Enter The Anti Tourist Travel Photo Contest and Win The Care Package!

Interested in winning a big ol’ goodie bag from The Anti Tourist‘s most recent travels? Then enter the most recent travel photo contest on The Anti Tourist Facebook Page. All you have to do is post your favorite travel photos to the Facebook wall and then have your friends come LIKE your photos once they’re in the Contest Photo Album. The photo with the most LIKES by noon on Friday, October 8th will get shipped a box of special things from our recent travels.

Pictured above, the package includes:

Bay leaves from Grenada
Chunks of cinnamon from Grenada
Bath Salt from Grenada
Nutmeg from Grenada
Cloves from Grenada
Handmade soap from Grenada
Organic Cocoa Balls from Grenada
Pure Vanilla from Grenada
Caribbean Naturals Bug Spray from Grenada
Full nutmeg in pouch from Grenada

Ruby Port Red Wine Brownie by Mary Louise Butter from Austin, TX

“One Foot in the Gravy” cd by The Hillbilly Gypsies, from Morgantown, WV

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In which the varied topography of mountainous Switzerland aptly mirrors the oscillating emotional environment; and in which Paul is joined by a dear friend

Hello all,

I’m in Lucerne, and it is totally beautiful here. The streets are leafy and the buildings old and leaning. The lake is magnificent turquoise, and seems to capture sunlight then fragment it into a million hues of awesome. Only staying overnight, and loads to sort out, then a five day march to Konstanz and Germany! I realised that it is six weeks today that I set out. Wowzer. My mileage is now 744.72.

Ok, so before I bore you with events, there are two interesting bits of news to share. Firstly, I shall be joined in Konstanz by my friend, Chloe Loftus. She seemed keen on some adventuring, and after some discussion has decided to join me for an indeterminate period of time. I think it’s very brave to come and do this so off the cuff. Me, I took months of preparation and umming and arring before I finally got my bum off the island. So if you see her in the next couple of days, wish her luck! I’m not sure how it’s going to feel having company. I’ve got so used to being on my own, barely speaking for days, cooking for one etc. But then, I guess that will be an adventure in itself, a departure from what has become my norm and routine.

Secondly, a bit of slightly crap news. I may well not make it to Prague, and there is a very distinct possibility that I will bring the finish line forward to Munich. This is for a number of reasons. For a start, I have covered about 150 miles more than I expected to at this geographical point. My body is starting to really hurt. Just outside of Geneva, I tweaked my hamstring, and a double dose of Nurofen and a hefty splodge of Deep Heat is about all that makes it bearable at the moment. I am very worried it will tear or snap or whatever it is that hamstrings do when they go wrong. Added to that, my knees are pretty bad, and Switzerland has no flat bits, so they’re taking a pounding. And I have just shaken off a horrid cold, which I walked with for the best part of a week. Moan moan winge shut up Paul, you lucky bastard. Also, financial considerations (I can’t keep borrowing from mum and dad!), and I would like to be home in time for my mum’s birthday at the end of September. I’ve decided to make a final call on it in Konstanz. Basically, if I think I can make Prague in no more than three weeks from there, then I’ll go on. If not, as long as I will hit 1000 miles by the time I get there, twill be Munich. Believe me, this will be one of the hardest decisions I ever have to make. I’m so desperate to make it all the way, to complete what I set out to do. And I don’t want to let anyone down, and there is still so far to reach my charity target (HINT: http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulholder) (just to recap that’s http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulholder). Anyway, that’s how it is.

I didn’t really get a chance to describe the hike over the Jura Mountains on the French/Swiss border last time I sent a message, and there was one particular moment I quite wanted to share. The whole four days I was up there were amazing. Grueling, but amazing. The night before I hit the highest peak (Cret de la Neige -1720m) I stayed in a refuge hut with a group of guys and a little girl (don’t worry, they were related – I think). I made a big fire outside after we had eaten, and we sat round.

