In all of our world travels there have been some bumpy roads. Often the way you go down the road of life is as unexpected as the destination.
Of these many roads though we have taken meticulous notes on our top 10 favorite ways to traverse the world.
NUMBER 10 – A Saab 9-4x
When Rand McNally told us we’d be traveling across the US in a Saab 9-4x we almost died of delight. A sensation that if you have yet to try, you should. Our 4,000 mile journey across the USA in search of Patriotism felt like a dream. Mostly because we never slept, unless it was in the heated/cooled bucket seats of this beauty. More spaceship than car, the Saab is a chariot of the gods.
NUMBER 9 – Pocket Bikes
If you’re into speed, risks, and living like there’s no tomorrow… then get a motorcycle. If, however, you’re into tea parties, fancy dresses, and taking life at a leisurely pace then the pocket bike is for you. For 10 dollars and hour you can rent one of these bad boys in Korea and join a gang of 8 year-olds. It’s a charming way to see the cities, from the ground up. Just don’t try to get them on the road, they top out at about 8 miles and hour.
NUMBER 8 – The flatbed of a truck, hitch-hiking across South Africa
When two of my shipmates and I found ourselves in South Africa sometime back we ended up in a bit of a situation. Our ship was disembarking from Cape Town and we were 13 hours away in East London. We were also without money. We had run out along the way, and a banking snafu had left us stranded. Our solution? To hitch-hike, of course. We ended up almost getting decapitated by a rogue piece of plywood in the back of this semi, but we made it, 20 hours and 6 kind motorists later.
NUMBER 7 – A Sail Kayak
In the history of father-son trips I’d wager that the 400 mile journey along the Columbia river with my own father was one of the best. We ended up spending 9 days in those 16′ sail kayaks. We camped along the shore, sailed the mighty river, and sat in water as the river, rain, and sweat threatened to capsize us. Without doubt though, one of the most serene and enriching ways to travel.
Number 6 – Rikshaws
The symbol of transportation from India to Vietnam. Almost as ubiquitous as the family of six on a scooter. When you’re in SE Asia, the rickshaw is a must-do way of getting around. What? No air conditioning? What do you consider the orchid laden air whipping past your face as you careen through two consecutive red lights?
NUMBER 5 – Swanboats
No longer for lovers and sweet young couples. In Korea, a swanboat filled with Westerners becomes an armored craft seeking an easy target. Beware the gentle squeak of the foot pedals lulling you into a false confidence. With two grown men working those pedals, a swanboat might bear down upon you at 1, maybe 2, miles per hour. All the while spewing water and rocks. While the swanboat is not for the faint of heart, it is a great way to practice manuevers in the lakes of Korea.
NUMBER 4 – Camels
Though mean, aggressive, and pungent, camels are a quick (if not comfortable) to get across the desert in Dubai. While there are better ways, there aren’t many that will give you such a lasting memory… or last so long without refueling.
NUMBER 3 – A four man bike
What more do I really need to say?
NUMBER 2 – A parachute
It doesn’t matter if you start from the ground up, or the plane down. A parachute is a sublime way to travel. So few things can give you that sensation of flying without the death that usually comes with falling. Not to mention you don’t have to wait for airport security. So, next time you’re considering how to get home for the holidays, why not consider a sack of nylon strapped to your back.
NUMBER 1 – A Sailing Vessel
Whether it’s a small craft off the coast of Zanzibar, or a luxury vessel in the Galapagos, or even a tall ship you live on for a year, there is no better way to see the world and your own soul than on a sailing vessel. Not to mention is it surprsingly easy to get onboard a vessel.
That said, try to avoid anything that is getting lower in the water as you look at it or anything that says “HMS Bounty” on the side.
What about you? Tell us all your zany and favorite ways to get around!