Books, Travel Ideas

101 Experimental Travel Ideas

In a parody of the Lonely Planet’s rather pathetic Experimental Travel, Road Junky got drunk and came up with 101 Ridiculous Travel Ideas

The Lonely Planet have decided that they’ve squeezed all the fun out of travel with their homogenising guidebooks and have released the Experimental Travel Guide to inspire people to hit the road in quirky ways.

At Road Junky, we think this is a bit crap. Travel is already interesting enough in a planet as convoluted and changing as this one. Travel only gets boring when you yourself become boring. But then one gets the impression that the Lonely Planet editors might be train spotters from the looks of them.

Still, after a few beers we got creative and came out with 101 rather ridiculous ways to travel the globe. Some are funny, some a bit stupid and some are even good ideas. You can make up your mind which.

1. Travel to get drunk on as many distinct kinds of alcohol as you can find.

2. Visit every Muslim country on the planet to compare the faith by geographic region.

3. Make it your mission to get laid in every capital city in the world, refusing to leave until you accomplish your mission. But you can’t pay for sex.

4. Collect a little holy water from every sacred source of water on the planet and mix it all up in one bottle – then sell it to a rich hippie for a million at the end as a cure-all tonic.

5. Take a vow of silence and travel the world speaking only in sign language.

6. Travel with no money at all as a wandering monk.

7. Hitchhike everywhere for a year, including planes and boats.

8. Start your own religion and walk the earth to find converts.

9. Travel with a Polaroid camera and take photos of everyone you see and make them a present of the image.

10. Travel the world eating only what you can hunt or gather. Shoplifting doesn’t count.

11. Perform every pilgrimage possible, including Hajj to Mecca.

12. Go looking for ghosts in every corner of the world that has a tradition of haunted houses, woods or rice paddies.

13. Travel the world learning every martial art you can find, from capoeira in Brazil to stick fighting in Kerala, India.

14. Become a travelling student of shamanism, tracking down every medicine man you can find who will give you herbs to explore other worlds.

15. Cross as many borders as you can illegally, joining up with all the other immigrants.

16. Learn every kind of musical instrument that exists, from panpipes in Peru to the African finger piano.

17. Spend your life drifting from music festival to music festival – there’s always one on somewhere.

18. Head from one religious festival to the next across the world – there’s always one on somewhere.

19. Pack a rucksack full of rice, lentils, dried fruit and a good pot and head off into nature to see how long you can live by yourself.

20. Try living homeless and broke in major cities across the world and learn how the destitute survive.

21. Visit all the great works of art in the world from the painted monasteries of Romania to the Andy Warhol museum in New York.

22. Join and infiltrate as many political parties as you can around the world.

23. Graffiti your name on walls, toilets and sides of trains in as many countries as you can.

24. Fly to Jerusalem and convince a rabbi that you’ve always felt you were Jewish on the inside and wish to convert.

25. Fly to any Muslim country and become a Muslim in minutes.

26. Go celebrate with all the weirdest Born Again Christian churches in the US, from the Gospel churches of the Deep South to the uptight Mormons of Utah.

27. Take a mini-disc player with you around the world and ask everyone you meet to sing a song for you.

28. Travel the world learning how to dance, from salsa and samba to Thai country dances.

29. Travel to learn as many languages as you can possibly stuff into your head.

30. Travel with a pencil and sketchbook to draw all the major cities of the world.

31. Visit prisoners in jails across the world to compare conditions.

32. Get yourself imprisoned in jails around the world on minor offences to compare conditions.

33. Visit the world by alphabet. So: Albania to Brazil to Colombia to Denmark to Egypt to Finland to Greece to Honduras to India to Japan to Korea to Lithuania to Mexico to Nicaragua to Oman to Poland to Qatar to Rhwanda to Somalia to Thailand to Uganda to the Vatican to Wales to X (anywhere) to Yemen to (New) Zealand.

34. Travel to gamble, from plush casinos to bingo halls to cock fights and camel racing.

35. Learn to cook the national cuisine of every country you come to.

36. Get stoned around the world on as many psychedelics as you can find, from peyote in Mexico to Kava in Hawaii.

37. Set up a gas stove and feed the people in each country you come to.

38. Travel with a fridge – oh, no, that’s been done already.

39. Visit every squat and occupied public building around the world.

40. Visit every independent community around the world.

41. Go meditate in every ashram and temple around the world.

42. Head to the roughest part of town in each place you go to and pick a fight with the local heavies.

43. Collect as many kinds of national dress as you can until you can wear each for one day a month, from kilts to turbans to loin cloths.

