Space Travel 40 Years Later: Close Encounters of the X Kind
Did you notice that most of the latest tech marvels contain an X in their name? Have we already come to a dead end? This picture surely raises some concerns.
Falcon Heavy Demo Mission: Spaceman in Driving Seat – Photo Courtesy: SpaceX @ Flickr
Forty years ago Carl Sagan put onboard the NASA Voyager spacecraft 2 golden phonograph records full of sounds and images from planet Earth. He said:
The NASA spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space, but the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet.
What does the car with a mannequin inside say instead? Well, at least it should make us reflect on the trajectory we have followed in the last decades, leading us to question ourselves about what happened to that marvelous idea of progress.
The Berlin Travel Festival: People, Places, and Memories
During the official celebrations of tourist nonsense, a new 3-day event will debut in Berlin trying to promote a more forward-thinking vision. The Berlin Travel Festival seems the perfect chance to get ready for the spring travel season.
Berlin Travel Festival, March 9-11, 2018, Arena Berlin – Photo Courtesy: BTF
People, places, and memories. This is what travel is about. And with this in mind, we are creating a new kind of travel festival. It will be one part pop-up store for curious travelers. Another part trade fair for the travel world. A wunderkammer of sorts filled with unexpected treasures.
Divided into five areas – Ocean Life, Culture Journeys, Weekenders, Outdoor Escapes, and The Nest – the festival aims to offer thought-provoking concepts, destinations, experiences, and perspectives. Save the date: March 9-11, 2018.
How Is It that Panama Broke Up with Tourists?
Not long ago, Panama loved tourists (…and tax evaders, but that’s another story).
Now, the lunatic country is willing to welcome travelers, adventurers, culture seekers, trendsetters, birders, sun chasers, sloth lovers, enthusiasts, and the curious, but not tourists (which, BTW, have tripled in the last ten years).
Ok, the background music has slightly improved, local people look aged, and animals are far more… animals, but do you really notice much difference?
Walk, Eat, and Sleep with Muji in Shenzhen and Beijing, China
Successful brands sell a lifestyle and not just products. Japanese retailer Muji is no exception and, beginning this year, conveys its minimalist, quality aesthetic to travelers visiting Shenzhen and Beijing in China with two new hotels.
Muji Hotel Room in Shenzhen, China – Photo Courtesy: Muji
Designed to reflect an “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap concept”, the hotels meet this much-touted experiential travel trend that for Muji simply translates into: “walk as much as you can, wherever you can; eat well; sleep well; stay fit.” (Amen!) As usual, their “brandless quality” comes at a price (from $150 to $400 a night).
Flâneur: The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris
Urban wandering can become a selfish art form or a secret vice? Absolutely yes, according to Federico Castigliano who in his inspiring book “Flâneur: The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris” offers an idealized, romantic, and sensual vision of the “City of Lights”. Paris, a city to read and walk without haste, becomes “the realm of the possible” for those who are truly consumed by wanderlust.
Flâneur: The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris – Photo Courtesy: Federico Castigliano
The Italian author, now settled in Beijing, identifies himself as a classic literary figure and may seem snobbish at times, but after all, he’s one of us, equally lost and on the run. Just see how he describes the ordinary travel experience:
Waking up early and braving the taxi or train ride to the airport weighed down with luggage; crossing the boutique-filled concourses, negotiating the security controls, checking in and proving my identity. And then, after hours of flying, arriving at an airport in another city, Beijing for example, only to find the same shops, the same soft drinks, and perfumes and then repeating the same actions in reverse to pick up my luggage and finally achieve my freedom once more… And if in Paris I was looking for Beijing, in Beijing I will end up looking for Paris, longing for a crusty baguette, a painting by Courbet, an Italian shirt.
The book is worth reading and includes an extensive bibliography that spans from Aldeguier and Balzac to Breton and Perec. More than wandering, it invites us to reflect on ourselves and on the path we want to follow in life. Don’t expect a happy ending or a linear storytelling without contradictions. How could it be?
The KLM Care Tag: Sweet Remedies for Extreme Evils
Dutch airline KLM treats tourists who fly to Amsterdam as dumb children… and they are probably right. The following video looks like a spoof trailer for a new Black Mirror episode but is actually meant to introduce the KLM Care Tag.
Far from being a joke, this GPS tracker with a maternal spirit was designed to help solve the problem of overtourism in the Dutch capital by inviting tourists to visit less crowded places, as well as helping them to cross the street. In short, sweet remedies for extreme evils. The Care Tag won’t make Amsterdam more livable, but it’s at least an interesting attempt to start tackling a growing issue.