Friday, November 6, 2009

Did You Really...?

As in visit a state or a country if you weren't there long enough to at least bed down for a night?

I’d written previously about a Day Trip to Copenhagen that touched on the subject of whether or not the full Denmark experience could be had in less than 24 hours on the ground. While that may be possible, even the only option in The Vatican, San Marino or the island nation of Nauru it begs further consideration in larger countries or any place with a long and storied history such as Denmark. Personally I like to at least bunk in for a day or two and hopefully visit more than one destination in a given place but here are four types of day tripping that I've been just as guilty of.

“The Turnaround” – These are the visa and postcard collectors who are on the ground only as long as it takes to walk, ride or fly back across the border. One clever trick might include a six hour layover in Tokyo; knowing they have plenty of time to get hung up in customs they’ll officially “enter” Japan then go right back upstairs, complete the exit formalities for leaving the country and calmly proceed to the gate for their continuing flight, passport stamped, veteran immigration officials completely unperturbed.

“The Pass Thru” - Some in the US will say that as long as they cross the border to a state, they’ve been there. Rhode Island, Delaware and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi come to mind as places “on the way” to somewhere else that take less than an hour to drive thru. The exits seem to be for locals or tourists who need gas. Heck, I’ve talked to people in San Francisco who only set foot in Oakland while heading to Tahoe.

“The Port Call” - Cruise lines are famous for shore excursions, this we all know, but a weeklong sail through the Baltic still only gives you nine hours in Stockholm. Sweden is larger than Germany but it has only one city worth seeing and even then for barely half a day? I find that hard to believe for the sake of Sweden. They say you can always come back but how many people really do once the bloom is off the stem?

“The Border Patrol” - San Diegans and Texans are famous day-trippers in to Mexico but are they aware that beyond the five miles in they went to do some shopping there is over 3200 miles of country between Tijuana and Cancun? The European Union is designed exactly for such things, especially for anyone sharing a border with the Low Countries. A majority of the greater distances are flown these days but the point and question remains – is one toe over the line the same experience as the whole enchilada?

One thing I'd bet for sure is, "real" visit or not, the states, nations and merchants of the world would all welcome you for a day versus not at all!

Gotta go!

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