Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bizarre Travel Ideas From Books

Bizarre Travel Ideas From Books

Have you ever read or seen something out of the ordinary and thought to yourself, "Man, I wish I had come up with THAT idea!" I try to read a lot, because I have found that by reading it helps to stimulate my own writing endeavors, and in so doing, I've come up with a lot of ideas simply by reading a variety of books.

I recently finished reading a book called, Electric Barracuda, by Tim Dorsey. If you've never read a Dorsey novel before, you are in a for a trip...yes, a trip. I won't give away too much information, but suffice to say, Dorsey has a vivid imagination (which I'm certain is fueled by reality). His writing is not for the faint of heart (read: adult language, sex and violence - everything I prefer in my readings). The main character, Serge, and his ridiculous sidekick, Coleman, spend a majority of their shenanigans in the state of Florida; however, I have read one of Dorsey's books where Serge and Coleman infiltrate Los Angeles.

In Electric Barracuda, Dorsey intertwines his regular cast of characters; interesting and intricate plot development, with moments that make you laugh so hard that your sides ache. In this most recent installment of Serge and Coleman hilarity, they take the roads of Florida in order to create what's called a "Fugitive Tour." Serge deftly takes the reader through the back roads of Florida in an effort to show where fugitives can hide out when they are on the run. Serge blogs on his website about his tour, and unknowingly is being pursued by a motley crew of law enforcement officials who are just as bizarre as Serge.

While the concept of a "Fugitive Tour" is something most people would not necessarily want to admit to signing up for; it's clear by the success of the "Sex & The City Tour," and "Sopranos Tour," that people do like to step outside of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Maybe the next book you read, or movie you watch will give you inspiration to go somewhere you have never been before.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do You REALLY Need To Know Where Your Friends Are?

Do You REALLY Need To Know Where Your Friends Are?

I'm all for social media and networking, but some of the apps that I've seen out there are a bit too much for me. Also, it would seem, that a large portion of our population is "twitterfied" (not a real word, but maybe it should be). The constant following of people and/or companies has risen to epic proportions, and a lot of people love it. Ok, that's cool...I guess, but what about the app that lets people know where you are eating? Now your friends (and probably strangers) can hunt you down while you are enjoying a fine meal, or maybe a NOT so fine meal. Certainly there is a way to disengage this feature, but I have a problem with people knowing my every movement. Sometimes you want time to yourself, where you are inaccessible to anyone. But now days with all of these apps, and GPS devices on every thing we own, we are bound to be hunted down anywhere and everywhere, by just about anybody who cares to know our whereabouts.

I will readily admit that I am a bit of a privacy seeker. While I'm not exactly a hermit, I do prefer some semblance of anonymity and privacy. I know that in this day and age I am definitely the exception, and not the rule, but I find it a bit disturbing that instead of people organically getting to know one another, they "Google" them to death, to unearth every imaginable piece of information that's available about that person. I, personally, think that takes the fun out of "getting to know somebody." What's the use of going to coffee or dinner to get to know someone, when in actuality they may know MORE about you than you realize?

Obviously, there is no way to get around it - our information is everywhere. Is it fun to look up interesting factoids and information? Absolutely, but there is also a time and a place for everything, and in our zeal to know everything instantaneously, perhaps we are missing out on simpler things in life. I love meeting new and interesting people, and simply striking up conversations with them because it feels good. And while I appreciate technology and all of the incredible advances we continue to make; I recommend people take a step away from technology from time to time and simply - be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Part 24 of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

Part 24 of Series: 101 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

I must confess - I love to travel. Yes, it makes sense; especially since I own a travel agency, but it's much more than that. I was talking to a gentleman about the airlines, TSA agents, and I could hear the vile in his voice as he described the indecency of essentially being stripped down by complete strangers in the middle of an airport - yea, that sucks, I can't pretty that up...not by a stretch. During my conversation with him, I tried to express that while the airline portion of travel leaves much to be desired, there is so much more to a vacation than the airport. It's inconvenient, and you feel like you have to spend the night there, but I personally feel the ends justify the means. His responses during the conversation were geared towards shying away from air travel and now traveling more by car or train. I told him there is nothing wrong with that form of travel either; it's still traveling, but he would have  a tough time taking a train to Europe, get the picture. He conceded, but continued to rally on about the injustices of flying and how awful it has become.

If I were a magician I would do everything in my power to change the air travel, but I'm not, and I don't see any changes anytime soon. Maybe one day air travel will become friendly again (I doubt it, but I can hope);  until that time, it is better to anxiously anticipate arrival to that wonderful destination; versus the way in which we make our way there - wherever, "there" may be.

  • Back-up Distributor of Documents - You can give your travel agent a copy of all your travel documents so if anything were to get lost you have someone to call that can send copies.
  • Because We Said So - Our business is to help you find a qualified travel specialist.
  • What to Expect on the Flight -Your travel expert can give you good answers on what to expect long flights to be like, and maybe some interesting activities to do while flying.
  • It is Their Job - Travel agents actually work to get different accreditation's to increase their qualifications as a travel expert.  
  • Lost Baggage - If the airline should lose your baggage, your travel agent can get on the phone and make sure the airline works as quickly as they can to solve the problem allowing you to at least go relax at the hotel.
*Source: American Society of Travel Agents