One by one, they went in and I was alone beside the fire for some time, just watching its motion and the embers flitting off into the mountain night. And as I stared into it, it became hard for me to find where I stopped and it started, if that makes any sense. I found that the way I was feeling was identical to the fire. I had a moment of absolutely, utterly, beyond any doubt or refutation, knowing that everything really is ok, and happening the right way and order. And I realised that, like the fire, parts of me have been burned off in this journey. I knew then that no matter what happens to me in life, there is a line that I shall never drop below again. There is no need for me ever to feel crap again, because there is a mountain hut in a beautiful place I can escape to whenever I want, for 5euros a night (honesty box job). Anyway, that was pretty much one of the best moments I can recall. And there were shooting stars that night.

So what can I say about Switzerland. Well for one, THERE ARE NO FLAT BITS IN SWITZERLAND!!! It is all up and down, threading through valleys. But it is a spectacular place to hike. Rarely out of sight of mountains, clear lakes, forests and always Buddha cows with their jingling bells.

I wasn’t so keen on Geneva. Was full of banks and commerce and other such silly unnecessary things, and stink of money. Was glad to leave and walking along Lake Leman (known as Geneva to you uneducated foreigners) for two days was one of the highlights of my whole trip. Cannot convey how vast it is. Was so wanting to go for a swim, but time and fear of leaving my kit kept me bone dry. One night, I slept about two metres from the water, and awoke to dancing light on crystal water. Happymaking.

The path I am on is so well signposted, which is a relief after the hassle of staying on track across France. Though there have been a couple of moments, especially in Lausanne, where it took me over three hours to find the route. Weather is temperamental. It can be over 30 degrees, clear skies, then ten minutes later, blazing thunderstorm with end-of-days style clouds. But so many picturesque villages to keep me happy. Willisau especially good (will post up pictures when I get time). Had to stop in Fribourg overnight, which I didn’t plan to do, because I was so ill I had stars dancing in my vision. Lowest point so far. Couple of days where my head went completely blank, and I walked in a kind of goofy euphoria, neither feeling pain, nor thinking thought. I became the no-minded nomad, which was nice. Just to be a creature engaged in the most basic of activities is very, very fulfilling. Henry David Thoreau wrote that the cost of anything is the amount of life that has to be exchanged for it. There are times when I would give my all just to stay this way all my days. People in Switzerland are super friendly. I have had people going into shops and coming out with water for me, an old man gave me the best chunk of Emmental cheese I have ever tasted, and even the farmers generally give me a wave. I am in the German speaking region of Switzerland now, so good practice for the road ahead!

I better go and get on with finding a cheap hotel for the night and washing my filthy rags and body. Just to leave on a positive note, here’s something that happened as I lay in my tent beside Lac Leman: I had just eaten my dinner, was lying in the tent listening to the lapping water and the cicadas, when a thought popped into my head: I have never felt more at home. I probed this – did I just mean in the tent, or there beside the lake? No. I realised that I was feeling for the first time that I am at home in the world, the whole thing. Only now that I have knocked down boundaries do I feel a sense of home. I, all of us in fact, was not made so robust and capable to box myself/ourselves in. And in one of those awesome moments of pure synchronicity (there are no coincidences), I opened Thoreau’s Walden (read it) at random and this was the first passage I came across, with which I shall say farewell for now (and please donate, those of you that haven’t, it will mean so so much to me) :

“The very simplicity and nakedness of man’s life in the primitive ages imply this advantage at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain tops. But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper. We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.”

Paul x

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Hello all,

I’m in Lucerne, and it is totally beautiful here. The streets are leafy and the buildings old and leaning. The lake is magnificent turquoise, and seems to capture sunlight then fragment it into a million hues of awesome. Only staying overnight, and loads to sort out, then a five day march to Konstanz and Germany! I realised that it is six weeks today that I set out. Wowzer. My mileage is now 744.72.

Ok, so before I bore you with events, there are two interesting bits of news to share. Firstly, I shall be joined in Konstanz by my friend, Chloe Loftus. She seemed keen on some adventuring, and after some discussion has decided to join me for an indeterminate period of time. I think it’s very brave to come and do this so off the cuff. Me, I took months of preparation and umming and arring before I finally got my bum off the island. So if you see her in the next couple of days, wish her luck! I’m not sure how it’s going to feel having company. I’ve got so used to being on my own, barely speaking for days, cooking for one etc. But then, I guess that will be an adventure in itself, a departure from what has become my norm and routine.

