Top 10 Travel Articles of 2009
In these first weeks of a brand-spanking new year, we’re all getting bombarded with “let’s look back over the last decade” lists and articles. We’re in a sort of looking-back mood at BootsnAll, too, but for the moment we’re putting a shorter limit on the rearview mirror.
We’re always interested to see what articles we publish strike a nerve with readers, and to say you constantly surprise us is no small understatement. Sometimes our favorite article doesn’t seem to resonate, while another article takes off like a rocket. So for this list, we thought we’d highlight the most popular articles in 2009.
The topics covered in the articles here range from glamorous infinity pools in Macau and Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Germany to the ultimate disappointment of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Here’s a roundup of BootsnAll’s most popular travel stories of the year.
Michael Paladin’s article had an understandable appeal, given how big the porn industry is online, but it’s more than just a glimpse into his personal experience at this well-known Costa Rican brothel. Sure, there’s enough at the beginning of the story to pique your interest, but (as Michael points out) he’s a “researcher” – so he did it all for you. Really. There’s plenty of information in the article to help you follow in his footsteps. So to speak.
If you wouldn’t necessarily think that hitchhiking would make such a funny basis for a travel story (you obviously haven’t read “Round Ireland With a Fridge”), we highly recommend Trevor Mogg’s story of his adventures hitchhiking in Japan. It all started because Trevor had never seen anyone hitchhiking in Japan – but why? Luckily for him (and us), it’s not because hitchhikers are all killed quickly by psychopathic Japanese drivers.
One of the things budget travelers tend to be really good at is getting around unfamiliar cities without spending a fortune on things like taxis. Some of that involves mastering public transport, but – as Andy Hayes pointed out in this popular article – some of that just involves putting one foot in front of the other. There are many cities that aren’t exactly pedestrian-friendly, but the eight places Andy listed in this article are ideal for walking.
Sometimes utilitarian things are just meant to serve a purpose and it doesn’t matter what they look like. But if that thing can not only be useful but also beautiful, isn’t that a nice bonus? In this article, Cristina Puscas took a look at a dozen beautiful bridges in Europe that not only help you get from one place to another, they look good doing it.
Another popular article by Cristina Puscas featured another list of 12 things, all beautiful, and all in Europe – but this time, they weren’t bridges, they were castles. Of course, it’s hard to visit much of Europe without seeing a gorgeous castle, but some are certainly prettier than others. The castles featured in this article aren’t all the same kind of pretty, either, with some being more imposing and others being more fairy-tale inspiring.
Most of us have an odd sort of fascination with celebrity (we must, or all those gossip magazines and websites wouldn’t be so bloody popular), so for those of us who like looking at the travel aspect of everything this article by Roger Wade was a fun one. You might have known that Natalie Portman was born in Israel, or Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, but did you know that Nicole Kidman was born in Hawaii? Or that Tommy Lee was born in Greece?
Despite all the great things about travel, let’s face it – there are some disappointments along the way. This is especially true when you’ve built up something in your mind your whole life as the thing you most wanted to see in the world – only to have it be less than you wanted. Roger Wade’s article about nine particularly underwhelming attractions in Europe was one of our most popular in 2009.
A good list of fantastic beach spots is always a hit, but it’s even more tempting when it’s a list of little-known beaches where you’re much less likely to be fighting off the crowds to find your spot in the sand. Cherrye Moore’s article about seven excellent “hidden” beaches is even more appealing right now, when it’s cold outside the BootsnAll windows.
We just published our 2010 list of top destinations for independent travelers a few weeks ago, so it’s fun to see that last year’s list was one of our most popular articles of 2009 – we hope the 2010 list is popular this year, as you refer back to it throughout the year as you plan your travels!
With all of the travel yarns we published on BootsnAll in 2009, it was this article by David Brosche that proved to be the most popular – by a long-shot. It probably had something to do with the pictures (those are some spectacular pools, it’s gotta be said), and the fact that every hotel worth its salt now seems to have an infinity pool.