Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Travel Resolutions for 2013

Lonely Planet has weighed in here [2020 update: Thanks to the Wayback Machine for revivifying this defunct link.] with staff lists of where they intend to go in 2013.

Salt flats, Bolivia. Credit: Best Travel Places
Sidebar: Reading about one staffer's desire to enter a new continent, with a photo of Bolivia's salt flats, made me wonder about an itinerary, executed over the course of several years or so, based on salt.

I like salt. It's necessary for one's survival, and has been demonized unfairly by so-called advanced medical experts. It figures prominently in local histories.

In a favorite book of mine, Alas, Babylon, there comes a time when the survivors of an apocalypse have a desperate need for salt, which prompts the search for same.

Salt Flats, Texas
I've already been to the site of a war over salt (and other things) - Salt Flats, Texas. 

The movie, The Wind Journeys, showed spectacular scenes of the salt mines in Colombia.


But I digress. 

Back to travel resolutions for 2013.

CNN offers a list of 2013 travel resolutions that isn't about specific destinations, but about choices and planning. I like it.

The "Travel Troubleshooter" offers one 2013 resolution for us to consider: Don't Be A Jerk.

Arthur Frommer [2020 update: Thanks to the Wayback Machine for revivifying this defunct link.] offers a thoughtful list of 2013 travel resolutions. I like it so much, here it is in full:
"At the end of last year, I hastily scribbled a list of 18 New Year's resolutions for travel in 2012, realizing as I did so that I was including too many marginal and minor ones. I have since pared down the list to 12 important rules for the year ahead, which I genuinely believe reflect important and realistic suggestions. Here they are:
  1. I will be courteous and respectful to airport and airline personnel and members of the TSA; they work under stressful conditions, and deserve our smiles and understanding.
  2. I will constantly remind myself of the moral obligation to leave a generous daily tip to the housekeepers who have made up my hotel room -- theirs is an underpaid profession, and we should supplement the measly wages of the hotel chains.
  3. I will avoid traveling on airlines that delight in public-be-damned attitudes, the companies that exult in an openly-expressed disdain for the traveler.
  4. On my very next flight, I will politely ask permission of the person sitting behind me to recline my seat.
  5. I will stop burying my head in a newspaper or book, and converse with the airline passenger sitting beside me, if they have indicated a desire to talk.
  6. I will continue to argue for high-speed rail -- either in journalism or meetings -- to make a case for a technology so urgently needed in a nation that will soon have 400,000,000 people, as dense as any other on earth.
  7. I will agitate as well for an easing of our nation's overly-restrictive visa requirements for incoming tourism, that have prevented so many foreign residents from visiting our country.
  8. I will bring sandwiches with me, prepared at home, to substitute for that atrocious airline food.
  9. I will never leave on any trip before spending at least a few hours reading about the history and culture of the place I am about to visit.
  10. I will supplement the recommended tipping policies of the cruiselines with additional sums meant to recognize the hard labors of the people who staff the ships.
  11. I will never book any Caribbean cruise that stops at the many artificial "private islands" or "private beaches" that the cruiselines are substituting for encounters with actual local people.
  12. And finally, in the writing I do and the talks I deliver, I will continue to regard travel not as a mere recreation, but as a serious learning activity, a way of understanding the world, an essential element of a civilized life."

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