Secondly, a bit of slightly crap news. I may well not make it to Prague, and there is a very distinct possibility that I will bring the finish line forward to Munich. This is for a number of reasons. For a start, I have covered about 150 miles more than I expected to at this geographical point. My body is starting to really hurt. Just outside of Geneva, I tweaked my hamstring, and a double dose of Nurofen and a hefty splodge of Deep Heat is about all that makes it bearable at the moment. I am very worried it will tear or snap or whatever it is that hamstrings do when they go wrong. Added to that, my knees are pretty bad, and Switzerland has no flat bits, so they’re taking a pounding. And I have just shaken off a horrid cold, which I walked with for the best part of a week. Moan moan winge shut up Paul, you lucky bastard. Also, financial considerations (I can’t keep borrowing from mum and dad!), and I would like to be home in time for my mum’s birthday at the end of September. I’ve decided to make a final call on it in Konstanz. Basically, if I think I can make Prague in no more than three weeks from there, then I’ll go on. If not, as long as I will hit 1000 miles by the time I get there, twill be Munich. Believe me, this will be one of the hardest decisions I ever have to make. I’m so desperate to make it all the way, to complete what I set out to do. And I don’t want to let anyone down, and there is still so far to reach my charity target (HINT: http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulholder) (just to recap that’s http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulholder). Anyway, that’s how it is.

I didn’t really get a chance to describe the hike over the Jura Mountains on the French/Swiss border last time I sent a message, and there was one particular moment I quite wanted to share. The whole four days I was up there were amazing. Grueling, but amazing. The night before I hit the highest peak (Cret de la Neige -1720m) I stayed in a refuge hut with a group of guys and a little girl (don’t worry, they were related – I think). I made a big fire outside after we had eaten, and we sat round. One by one, they went in and I was alone beside the fire for some time, just watching its motion and the embers flitting off into the mountain night. And as I stared into it, it became hard for me to find where I stopped and it started, if that makes any sense. I found that the way I was feeling was identical to the fire. I had a moment of absolutely, utterly, beyond any doubt or refutation, knowing that everything really is ok, and happening the right way and order. And I realised that, like the fire, parts of me have been burned off in this journey. I knew then that no matter what happens to me in life, there is a line that I shall never drop below again. There is no need for me ever to feel crap again, because there is a mountain hut in a beautiful place I can escape to whenever I want, for 5euros a night (honesty box job). Anyway, that was pretty much one of the best moments I can recall. And there were shooting stars that night.

So what can I say about Switzerland. Well for one, THERE ARE NO FLAT BITS IN SWITZERLAND!!! It is all up and down, threading through valleys. But it is a spectacular place to hike. Rarely out of sight of mountains, clear lakes, forests and always Buddha cows with their jingling bells. I wasn’t so keen on Geneva. Was full of banks and commerce and other such silly unnecessary things, and stink of money. Was glad to leave and walking along Lake Leman (known as Geneva to you uneducated foreigners) for two days was one of the highlights of my whole trip. Cannot convey how vast it is. Was so wanting to go for a swim, but time and fear of leaving my kit kept me bone dry. One night, I slept about two metres from the water, and awoke to dancing light on crystal water. Happymaking.

The path I am on is so well signposted, which is a relief after the hassle of staying on track across France. Though there have been a couple of moments, especially in Lausanne, where it took me over three hours to find the route. Weather is temperamental. It can be over 30 degrees, clear skies, then ten minutes later, blazing thunderstorm with end-of-days style clouds. But so many picturesque villages to keep me happy. Willisau especially good (will post up pictures when I get time). Had to stop in Fribourg overnight, which I didn’t plan to do, because I was so ill I had stars dancing in my vision. Lowest point so far. Couple of days where my head went completely blank, and I walked in a kind of goofy euphoria, neither feeling pain, nor thinking thought. I became the no-minded nomad, which was nice. Just to be a creature engaged in the most basic of activities is very, very fulfilling. Henry David Thoreau wrote that the cost of anything is the amount of life that has to be exchanged for it. There are times when I would give my all just to stay this way all my days. People in Switzerland are super friendly. I have had people going into shops and coming out with water for me, an old man gave me the best chunk of Emmental cheese I have ever tasted, and even the farmers generally give me a wave. I am in the German speaking region of Switzerland now, so good practice for the road ahead!

