand on nothing but your will. Your only security is to embrace insecurity. So the next time you fly, step on board as though entering a sacred battlefield, place your tray table in its uprights and locked position, and stare straight past the pretzels and the chitchat into the jaws of the absolute.

Mantra of the day: “The airline that doesn't kill me makes me stronger.”

Jason & I will be back soon with more of our own insights and experiences. Until then, think of us and enjoy your next flight.