Monday, April 10, 2017

Skyscanner App: Groucho Marx Edition



Skyscanner is an app and website that helps you find cheap airfare. Here's one link to search for flights under 600 USD: Flights Under 600 USD (posted April 5, 2017)

I just joined their rewards and blogging program as an experiment. The advice they give travel bloggers is in-depth and technical, and I'll probably do the least amount of compliance necessary to stay in the program and lurk. So far, it looks like I just have to post two links in each blog post, and I plan on making them as unobtrusive as possible.  [Update: Kelsey from Skyscanner tells me, "you actually don't have to do anything. It’s completely up to you how much or how little you want to talk about Skyscanner."  I may end up liking these people.] 

Groucho Marx once wrote, "I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." I like being an individual; though there's no "i" in team, there is one in "integrity." Life is all about finding your own voice and making the journey from unfunny happy dippy weatherman to subversive truth-teller. 

Besides, I refuse to do the fake smiles and posed photos (damn the duckface) that have become the norm.  I'm rarely in my own travel pictures. I will admit to using filters (blame Instagram for compromising my originality, but its "rise" filter is perfect for too-dark photos). 

Mind you, I have nothing against people who try to become internet superstars--I just want to contribute something more useful than another picture on the beach. When I travel, I try to talk to as many people as I can and observe the local economy. People may delude themselves about what they enjoy and like, but how people treat others and spend their money and time never lies. 

I'll never forget seeing a beautiful, model-like Cambodian woman walking down a main street. I asked her for directions because Google Maps wasn't getting a sufficient signal, and she repeated my question to a much older, darker-skinned, blue-collar tuk-tuk driver in Khmer. He flashed her a look of scorn as if to say, "You may speak better English than me and wear nicer clothes, but I can still refuse to talk to someone I consider overly flashy and a sell-out." I never got my answer. 

I look for as many "real" moments as I can handle. In the aggregate, they give me clues, "Finding Dory-style," that help me on my journey.   

I'm going to the Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, and the land of Fidel (now Raul) Castro. On my last trip, I visited 18 countries in 5 months and didn't blog until the very end, where I promptly spat out all my thoughts in one article: https://goo.gl/2yHs3m. We'll see what happens this time. 

https://goo.gl/ml6Dq6

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