Sunday, March 28, 2010

I want to go to Glamp

I work in the hospitality industry, in a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan. All the time, and I mean everyday, tourists complain about the street noise, the traffic, the weather, construction, parades, and every other daily occurence that happens in New York. They travel 17 hours and then refuse to eat dinner more than 3 blocks away from their hotel. They want to shop at Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and other stores whose brands are easily accessible online. Which begs the question, why did they come here? Why come to New York, the big exciting city, and then complain that it is, in fact, big and exciting. Why travel across the world but only really interact with the aspects of another culture that are available at home?

People need to be honest about the kind of experience they are looking for. They want something different from their normal schedule...but not too different. They want to relate to places they have seen in their favorite movies, but still live in their real lives. They want something new, but they want to be comfortable. Mostly, I think they want to be able to say they’ve been somewhere important. So they’re not interested in getting to know the nooks and crannies of a new place, they’re interested in being able to list the landmarks they’ve seen that their family and friends back home are familiar with, and will be impressed by.

Similar to these tourists, I want an escape from my daily routine. I live in the concrete jungle and want to reconnect with nature, breathe fresh air, feel grass between my toes, and chill out man. I want to go camping.

Unlike many of New York’s tourists, however, I can be honest about my intentions. I want to go camping, but I don’t really want to go camping camping. I want to surround myself with the beauty of nature while retaining my creature comforts. I want running water, and a bed. Hotel Chatter, a great website for those “in the industry” (how legit does that make me sound?) and those who just like to stay in hotels (read: everybody), has a perfect term for what I want to do. I want to go glamping. Specifically at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle, in the jungles of Thailand. Here, I can say that I truly got away from it all, got in touch with nature, probably “found myself”, and stayed in a tent. (see “tent” below)

Let me just say this about the Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle: elephant trekking, drinx, and spa treatments are included in the demure $1,550 per tent. Goodbye life savings, hello glamping.

This could be me and my elephant friend.

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