What gets into people when they go on vacation? Are we so relaxed that we don’t think straight? There seems to be a plethora of incredibly stupid acts by people traveling, a number of which are occurring within our national parks. Forget the idiotic speeding on our nation’s highways or the things college kids get up to when they get their school break. I’m talking about otherwise normal and sane adults who just leave their brains at home.
I’m lucky enough to get to Yellowstone once a year, if not more, and it never ceases to amaze me how up close and personal one can get to the wildlife there—sometimes a bit too up close. Most of us have now heard of the man and his son who put a baby bison in the back of their car to take to the rangers, thinking he looked cold. Really? I don’t know what to even say about the thought process behind that one, although I learned they were from South Africa and that seems to be the norm over there. Huh?
|Cristal nervously sits in car as buffalo passes by|
My daughter and I were on the road when a herd of bison came meandering down; the size of their heads alone is enough to put the fear of God into you. But apparently not to some—take the woman who decided to snap a selfie with a bison, then was surprised when he knocked her over. Actually, she was lucky, considering she expected a 2000 lb. animal to just stand there and behave.
Have a good look at the hot springs and geysers in the park and think about what it might be like to fall in. Despite numerous signs warning visitors not to leave the walkways, there has already been a death in Yellowstone this year due to people leaving the boardwalks and going on to the delicate travertine terraces surrounding them. Another visitor decided to stroll off to get a cup of medicinal sulphur water; that cup of water cost him a $1000 fine. Luckily for him, he didn’t pay with his life.
|Yellowstone: would you leave the boardwalk?|
The old adage of leave only footprints, take only photographs seems to be long forgotten in some circles. On a list I found of fourteen incredibly stupid things tourists have done, a good number of them were desecrating monuments or memorials. Two American sisters were deported from Cambodia after taking nude selfies in front of the sacred temples at Angkor Wat. In my neck of the woods, people have scaled the Brooklyn Bridge to get a good shot of the New York skyline, and spilled coffee on the carved names at the Ground Zero Memorial. The list goes on.
Some of these idiocies have to do with people’s expectations and lack of knowledge, especially when it comes to traveling abroad. I found several lists of things American tourists have said about their vacations, and it made me wonder, do we know nothing about geography, history, and other cultures? Here’s a small sample: “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish”; “We went to a Mexican restaurant in Rome and the waiter was Italian. You assured us Italy was the best place for an authentic food experience”; "Why did the queen build Windsor Castle so close to Heathrow Airport?"; "How do I know which plane to get on? I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them"; “There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights”; “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
So I leave you with one last word: THINK!
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