I Don’t Give A Damn How You Travel

Because new readers discover my site all the time, I’ve lately taken up the habit of posting what I was doing one and two years ago on Twitter. That way they can catch up on things they might not have been around for when I was originally blogging about it.

A few days ago sent out a link to a post I made two years ago during my visit to Taiwan. Someone left the following comment (two years after the fact mind you).

So you only stayed in Taipei? You didn’t visit anywhere else here? I’ve been in Taiwan for five years and have been to Taipei probably less than a dozen times. You have no idea what you missed. There’s seems to be little point in travelling if you’re only going to hop from big city to big city.

I was going to write an email to respond to him, but I figure why write an email when I can make a blog post about it?

Putting aside for a moment the fact that this guy managed to extrapolate almost three years of my life from my visit to a single location and clearly didn’t bother to read about any of the other places I’ve been. What struck me about the comment is:

  1. The implication that he was doing it right.
  2. The implication that I was doing it wrong.
  3. That he felt it was important enough to tell me that he was doing it right and I was doing it wrong

I’ve noticed this same attitude pop up in other articles, most recently in a Boots N All article about how flashpacking (a term I loathe) is hurting backpacking. There was also a user on Twitter who felt the need to tell everyone else going on a cruise, not only how unethical they were for going on a cruise, but also how ethical she was for not going on cruises. I could only roll my eyeballs.

I would like to go on record to say that I do not give a rats ass how anyone else travels. I really don’t. I don’t care if you like to go on cruises, I don’t care if you like to visit spas, I don’t care if you like to drive around in an RV. None of those are really my cup of tea, but I don’t care if you do it.

Likewise, I’d ask you extend a similar courtesy to others. Just because someone doesn’t travel the way you like doesn’t mean you have to tell them. It is extremely tacky behavior. Just because something isn’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean you have to go on a jihad.

There is no wrong way to travel. Do I think you might get more out of a visit to a country if you left the Hyatt? Yes I do, but at least you are visiting. Do I think you might enjoy a trip more if it wasn’t a packaged tour? Sure, but any tour is better than no tour.

The following video clip succinctly summarizes my views on the matter:

Deep in the heart of Texas

Here is what has been happening on my US road trip the last few days and other odds and ends:

    Inside Carlsbad Caverns
    Inside Carlsbad Caverns

  • With today’s daily photo, I have now caught up with my most recent World Heritage site. Carlsbad Caverns was my 106th World Heritage site and it only took 35 days to go from Italy to New Mexico. You can view the complete list of all 106 World Heritage sites I’ve visited with links to all the daily photos corresponding to each location. I hope to do a day trip to the Everglades on Friday and visit three more on the way back to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mammoth Cave, and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois.
  • The cruise I’ll be going on next week is sponsored by Princess Cruise Lines. They are picking up the whole tab, so if you think I’ve become a shill for the cruise industry, now you know why. This will not only be the first cruise I’ve ever been on, but the first time I’ve ever been on a press trip. Given how I travel, cruising never really appealed to me. If I had to spend my own money, it probably isn’t something I would do on my own. Getting eight hours to visit a port is like having an extended layover in an airport. Nonetheless, I am not anti cruising and am open minded enough to give it a try. I’ll try to do a few updates while on board the ship and will be using Twitter during the cruise. You can follow all the Tweets from the cruise at #followmeatsea.
  • Claire at the Botanical Garden
    Claire at the Botanical Garden
    I’ve been staying with my friend Amy in Fort Worth. She has two kids, 3 years and 14 months old. It has been very different being around little kids. Her daughter Claire is adorable and is at that age where she is speaking complete sentences, but still learning how the world works. Luke is walking but not yet talking. He interacts with people by picking stuff up and giving it to them. On Sunday I went with Amy and the kids to the Fort Worth botanical gardens and yesterday we took the kids and her husband James to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
    It has been a nice break from sitting in a car all day.
  • I’ve also had a great time hanging out with my friend, cartoonist Scott Kurtz. Even though a travel blog has nothing to do with drawing a cartoon, there is a lot that I’ve learned from Scott over the years that I’ve incorporated into my blog . Scott normally does a live stream of him drawing his strip every day, and on Monday we took calls from his fans on Skype while he was drawing. We had calls from Germany, Poland, UK, Canada and the US. I think it is important to have friends that are totally outside of what you do, lest you never get a perspective from the outside of the bubble you live in.
  • The winners of the Lonely Planet book, Extreme Cuisine are Bev F, Bob, Jessie, Chaiaket, and Steph. You will be contacted by email.