I better go and get on with finding a cheap hotel for the night and washing my filthy rags and body. Just to leave on a positive note, here’s something that happened as I lay in my tent beside Lac Leman: I had just eaten my dinner, was lying in the tent listening to the lapping water and the cicadas, when a thought popped into my head: I have never felt more at home. I probed this – did I just mean in the tent, or there beside the lake? No. I realised that I was feeling for the first time that I am at home in the world, the whole thing. Only now that I have knocked down boundaries do I feel a sense of home. I, all of us in fact, was not made so robust and capable to box myself/ourselves in. And in one of those awesome moments of pure synchronicity (there are no coincidences), I opened Thoreau’s Walden (read it) at random and this was the first passage I came across, with which I shall say farewell for now (and please donate, those of you that haven’t, it will mean so so much to me) :

“The very simplicity and nakedness of man’s life in the primitive ages imply this advantage at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain tops. But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper. We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven.”

Paul x

9.22.10 West Virginia, Driving as far as we can.

The two hard-workin’ folks who bring you The Anti Tourist, Ben Britz and myself, are driving RIGHT NOW. We’re driving and hoping to get to Austin this weekend. We’re moving there. We’re experimenting with LIVE blogging. And I just wrote a blog on Facebook! I did it while… LIVE! LIVE from the 1996 Honda Accord with 268,000 miles on it! Keep up with our Facebook page for continued entries from this trip and check out the first chronicling of the journey here.

Elizabeth

THE ANTI TOURIST CARE PACKAGE CONTEST 1

Here at The Anti Tourist, we explore. We explore all the time. We pick up little things here and there from our travels and out of the goodness of our collective hearts, we’ve decided to give you a chance to get shipped a big ol’ box of treasures we find along the way the first of each month. We’ve gathered some neat stuff in our most recent travels, put it together to form a sweet care package, and want to give the care package it to one of y’all.

HOW TO ENTER: Pay attention, this part is important. To enter this month’s contest, simply comment on this post with your personal definition of ‘the anti tourist’. What does it mean to be an anti tourist? Tell us what you think. The person with the answer we like best, or maybe the answer everyone else tells us is best, will win. NOTE: You’ll have to provide us with your address if you win. Otherwise, well, you know, we won’t be able to send you the prize. Contest ends at NOON on Thursday, Sept. 2

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

Printed-by-hand tote bag sporting The Anti Tourist logo

Handmade Rosemary Mint soap from Sunny Meadows Flower Farm

An individually wrapped Blonde Sweetie from Sugardaddy’s

Cup O Joe coffee beans:  Ethiopia Moka Harrar

A box of chocolates from Pure Imagination Chocolatier

Assorted art-heavy postcards found in NYC

Homemade spelt crackers from Stutzman Farms

A classical electric guitar cd bought from subway musician, Matthew Nichols

A gift bag from Faina European Spa in NYC including a Shira Omega 3 Nourishing face mask and a soothing gel mask with plant extracts

Herbal Surrender Hand & Body lotion from Ohio Herb Education Center

Abita Beer koozie from Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tennessee. (Elizabeth loves Purple Haze)

YOU WANT? You should want. Enter! Comment! Tell us what it means to be THE ANTI TOURIST!

What do you want from NYC?

If you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook page, then you know we’re crazy about contests these days. On Sept. 1, our first The Anti Tourist Care Package Contest will launch. You’ll have a chance to get shipped a box of our favorite goodies from our August travels… all for free. Just because. We have only 9 more days left of living in NYC and we figured we’d try to find out what you guys think we should throw into the care package from NYC. We’ll take a hint based on the results, don’t worry.