41 thoughts on “Weekend Question Post

  1. A cay off of the island Utila, Honduras. I had a friend that used to work handling baggage for Continental and he could fly anywhere in North America for free and take a buddy for $15. We spent two weeks mostly in Tela but by happenstance we ended up learning to dive on the island of Utila and then making friends who rented a cay with no buildings for a New Year’s party. It was amazing being on a tiny cay about in the middle of the Caribbean with nothing on it but people, sand, and a few coconut trees. I could see living in Tela (we me a few retired Canadians there) but that cay was mind blowing. It’s one thing to camp with nothing. It’s another to be on a tiny island with nothing, even for one night.

  2. Toulouse/Blagnac airport in France, the official start of our honeymoon.
    Since we were getting in to the airport so late, any reservations we’d have made for a night’s stay in the area would have collapsed. We got in on time and started calling hotels, finding they were all booked. Dan found a neat pamphlet that mentioned that Cajun musician Zachary Richard, The Rebirth Brass band, and other musicians that we’d normally be hitting with a stone if we threw it in Louisiana, were playing some sort of art and jazz festival in Toulouse.
    “Oh, and it starts tomorrow!” Dan said in wonder.
    I gave him a look that could have killed him on the spot.
    Any French I remembered from high school left me shortly afterwards. I misunderstood a lady in a hotel in nearby Colomiers – she wasn’t telling me that a van was coming to get us at the airport, she was simply telling me which exit to use to get to the hotel. After we waited for ages for a van that never came, we got a cab to the hotel and dump ourselves on the mercy of the proprietress of the hotel. She called around to find out what we already knew – that everything was booked solid – and, after establishing that we doofus americains were only gonna be there for a night, we were set up in a teensy room with a cot and a single bed located just outside the dumpster area for the place. I “merci beaucoup”ed my heart out.
    We headed to the airport the next morning to pick up our rental car and head to Spain, and the nice lady from behind the counter said, “Oh, New Orleans! You know there’s our local jazz festival starting today.”
    Ummm, yeah, we kinda FIGURED THAT OUT.

  3. I crossed the street by myself and talked to Mrs. LeBach.
    My mommie watched.

  4. Chale Island off the coast of Mombasa, Kenya. My friend DJ Beto’s honeymoon. I was in his wedding in Nairobi and the whole family and drivers went along. About 13 people in all.

  5. Not very far, I’m afraid. From Boston, I camped out in Ontario for 2 months when I was about 9. When I was 13, I went to DC for Solidarity Day when Raygun fired the air traffic conrollers. That’s about it. Being poor and living in an expensive neighborhood doesn’t help.

  6. The Cook Islands where I went for a volunteer vacation. I spent two weeks tutoring Maori children in English. Great trip.

  7. Farthest for work was a conference in Sydney. Farthest for fun was a wedding in Delhi. As they say, travel is a great experience, and also helps you appreciate what you have back at home.

  8. I had the advantage of being in the military and a job that was mostly overseas. I’ve been to Japan, Korea, Greece, Saudi Arabia and for fun, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Italy. The best? Greece. Athens is a bit dirty with all the buses and pollution, but the history is awesome and the islands are as you’ve seen on movies…it’s beautiful.

  9. Urumchi, China, on the Silk Road in the Uighur region of China. This was on a 20 day tour of the Silk Road, arranged by and for a group of 9 of us who were all friends of a Chinese couple in San Francisco. While there we visited in the home of an uncle of one of our tour group, who had left China only a few years before. In that area I felt as far from home and anything familiar that I have ever felt.

  10. Within spittin’ distance of Bandar Abbas, Iran; Bahrain; Diego Garcia; Mombasa, Kenya; and Muscat, Oman all within five months in 1987. Courtesy of the United States Navy.
    Anchors Aweigh!

  11. I’ve been to Thailand… I never strayed too far from a city with a mall, and there were starbucks and pizza places with familiar names. I felt safe everywhere I went. So how far away was I really?
    I have felt farther away in a Mexican border town a few hours away from home, feeling very on edge and overly dependent on my native friend and her language skills… every glance feeling like I am being sized up for what might be stolen, and the police seeming like they just want a part of the take.
    The most isolated I have felt in recent memory was in some port towns in Belize, where the only road in was unpaved and very bumpy for miles (use the water taxi!). I believe one place we stopped was called “Hopkins” looking back on a map. Between Placencia and Dangriga. I didn’t think you’d heard of it. These tiny towns would be right on the beach, a few hundred feet from the water, or less. All the buildings wood framed. I have been conditioned to ask “where do these people go during hurricanes?”

