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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from June, 2008

“Avenue Q” changed my life.

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Avenue Q BA English

“What do you do with a BA in English?

- Move to one of the most expensive cities in the world, clearly.

What is my life going to be?

- Unfulfilling!

Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree!

- Indeed.

I can’t pay the bills yet,
‘Cause I have no skills yet,
The world is a big scary place.

- So, take out a loan…and go to grad school?

But somehow I can’t shake,
The feeling I might make,
A difference,
To the huuu-maaan raaaaace…..”

Avenue Q is probably the most life-changing work of art that I have encountered since moving to London. I bow in piety to writers Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez: your words are my new gospel, your songs my holy hymns, your Trekkie Monster, my Messiah…

Trekkie Monster Avenue Q

Beyond re-connecting me with my homeland and re-kindling my love for Sesame Street, this masterpiece of a musical actually transformed my perspective on what it means to be alive. I stand reborn.

“It sucks to be me!”

The key underlying question/theme of show: how does one reconcile the pervasive feelings of unfulfillment that characterize life post-college?

A series of hilarious coping strategies are delivered to you by a mishmash of over-stereotyped characters, colorful puppets, fuzzy monsters, and even a pseudo-Gary Coleman…

The worst thing about Avenue Q? A lot of people might cite the scandalous puppet sex scene. Others might have a strong distaste for hit song, “The Internet is for Porn.” But in my opinion, the worst thing about Avenue Q is that: the more controversial and offensive the lyrics—the more ludicrous the puppets’ behaviours—the more real it actually becomes.

Marx and Lopez have brilliantly extrapolated the most unutterable desires and contemplations of the human psyche, transcribed them into a kitschy, musical parody, and hurled them into the public arena, full force. It is impossible not to laugh out loud when you see one of your own life obstacles being candidly recreated by a furry puppet.

If you haven’t already, you must. If you already have, go again—it’s even funnier the second time. Oh, and did I mention that Avenue Q is one of the most affordable musicals playing in the West End? Get cheap tickets here.

Do it.

Cast of Avenue Q London

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Hollywood, Bollywood and Beyond

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Allow me a few minutes to open your eyes to a whole new world of cinema.

I have already discussed behind-the-scenes Hollywood adventures, which, depending on your tastes and interests, can be as exotic and exciting as a Wadi Rum excursion in Jordan, or as simple and enjoyable as a Universal Studios theme park ride in Los Angeles. Perhaps that blog has even inspired you to plan a global ‘Hollywood’ tour of your own…

I ask you now to consider the following riddle:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

-ollywood.

How many word combinations can you think of?

I predict that it will only be a matter of years before (H)ollywood takes over every consonant (and continent).

Or has it already?

You see, my new flatmates are very tech-savvy and have purchased the most comprehensive satellite package on the market, which streams into our place through three huge, trendy flat screens. I haven’t had the luxury of cable TV since I left home after high school, so I obviously spent my first 3 nights in the apartment, glued to the tube. It was like Dorothy meets Oz + audience meets Technicolor = all encompassed in a glorious, 21st century, living room moment. continue reading

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Father’s Day 2008: The Gift of Adventure

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Do not underestimate the crazy types of things your father would do with his free time: those receding silver streaks mean nothing. In fact, they were probably, unavoidably, caused by you.

You see, a protective dad’s biggest fear is that his kids are secretly behaving half as stupidly as he was during the dumbest moment of his own youth. Most dads are just giant kids, really. And this Father’s Day (Sunday 15 June 2008!) is the perfect opportunity to make your old man feel like a young lad again. Give him the father’s day gift of a lifetime! It’s time to send dad on one of these…

Big Kid Adventure Tours

1. Four Wheeling through the Australian Outback.

Your mother will hate it (thus he’ll love it even more) when you sweep your dad away on a vacation Down Under, where he can trail blaze through rugged, open plains on his very own 4×4 motorbike! He will delight in pioneering the breathtaking landscapes and beloved fauna of Oz.

(You can assure mother that the tour is led by experienced local bikers!)

2. White Water Rafting on the Ganges

The ultimate adventure. A two-day excursion to India’s prime rafting spot—a most thrilling (and beautiful!) stretch of the Ganges River in the north.

After a refreshing afternoon and overnight stay at the Ganges Nature Camp, your favorite Big Kid will brave the rapids full force (mothers: helmets are provided, and the rapids are interspersed with calm swimming spots and picturesque scenery).

The bravest dads may opt for a quick cliff dive before completing the five-hour journey in Rishikesh.

The excursion includes hotel pick up and drop off, transportation to camp in an air-conditioned vehicle, accommodation in safari tents, rafting equipment, trained and professional guides, and various adventure activities (jungle walking, body surfing, cliff jumping, etc.).

3. Helicopter Ride over Grand Canyon

Who wouldn’t love it? (Actually, I think my acrophobic mother would hate this one, too…).

Suitable for the busy businessman, this exhilarating flight will give your deserving dad a breathtaking vantage point of the grand, cavernous expanse of striated rock that he dreamed about as a boy.

The tour commences at the Southern Rim and will bring him soaring through the center and across to Imperial Point, which boasts spectacular views of the Canyon, the Painted Desert and the Colorado River.

4. Everglades Safari Park Tour

Perfect for all the binocular-clad dads out there, this (affordable!) airboat ride excursion through the Everglades National Park, the “largest subtropical wilderness in the US,”will bring ‘em face-to-face with mother nature.

Dad will relish in the abundant flora and fauna as he watches the gators in action, explores the marshes by foot and truly immerses himself in one of America’s most precious ecosystems.

This most affordable Father’s Day gift includes: a wildlife nature show, reptile cave exhibits, an alligator wrestling show, and, of course, an airboat ride!

5. Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

For the craziest Big Kids out there, this one is pretty self-explanatory:

1. Climb (200 ft up the stunning Auckland harbour bridge),

2. Strap (on the appropriate gear), and…

3. JUMP!

He will even get a complimentary t-shirt and bungee certification…

The Gift of Adventure

This Father’s Day, forget the gardening gadgets and golfing shirts, and ignite dad’s inner child—send him on the Big Kid Adventure of a Lifetime!

Excursions:
Quad Biking in Australian Outback

White Water Rafting on the Ganges

Helicopter Ride over Grand Canyon

Everglades Safari Park Tour

Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

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