The list is endless of the places one can go thanks to the camcorder efforts of the average tourist. YouTube to them is much easier to utilize than maintaining their own website while still wanting to share images of their vacations, honeymoons or family get-togethers with the rest of the world at large. The wisdom in posting some of these private moments is equally endless in debate but there they are for the curious and voyeuristic alike.
The thing that intrigues me about these images is being reminded that the rest of the world is alive and going about its business the same as I might be doing at that same moment in time. The more mundane things like rush hour traffic in Paris don't hold my attention for too long beyond simply seeing it and comparing it to the commute experience in, say, Washington, D.C. Simple things like people in other countries playing with their dogs just as I would mine at the end of a long day. Of course people have pets in other parts of the world but it doesn't register that they would or that the interactions appear to be exactly the same but for the language involved. A particularly funny moment involved unaware American tourists getting an up close view of a male camel bellowing romantically to any nearby female.
All of us have a list of places we've always wanted to go but for one reason or another are not quite sure we will ever get there. One of those for me is Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in southern Africa on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. I stumbled across a video of a prone tourist floating in a tidal pool at the very edge of the 300-foot falls, his body at the surface with his head over the edge as if he could wash over the cataract at any second, proof of the power of the falls thundering seemingly at the end of his outstretched arms. I mean, seriously? The political environment in Zimbabwe and general health concerns in the area notwithstanding, I gotta do that!
Being an airplane nut I experienced as much of the inflight experience with the A380 as possible before actually flying on the plane for the first time in 2009. Watching 747s land in St. Maarten is not on my list of accomplishments yet but heaven knows there is plenty of footage taken by others who have experienced the good and bad of being that close to the engines on the beach head just at the end of the runway.
If I never get to any of these places they are only a click away on the internet without the marketing shills pushing upscale hotels and high end restaurants at me in to the bargain. The only thing I haven't done is post any of my own. Remember that debate about the wisdom of such a move?