  12. Straight-line-wise – Madrid, Espana. From there we took a few day trips out to Toledo, Segovia and to El Escorial. So if you were to go mileage-wise from Madrid out…I guess Segovia. All three side trips were awesome.
    Madrid was wonderful. We went at the New Year, were in the air as ’98 turned into ’99. We got to see where my grandparents lived in Madrid back in the ’60s (for work). Ah, walking the calles and plazas – it was just amazing. The city was so not-Houston (thankfully), the patina of age and of all the history (good, bad & indifferent) – the city pulsed. The crowds were immense, as we were there in time to see the celebration of the Epiphany/Feast of the Three Kings. Yeah, you right – this Pagan (who wasn’t fully in tune w/her Witchy self then) could handle seeing nativities everywhere – I only wish I had remembered to snap a pic of a nativity scene made from churros!!! LOL! Or the one in the back of a small Nissan pickup truck in a dealership window. Shopping the Rastro flea market – remarkable. One of my multiple lottery fantasies is to have a small apartment on the Plaza Mayor and furnish it w/groovy things from the Rastro. Just being in a city that entreats you to walk its narrow streets and discover the ancient buildings… And, as a reward for walking so much, there are pastry shops almost every 5 feet! And they package their confections up like it’s your birthday! The palaces, the parks the museums… I would LOVE to go back sometime. I still long to go to Paris, though! 🙂 Or to track my Prague-area lineage.
    Peace, Elspeth

  13. Denmark. i guess technically the farthest was copenhagen. in 98′. my first trip. thank you benedicte. or should i say, my roadkill. but only spent a few hours there. then to ebeltoft.

  14. Straight line wise Port St Francis on eastern cape coast of South Africa (the Indian Ocean) the BEST body surfing ever.
    Most isolated and “foreign” the airport at Port Harcourt Nigeria where I arrived alone and was not “met” by the folks that were to be there…had no idea what to do and ended up taking a kind of taxi/private car/ ride share to the town center and found a hotel…the bubble above my head was the constant refrain “why am I doing this again?”…I love Africa…but she beats the “western” out of ya in a hurry.

  15. I’m just a simple home country boy. Imagine an arc from Nogales, Mexico to LA to Spokane, to Chicago, Toronto, Boston, DC, Chattanooga, NOLA and White Sands, NM and back to Nagales. Vertically, I’d have to say Colorado. Oddly enough I used to hang around Sandpoint, ID a bit – birth home of McLastGasp’s VP choice.

  16. Had to figure out if the east side or west side of Bejieng was further away, determined it was the west side, so the left hand side of the Panda building at the Bejieng Zoo. But as others have said, not the most isolating, which was way Northern Quebec up above Chibogamoo (spelling may be off)

  17. Moscow, Russia as a photo processor technician for the 1980 Olympics. Yeah, the one that the U.S. didn’t attend. Started off getting treated like crap and being followed everywhere, ended up having dinner at one of my “shadows” apartments. An eye-opening, and educational experience.

  18. The Kardinal Koenig Haus, Lainzerstrasse 138, Wien, Oesterreich.
    I fell in love with Vienna, ungodly expensive though it was, and spent several afternoons with my German-English dictionary trying to decipher ads for apartments. I was there for three weeks. I drank ambrosial beers and watched Elton John play the Schoenbrunn from the roof of our converted 13th century abbey.
    Can’t wait to go back.

  19. Perm, Russia. Horrible place, petrochemicals and frozen tundra.
    Chengdu, China.
    Bangkok, Thailand.

  20. Foreign and exotic Hawaii. The first time was ’84, sailed there from Seattle. It took 30 days.

  21. For distance, it’s the tea country (uplands) of Sri Lanka … I spent over a week in the ancient cultural capital Kandy, in a small hotel just across a lake from the Temple of Buddha’s Tooth.
    Then spent 2 days driving through the highland tea-growing areas (and the many lovely waterfalls) around Nuwara Eliya. That town resembles a burg in Scotland from all the Victorian buildings put up when it was the summer resort for the colonial elite of Ceylon.
    For sheer foreignness, a week in northern Pakistan in ’81 was tops for me — Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Peshawar and points in between, all by road. And me without a word of Urdu.

  22. Lessee, I’ve been to Austria, which I think is the farthest as the crow flies. That was just as visit, tho.
    From the polar opposites department, I lived in London for awhile, and my first year in college was in Sitka, Alaska, a town small enough I think Sarah Palin might not be able to fuck things up as major.
    I’d go back to London in a heartbeat. It is a wonderful city, and the *history*. I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Trafalgar Square, and in spite of my fear of crowds, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
    Sitka was stunningly beautiful, in spite of the occasional pollution when the pulp mill nearby was running. The ocean, with spectacular sunsets over a dormant volcano (Mt. Edgecumbe). The mountains, like being at the foot of Pikes Peak, and some of the best hiking trails I’ve ever seen.
    I don’t think I could live in either for long–not enough sunlight in the wintertime. But I highly recommend both as places to see before you die.

  23. Eee, preview is your friend, Buggy. That would be “as A visit” and “mayor” not “major.”

  24. I was in Thailand. I ate scorpion.
    I vomited almost immediately afterwords.
    But I have to say, cultural issues aside, It was actually tasty.

  25. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I want to go back to the Silk Road cities, this time with other half in tow…

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