Searching for the Cave of Evil at Yahoo! News

Tourism slogans aim to lure us in. But what really influences where we travel? This is the lighthearted question at the heart of my latest Traveling Light column at Yahoo! News. Entitled Searching for the Cave of Evil, this essay uses an experience on the Greek island of Naxos to ponder just how important your intended destination is to the travel experience. Included are a few tips about choosing a destination:

1) Don’t worry too much about your destination

Remember that you don’t ever need a really good reason to go anywhere; rather, go to a place for whatever happens when (and before) you arrive there.

2) Let your travel inspiration be personal

Feel free to tap personal inspiration – no matter how stolid or silly – when considering where to go. A yen for pork barbecue, for instance, might make you consider visiting Memphis. Curiosity about your ancestry might call you back to Lebanon, Ireland, or Korea. Maybe you’ll even hit Djibouti simply because mention of this country once made you giggle in junior high geography class. The most esoteric of interests are a good enough reason to travel someplace.

3) Don’t be too ambitious

The world is a big place, but that doesn’t mean you have to pack it all in at once. A one-week journey is best spent exploring one city (instead of five), and — even given a year — the slow, nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty. Go slow anywhere, and you’ll discover the subtler rhythms of a place.

4) Celebrate the unexpected

Whatever the original motivation for going someplace, remember that you won’t always get exactly what you expected — and this is almost always a good thing.

Full column online here.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 25, 2006
Category: Rolf's News and Updates, Travel News, Vagabonding Advice

2 Responses to “Searching for the Cave of Evil at Yahoo! News”

  1. Rob Wood Says:

    It’s always funny that people who have done a lot of traveling and spent a lot of time overseas usually give that exact same advice – go slow, spend more time in one place and avoid 26 countries in 20 days type tours.

    It’s good advice.

  2. Amanda Kendle Says:

    Couldn’t agree more: especially about taking a year to really appreciate a country. After living in Australia, Japan, Slovakia and now Germany, my conclusion is you need at least 2 years though! The first year everything’s new; the second year you get to do all the things you missed out on in the first. Only problem is, at that rate my life experience will be frustratingly limited to maybe a dozen or two countries…