Now don’t get me wrong, I do love playing with my computer, tablet, smart phone, and every other kind of techie piece of hardware I can get my hands on, but I would say I am far from being attached or even dependent on them. I could very easily unplug myself from “the grid” and live a more minimalistic lifestyle should income and food not be a factor. While I could survive without any electricity, I think I could possibly live a comfortable life with only a refrigerator, a TV, and something to play all my movies (DVR, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.). However, as my current method of employment requires me to use a computer regularly, and my gadgets are my only forms of escape in the suburban jungle I currently reside in, I will dismiss this for now and deal only with the short-term option: vacations. Now, when I travel I look for at least one of the following:
Let me clarify what I mean by culture. While I do enjoy learning about all aspects of some cultures, like ancient Japan, Native American, or my own German heritage to name a few; I also enjoy learning about rural cultures, different US cities and their idiosyncrasies, like dialect. But most of all, my interest in a new venues culture is their food. Hard to believe a person with a physique chiseled out of stone like myself would put this first on their list I know, but it’s true. When I visited Cincinnati, I had to try their famous chili bars for myself. Chicago? I had to have a deep dish pizza from the original store that first created it. And when I was in Los Angeles, the only positive experience I could draw from that awful city is the French Dip sandwiches. Then there are the buffets in Las Vegas, which don’t really offer food unique to that area, just a lot of good food from everywhere, so I’ll allow it.
Unique sites or experiences
When I travel, I’m also not ashamed to be a tourist. In LA I went to Grauman’s Chinese Theater and took pictures of the handprints in the cement. Tourist attractions are where Vegas really shines, all the shows, the buildings, the experiences… taken in small amounts at a time and properly spaced apart these visits will never get old. Taking in local sporting events, which also covers some of point number one as well, is a great way to spend a long weekend in a new town. I’ve been to Soldier Field in Chicago, Camden Yards in Baltimore, and the Staples Center in LA to name some of the highlights.
Peace and Quiet
To this, I prefer a vacation that is actually relaxing. Sure Vegas, Chicago and LA can be fun for a while, but if I want to “get away” then I’m looking for a house, hotel, cabin, tent or other dwelling that is located outside any known metropolitan area. I prefer something in the woods, in the mountains, away from civilization. Living that minimalistic lifestyle I spoke of earlier, becoming part of nature rather than another consumer destroying it at will. I do think I have a spiritual side when it comes to things like that. I get a lot more out of looking out over a forested area mostly untouched by man as opposed to sitting in a church being lectured to for an hour a week. Looking up to a sky filled with stars not visible with the ambient light of a common urban or rural setting.
Finally, my comfortable climate thoughts. I believe I stated in my prior post about the beach my feelings on a Caribbean climate versus an Arctic one. If your area does not experience snow at any time during the year, I have no need for you. Also, if your temperatures average in the 90’s or higher for a majority of the year, don’t expect me to be there for long, if at all. I’m the guy that would pick the Alaskan wilderness survival retreat over an all-inclusive cruise set near the equator at a “gorgeous beach and island”.
So now you know where to take me if you want to show me a good time… doesn’t matter where on the globe you are, as long as there is good food, a few feet of snow, and a lack of people. Sounds like heaven to me.