Now I feel bad for thinking that Mr. Arlin’s book didn’t have enough of my favorite topics: sex and money. It was an enjoyable escapist travelogue and it got me thinking about long walks again so it is a valuable read. First I thought about the Coast to Coast, but I don’t have enough vacation time. Then I checked my bookshelf:
Look, the Appalachian Trail is right on top! And I can get there by bus while Nick and Caper perfect their kombucha recipes.
Remember when I walked one day on the AT? I can just pick right up where I stopped and keep going. I can write my own account and make sure to include sex, psychology and money in it. Probably 20 miles is enough for this year, but I’ll see how it goes.
Every time I think I should subscribe to the NYTimes, they publish an infuriating, contentless, unfactchecked, article like this on on “sustainable” travel. Why don’t they hold all the sections of the paper to the same standards? Travel is an extremely lucrative industry and there are thoughtful journalists and critics who should be included in reporting, not just industry flacks and a series of lies and confusion about what is sustainable. Argh!
It was over 60 degrees yesterday in Prospect Park and I got out in the afternoon to look at some city birds and feel the sunshine. After seven degree weather in Heath on Sunday it was quite disconcerting, but does help your muscles to relax.
Nephews are wonderful. Walter took us around an island in the Isis river with a skilled punting technique- his former school was located on the river. Our night in Oxford coincided with his last before leaving for University so we were able to eat pizza with him and give him rotten advice and send him off! His mother was very brave and proud. After sending him off she even snuck us into the Bodleian Library for a quick behind scenes tour.
So that concludes my photos of a whirlwind tour of England with many gaps- no pictures of my friend Claire and her partner glowing in expectation of another little boy to visit, arriving in January. I thought that this trip would cure my Anglophilia but it actually fed it with more ideas – more Shakespeare, more Roman Britain, more walking, more visits with friends and family, please.
I’ll reconcile myself to buying carbon offsets and traveling as responsibly as possible.
According to this well written study (Becker is a journalist who has written extensively about Vietnam and Cambodia since the seventies)- the tourism industry is much more destructive in every way than I had thought. In my travel musings I had naively focussed on things like the carbon footprint of flying, or cruise ship waste dumped directly into the ocean. Becker’s book goes through a much denser and diverse litany of problems with the industry, starting with the complicity of freelance travel writers and the culture of travel writing in general that thrives on freebies and advertising and almost never publishes a negative review. That’s partly why I’ve never heard of the problems with global tourism in Venice, Dubai, Cambodia and the other regions the author examines for case studies.
It is dispiriting reading for right before a long planned vacation abroad. Becker manages to keep her taste for travel through many years of research, disturbing tourism conferences, a week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, in badly polluted China. She seems to be arguing not for or against tourism but instead that we must acknowledge that it is one of the huge forces and products of global capitalism. We must get over dated opinions and isolationist approaches (in the USA) to the industry and see what is happening before we can choose intelligently.
I am about to embark on my 9th (!) trip to the UK. My first took place in fabulous 1990, and set the course for the rest. But that’s a blog post for another day. Check out this book and join my sustainability book discussion group, once I get settled on my return.
This year has been especially busy for me with moving and travel that I was eager and happy to do. Relocating to Brooklyn, the Denver adventure, Maine (how did I not take a single photograph in Maine???), my darling sister’s wedding in Oregon, and now we are headed to England in less than two weeks. After that I have one trip in NY State planned and then home for xmas. Could I possibly stay put for the rest of the year other than those trips? What about the family birthdays and the dear Boston ladies who I miss?
We are grounded this weekend, to start, exchanging sitting in traffic to the Catskills or the Berkshires for time in the park with Caper. New York City is pleasantly emptier during these holiday weeks so we can stretch out and slow down.