If you are in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area and would like to meet during my brief stay on either end of the cruise, contact me and we can try to arrange it.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

World Heritage Site #106: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park: My 106th UNESCO World Heritage Site and my 13th US National Park

From the World Heritage inscription for Carlsbad Caverns National Park:

The more than 100 limestone caves within Carlsbad Caverns National Park are outstanding and notable worldwide because of their size, mode of origin, and the abundance, diversity, and beauty of the speleothems (decorative rock formations) within. On-going geologic processes continue to form rare and unique speleothems, particularly in Lechuguilla Cave. Carlsbad Caverns and Lechuguilla Cave are well known for their great natural beauty, exceptional geologic features, and unique reef and rock formations. The Permian-aged Capitan Reef complex (in which Carlsbad Caverns, Lechuguilla and other caves formed) is one of the best preserved and most accessible complexes available for scientific study in the world.

Carlsbad is one of several World Heritage caves which I’ve visited. I love visiting caves and Carlsbad is one of the best. Unlike my other caves I’ve visited, I was allowed to take my tripod into the cave, so the photos are much better than I’ve taken in other sites. I’d like to return to Carlsbad someday and explore Lechugilla, but it isn’t open to the public. Carlsbad Caverns National Park also borders Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas.


Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Cavern National Park is a unit of the US National Park Service and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is located in Carlsbad, New Mexico and was established in 1930 as a national park. In 1995, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The park is part of the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico at the base of the Guadalupe Mountains. Within the park are 83 individual caves that include the park’s namesake, Carlsbad Cavern.

Tourist Information

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Since 2007 to 2016, the number of annual visitors to Carlsbad Cavern National Park has reached 410,000 in average. The number of tourists is at their highest during Memorial Day Weekend or Fourth of July. There is free admission available for tourists who wish to visit the park during important holidays so be sure to check that out before you go if you want to take advantage of the free entry.

If you would like to camp in the back country portion of the park, you can do so. But you must secure the necessary permit at the visitor center before you are allowed to.

There are also several programs offered at the site to provide more opportunities to learn more about what the site can offer. One of them is the bat flight viewing. This program is typically held early evening in the amphitheater (located near the main entrance). For optimal viewing experience, you can visit the park sometime in July to August.

About Carlsbad Cavern National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Cavern National Park is a massive cave system that is situated on a bed of limestone. It has had a long history of geologic formation that started 250 million years ago, which is the same time wherein the area where the park is in was once a coast land for an inland sea. Over the years, tectonic movement lifted the reef above the ground.

There are 119 caves that are included within the park’s protected area. Out of 119 caves, only 3 are accessible to the public via tours. Carlsbad Cavern is the most famous of these caves, which is why the park was named after it. It is also the most developed of all the caves with paved trails, electric lights and elevators to make it easy for tourists to access and explore. The two other caves that are open for tours are Spider Cave and Slaughter Canyon Cave. These two are underdeveloped but they do have designated paths for adventure caving tours.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Aside from the caves, the bats are another popular tourist attraction in the national park. There are 17 species of bats that call this national park their home. The Mexican free-tailed bat is the most prominent of these species although experts claim that the number of these bats have declined significantly.

Other activities that you can enjoy during your visit to the Carlsbad Cavern National Park include hiking or driving through the desert scenery and ecosystem that surround the park. There is a developed Caverns Historic District outside the cave entrance that tourists can explore. Meanwhile, there is also the Rattlesnake Springs Picnic Area that is filled with picnic tables and natural oasis with landscaping for you to enjoy.

View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Jul 22, 2017 @ 4:46 pm