The Flight Deck
Our weekly travel dispatch from the Internet Wasteland
Old Man and the Sea: “Kayaking is an absurd form of long-distance ocean travel. All the big muscles in the body are useless. “A real katorga,” says Doba, who is Polish — katorga being the Polish word for forced labor in Siberia. But by katorga, Doba does not mean an activity he does not wish to do. What most of us experience as suffering he repurposes as contrarian self-determination, and that gives him an existential thrill. Among Doba’s bigger regrets in life are the times when he has succumbed, when he has perceived and reacted to suffering in conventional ways — for instance, the night in April 1989 when he built a fire in order to make tea and dry his clothes while paddling on the Vistula River near the city of Plock, in central Poland. Or the afternoon, a week later, on that same river, when he succumbed to the temptation of eating pancakes, tomato soup and rice at the Milk Bar restaurant when he should have been at his campsite, by his kayak, eating cold canned goulash in order to condition his body for arctic temperatures. Doba had promised himself he would be tougher than all that.” In the age is nothing but a number contest, we present this as an entry: 70 year old man crosses the Atlantic by kayak… for the third time. (I have enough trouble crossing the Atlantic in the sky…)
A New Hope: So often when we talk about the refugee crisis into the Mediterranean, we focus on the politics, the economic impacts and the resources affected by incoming immigrants. Often, what is lost is how a culture has to adapt in a changing landscape. In Sardinia, a country that has been shaped by a range of conquerors from the Phoenicians to the Byzantines, has always taken influences from the world around it. But what happens, when a new type of immigrant comes? How does a culture that has been set for centuries change? And, will the new immigrants be accepted by people of Sardinia? From AFAR: New Home, New Hope: How a Wave of Refugees Is Reshaping Sardinia.
The Last of the Hippies: “The uproar brought to the fore deep questions about race, sovereignty, and the future of the natural world in commodified, modern Hawaii. How can society benefit the most from a place like Kalalau with its complicated history? Do we give it over to the well-heeled tourists who book hiking permits six months in advance or pay $200 a person for 60-minute helicopter tours? Or does it still belong to the native Hawaiians who rarely visit, but whose ancestors were the first to shape the landscape? And what do you do about the haole (white) outlaws like Barca who, in their ragamuffin way, carry on the countercultural project of the 1960s and maintain some kind of order in a place with only an occasional government presence.” In our feature of the week, Smithsonian travels to Hawaii to discuss Hawaii’s last outlaw hippies.
Night Train to Lisbon: Michael Turtle of Time Travel Turtle gets into what the people really want to know: the best stations to see Lisbon’s Metro art.
The Business of Travel
Open for Business: In our feel good story of the week, Dominica is asking visitors to return. (Being the first back to a travel destination can help your and someone else’s wallet.)
Office Space: “Seville was recently ranked the world’s third-best city for freelancers, thanks to its reasonable prices, good weather and fast internet. So what can you expect from a coworking space in the southern Spanish city? And can it snatch the freelancing city top spot from Lisbon?” LP’s view on co-working in Seville.
The VR Experience: “Sometimes we have to create a virtual reality to talk about reality,” While Virtual Reality is not a new or novel experience in 2018, the stories that can be told and the people telling them will change. While you imagine that most future stories will be some sort of comic book reboot, this is not one of those stories. From the Smithsonian: Academy Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu creates Virtual Reality Experience of Crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ready. Set. Listen.
Plenty Bacchanal: Carnival in Flux | Afropop Worldwide: Globally, Carnival is the opportunity to dress up in costumes, join parades and generally let loose in whatever slice of this globe you call home. Trinidad Carnival is unarguably one of the biggest and most famous of these events, in particular because of the fetes, parties that transform the paradise into an other-worldly experience. Here, Afropop Worldwide discusses the origins, impact and future of this global institution.
If you have stories about age-spanning travel adventures, rouges and outlaws or sunny co-working destinations, feel free to forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a blogger, vlogger or even a smooth talker and you want us to highlight your content in further dispatches, feel free to send us a message as well.