I find a little bit ironic that Google released their new “Places” page at the same time that National Geographic Traveler celebrates their 25th anniversary with a collector’s edition featuring “50 Places of Lifetime“. My opinion in this matter is likely very biased as this is what I do for a living: try to figure out how to best convey the qualities that make a particular destination desirable to the traveler and build websites that attempt to organize such knowledge. But it is a very tough problem and the attempt from Google, while strategic is perfect proof of how far we are from capturing the essence of travel.
Call it the “curse of memorable places”: you’ve just spent a couple of weeks at what you believe has been the greatest journey of your lifetime only to come back and try to articulate into a “travel blog” how great it was or create a slideshow of your obviously less than stellar photography. Perhaps the only satisfaction that results from these failed attempts to convey the grandiosity of a trip is that your boring interpretation will keep this treasure safe from others “discovering” it.
This is [...]
Picking the first few destinations for the Global Culture Tour is a matter of convenience. We think we’ll cover 4 or 5 micro-regions before the end of the year and we hope their variety and the fresh content will keep people interested while we produce more. As I mentioned in previous posts, the first one was a very simple decision: Coyoacán is very close to my heart as I lived there many years, but it has also been able to maintain its personality throughout the centuries (yes, it is that old). During recent visits I grew confident that although Mexico City has many things to offer, the global citizen would find in this particular area of the city an interesting retreat from all the fast-paced action that takes place everywhere else.
The second destination will be an area in my current city: Toronto. Deciding which particular neighbourhood, however, has not been so simple. Toronto has many faces and changes very fast. I’ve been looking back at my own notes about what makes an ideal destination for the global citizen and keep bouncing between two areas: St. Lawrence Market and [...]
For those of you who follow @globalculture on Twitter, you’ve already seen this, but there is one thing you probably haven’t noticed. We started publishing the results from our first photo-shoot in our Flickr pool “I could live here“. Kudos to our photographer in Mexico as he worked really hard to translate a loose vision of what this could be into our first tangible results:
Click to view the photos of Coyoacan in Flickr
While you will see these photos appear in this blog in a few days as part of our new local content section, there are two important aspects of this project that may not be obvious at first:
1. Every single photo we decide to publish has been given a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. This means that any one can freely use these photos for their own causes, commercial or not. All we ask for is the attribution.
2. The Flickr pool is a way for us to recruit photographers willing to do the same for their own neighbourhoods. We’ve set it up as “invitation-only” because we want to make sure that everyone who joins understands how their work should be [...]