Forum: Travel Topics

...and now for something completely different...

This week, I decided to open things up to my readers. While I have plenty of articles planned for the future, I want to hear from you. Maybe there are some sights, products, movies, etc., you'd like to see reviewed. What travel questions would you like answered on Ransomed Roads? Have some "best-of" lists you'd like to see? Or "how-to's?" Let me do the research. After all, I'm probably going to do it eventually, anyway...because try and stop me from researching, or watching travel movies...  So, let's make this more fun for everyone!

So, drop a question or suggestion in the comments below. You don't have to have an account. This is a forum post, so we can discuss, post opinions, get into philosophical debates over whether The Hobbit is a travel movies or a fantasy movie...y'know whatever strikes our fancy.

You can also check in on Facebook. I'll keep a post going for it here:

Let's play...

10 Second Tuesday Travel Poll:
Two Polls This Week!

With everything else in our lives, who has time for polls? This one takes only 10 seconds. It's right over there on the right, top of the column. Read on if you want to learn more about this week's choice.

This Week’s Poll:

Minute Muse Monday:
Throwing Away the Map

“It is not down in any map;
true places never are.” 
~Herman Melville

On last week's "getting to know your area" post...

Adventure requires some risk. Sometimes that's walking out your front door; sometimes that's taking it a bit further. So, once you've got some idea of your surroundings, put the map away. Get...well, a little lost...or a lot lost. Go down the road more than you meant to, just to see what's over the next horizon or around that corner. Give yourself extra time to take in an area. Explore those unknown places that call to you! Chances are good that you will remember those times best.

5 Ways to Get to Know Your Area

Or, "What I Learned on Late Night Drives"

How well do you know your hometown? Do you know all the ins & outs, the shortcuts, and the hidden gems of your area? Could you serve as a tour guide? Or do you spend all your time in one part of your hometown? If so, you're not alone. It is remarkable how many people don't know their area very well, whether abroad or on the homefront. But it doesn't have to stay that way. There are different ways a person can remedy this and get more comfortable with their environment...and themselves.

So what can you do? Let's start basic...

#1 - Learn How to Read a Map...No, Really

The GPS and Google Directions era has been great. Never have we been this technologically advanced with this much general access to the toys that make life easier. There is, however, a downfall to this. As we continue to rely more and more on technology, we are losing our ability to do things without said technology. Frankly, I'm concerned by how many people don't know how to read a map. I'm not talking about following Siri's instructions or turning where Google shows us. This is more about basic awareness.

Poll Results (Fave US Parts) & New Poll Announced!

Last Week's Results:

Thanks to all those who voted! You made this better than I expected. The results of this poll were pretty telling, but it's what I learned during the process, rather than the results of the poll itself, that was the most enlightening.

First, it seems people were having trouble finding the poll. The mobile version does not allow you to see the sidebars. It does allow you to switch to web version, but only if you know to scroll to the bottom for the link. This is more than less than unhelpful. I had no idea this problem was happening. I was wondering why no one had voted by the weekend, and only found out Sunday, just in time to make changes and get some votes in under the wire. I decided to do away with mobile altogether. This means you have better access to all features on the site, and double-click on any part of the site to zooms in; pinch-zoom also works. Ah, beta testing.

As for the answers themselves, I gotta say, I'm neither shocked nor surprised, and still I found the results unexpected. There were 17 total voters who made this one happen (and I hope to see those voters back for future polls 😃). Here are the major stats:

I travel to understand cultures....

"I'm passionate and I travel the world not just as a tourist but to understand cultures... I've lived with Masai tribe... I travel the world and bring it back in the form of a research book that would become the starting point for the collection."
~John Galliano

Over the weekend I got to experience a Comic Con for the first time. (First time?!?) It was brilliant.

Review: Wonder Woman: "Traveling Like an Amazon"

Since it's comic con weekend here in the Omaha Metro area, I decided to go with a superhero theme. It may initially seem odd to start my first review post on a new travel blog with a film review of a movie that, on the surface, is not specifically about travel. Yet it's Wonder Woman's highlighting of many themes for women that are still - sadly - pervasive that makes this a perfect topic to discuss a continuing source of fear for women travelers: going it solo.

First, if you haven't seen this movie, you need to go do it right now. For the first time, we have a female superhero movie that stands on its own as much as it is part of a larger universe. ...and it's good. Really good. Second, spoilers everywhere in this post, so again, go see it.

It should come as no real surprise to hear that this movie is the culmination of a number of psychological and societal themes that have piled up over history. Wonder Woman is the first female superhero, right after Superman. This is in the early age of comic books, and was the result of the social climate of the times [Read more: The Man Behind Wonder Woman: The Secret History of the Bizarre (and Kinky) Life of William Moulton Marston]. Wonder Woman became an icon to girls, young and old, that women could do anything. She inspired other comic book creators to bring more amazing female characters to comicdom. Unfortunately, it would be more than 75 years before we would have a female superhero movie worthy of similarly inspiring new generations, and it is somehow fitting that it would be the Amazonian princess herself.

"The journey is the reward"
~Taoist proverb

Introducing Weekly Travel Polls!

I’m always fascinated to see how differently people react to the same question. In particular, I think it speaks to our motivations as a species, and how we follow or deviate from the herd (or pack, depending on your point-of-view). I am a bit of a scientist at heart, so I decided to conduct my own studies.

Each week by Tuesday, I’ll be posting a new travel or lifestyle poll in the right-hand column of the site. They’ll be easy questions, with some even allowing multiple answers, and completely anonymous! I can’t wait to see the different types of results these polls yield, including my own. Your opinion matters! (It really does)

Poll voting ends each Sunday night. I’ll write something up about the post for the following Tuesday and open it up to discussion. Let’s create some data! #imanerd