When I’m preparing for a trip and I start to get all panicky and crazy and no one in my life wants to hear my insane problems anymore–“the night bus from Sevilla to Lisbon arrives at 4 am but buses out of the station don’t start until 6!!”–I usually turn to forums for advice. My two favorites so far are Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum and Trip Advisor.
Now with the risk of offending any of the 3 people who’ve found my site via Lonely Planet, I find that Thorn Tree people tend to be a little meaner. I get the impression that there are a few core people who are on there frequently, giving advice to the masses….so I guess it’s pretty understandable to be frustrated when some 18 year old gets a wild travel hair up his ass and starts a new thread saying “Hi, I’m going to Europe! Where should I go? What should I do? Where should I stay?” Because the advice normally goes along the lines of, “hey well go fuck yourself. With a guide book.”
On the other hand, those dudes offer some pretty amazing advice….it’s like a mixture between having a practical, knowledgeable travel agent, and a local with an insider’s perspective, to ask personalized questions to. And since I guess travel agents no longer exist, except in Mexican shopping centers, Thorn Tree kicks ass.
Just make sure your questions aren’t really fucking stupid.
With all that being said, I asked them a pretty stupid question recently, and got a great response-that made me feel really stupid. Basically I posted about both the hypothetical itineraries mentioned here
, and the good people of LPTT replied “well, that’s too much, but if you fly open jaw, you don’t have to double back.” To which I said “alright but isn’t that, like, crazy expensive?” and they were all, “nah, it’s like, half the price of both of the round trips for your dates,” and I was like “sweet man.”
I’m partly really glad that this was mentioned to me, and that I now know that I don’t have to pay for the convenience. On the other hand…I am, like, really good at planning routes that loop around deliberately for single city round trips. I mean, look at a map of Central Europe
. Look how pretty of a loop it is from Munich-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest-Krakow-Warsaw-Wroclaw-Prague-Munich. See how annoyingly far away Prague is if I just went East, then North, from Munich to Warsaw? This is what keeps me up at night.
Now, I know guys, I am really jumping the gun, it’s silly to worry this much about a route when it’s a year away. But I LIKE it, okay?! I have a serious fetish for staring at maps and imagining the best and most convenient route between the places I want to go. I get off on it. So leave me alone.
But I’ve actually been reading a lot about the history of my upcoming Central European countries. About how Austria is all “Bonjour France, we’re best friends! Oh nevermind. Oh wait. Oh nevermind.” And France is all, “Get your life together you putain.” About how Hungary is all “fuck this, this sucks, fucking Trianon.”
No, seriously. That’s what wikipedia told me. If you don’t believe me, ask my friend Benito, who discussed the Austro-Hungarian Empire at length with me after laying by the pool drinking beer all day.
Then this happened:
Did you know that if you are reading this, you are part of only .00000003% of internet users? I think that this makes you the rarest creature in the world. Take that, fucking Yangtze River Dolphin.
Endangered readers, please share your delight at being better than tarsiers below by commenting that there are some of you still left in the wild. I know you’re out there somewhere.