44. Follow Paul Theroux’s example and make a detailed cultural analysis of each country according to its pornography.

45. Travel with a guitar and write a song about each country you pass through.

46. Collect emails from every backpacker you meet at hostels for a year and then sell the list to a spammer.

47. Join every political party that will accept you around the world.

48. Throw yourself at the feet of every guru or spiritual leader on the planet to gain his or her blessing.

49. Get a job and get fired in as many countries as possible.

50. Visit every country around the world where languages are on the point of dying and learn (in Manx, Tiwi and Provencal) how to say ‘well, that’s the end of that’

51. Film three minutes of the busiest city scene in countries across the world and make a collage of all the footage.

52. Take photos of old people across the planet and the way they live.

53. Make a tour of all the world’s biggest refugee camps, helping out in each.

54. Head from war zone to war zone until you finally catch a stray bullet.

55. Try to get in as many newspapers and magazines as possible worldwide.

56. Make a tour of the circumference of all the world’s islands.

57. Run every marathon on the planet.

58. Aim to catch some of the most interesting diseases on the planet, from hook worm to typhoid, from dengue to herpes.

59. Climb the biggest mountain in every country.

60. Get healing and therapy from every kind of medicine in the world, from acupuncture in China to macumba witch doctor cures in Brazil.

61. Go hunting across the world for as many different un-endangered species as people still hunt for.

62. Live by going from one Rainbow Gathering to the next, there’s always one on somewhere.

63. Get lost in all the major deserts of the world.

64. Get yourself kidnapped by as many rebel gangs as you can, from the FARC in Colombia to the rebels in Yemen.

65. Visit cemeteries and graveyards across the world and note down all the best epitaphs.

66. Travel to buy all the best kitsch tourist souvenirs possible and make a museum of it all back home.

67. Track down all the most poisonous creatures in the world and tease them in honour of Steve Irwin.

68. Travel without going anywhere via the internet – just enter the name of the first country on your list and immerse yourself in all the websites about that area, using Google Earth to simulate the environment.

69. Learn a healing art and set up a mat in marketplaces to heal one and all for free.

70. Become a travelling snake oil salesman. “Hey there, old timer – how about some relief from those aching joints?”

71. Travel to catch all the most important sports events around the world, from the Super Bowl to the America’s cup.

72. Collect as many different charms and talismans from superstitious cultures around the world to ward off the Evil Eye.

73. Buy bags of seeds in each country you come to, go live in nature and each day when you go to take a shit, dig a hole and plant a tree. In no time you’ll have a forest.

74. Visit every bizarre sex event in the world from the Berlin Pornographic Film Festival to the Erots Erotic Festival in Riga, Latvia.

75. Throw yourself fervently into fundraising and canvassing for political campaigns across the world, no matter what they actually stand for.

76. Visit the ruins of every ancient civilisation that left anything behind, from the Mayan pyramids in Mexico to the stone monuments in Easter Island.

77. Learn some cool sleight of hand tricks and cheer up children with magic tricks in hospitals around the world.

78. Try to eat the flesh of as many creatures as possible, from maggots in Sardinia to jellyfish in Korea.

79. Visit all the most famous scenes of your favourite movies, from Harry Potter in Oxford University to Lord of the Rings in New Zealand.

80. Learn to fake alarming medical conditions and get interned in hospitals across the world.

81. Visit every sacred site in nature around the globe, from Mount Kailash in Tibet to Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Australia.

82. Go to live with tribes around the world, from jungle dwellers in the Philippines to Bushmen in the Kalahari.

83. Get a tattoo in each country that you go to, each one reflecting something about that place, until your entire body is covered.

84. Throw up in a McDonald’s in every country in the world.

85. Write a novel that takes place in 101 countries and visit them all to be able to describe the plot setting.

86. Make friends in 101 countries and then invite them all to your home for a big party, paying for their visas and flights if necessary.

87. Go looking for Bin Laden.

88. Go visit the graves of all your favourite musicians, actors and writers who died young.

89. Follow every major river in the world up to its source.

90. Visit all the places of extreme weather – typhoons in the Philippines, dust storms in the Gobi, whirlwinds in Kansas…

91. Establish an island made out of discarded plastic water bottles in every tourist trap.

92. Walk from village to village in Africa and teach them how to build solar ovens

93. Make new maps of the world as you go.

94. Set up camp in the middle of India or in the Amazon forest and build your own private army.

95. Train up in the Tarot and the I Ching and let them guide your path.

96. Pretend to be a fashion photographer and travel to shoot all the super models.

97. Bury recorded messages from our time under the earth in various different countries so that aliens will find out what happened to us once we wipe our own race out. You can use Kurt Vonnegut’s quote: We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard … and too damn cheap

98. Buy a yacht, a dinghy or a kayak and never set foot on dry land again.

99. Travel the world collecting jokes in every country.

100. Travel the world learning songs in every country.

101. Spend $25 on a big, heavy guidebook called Experimental Travel and take the geeky suggestions remotely seriously…