Monthly Archives: February 2015

No More Excuses! Why it’s Time For You to Travel – An Excerpt from You Can Keep Your Adventure. Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper

pr-planeIn anticipation of the upcoming release of my travel guide You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper, I have modified the penultimate chapter to give you a taste of the kind of insight (and humor) you can expect.

Just a brief word of caution, I’m going to be blunt: Get out of your chair!!!

“But, wait!” you might say, followed by any number of excuses with varying degrees of legitimacy. I don’t want to hear it. If you’ve been following this blog that means you’re fully informed and therefore no longer unaware of all that you’re missing. Hear me out as I break down your excuses with both how and why it’s time for you to start traveling.

I Don’t Have Enough Money to Travel

Do you honestly think anything so lame as money would stop a real traveler from traveling? Granted, how and in what style you travel is dictated by your finances; but it should never be the determining factor to go or not go. So you don’t have much money; big deal! Most of my adult life I was just above the financial waterline myself. The key is in setting priorities. For example, which will mean more to you in another ten years – a new TV or that cruise you booked for a steal? By keeping your burdens as light as possible and setting aside a little at a time, most people this side of the poverty line can at least do something.

If money is really tight – and believe me; I know what that feels like – why not try something of short duration and close to home? Can’t afford an air ticket? Take the train or do a road trip. Maybe it’s not as exotic as you would like, but it can still encapsulate all that is good about the act of traveling; and the deposit in your memory bank will be greater than the withdrawal from your real one.

I Don’t Have Time to Travel

I’ve got one word for you – lame! Nobody has enough time to do everything they want to do, so it again comes down to priorities. Just as you would drop your loose change into a jar, scrounge up as many vacation days as you can. Budget your time so that you can steal away – even if it’s just for a weekend. No one says you have to spend half a year backpacking through Asia. I myself have never been away longer than three and a half weeks at a clip. It’s not the quantity but the quality the counts, just as it does in every other aspect of life. If traveling is really something you want to do, you will find the time to do it. I know you’re busy; I am too, but that still doesn’t count as a valid excuse. Nice try, though.

I Don’t Know How to Plan a Trip

I believe you. With so many options and variables, even those who work in the industry sometimes feel like their head is about to explode. But no one is saying you have to do it all yourself. Find yourself a knowledgeable travel agent or talk to someone who knows the drill. For example, this blog is full of ideas and advice. If you lack confidence, start with something small; a cruise, a road trip, an all-inclusive. Once you recognize that you’re a reasonably intelligent human being and that this isn’t advanced Quantum Physics, your confidence and sense of adventure can only grow.

I’m Scared

I’m not going to patronize you and say that there’s nothing to be worried about. The world is a scary, unstable place. But you know what? The same is true where you live. To overcome your fears you have to first learn why you have them. I realize this might be unpleasant. Finding the root of your fears is like giving a prostate exam – uncomfortable even if you do manage to put your finger on it. Still, all it takes is to realize that the benefits far outweigh the risk, and much like that exam, it will leave you with greater peace of mind.

Traveling is a Hassle. I’d Rather Just Read About It

OK, it’s time for me to pull out the big guns. Let me tell you about the best meal I’ve ever eaten. It was in the restaurant of a tiny hotel overlooking a valley on the Italian island of Ponza. First came the antipasto – a delicious medley of fresh olives and cheese bathed in a light drizzle of olive oil. Next came the rice balls and potato croquettes. After that the waiter brought out a heaping dish of linguini with shrimp topped by a dusting of fresh-ground parmesan cheese. Finally, after well over an hour of eating, came the main course – baked swordfish that was caught just that morning. I’d describe it further but it’s hard to see through all the tears welling up in my eyes at the memory alone. Suffice to say it was fabulous, especially when washed down by salad, dessert and a potent bottle of the local wine.

Now why would I torture you (and myself) by describing in great detail this delicious feast? To illustrate the downside of living solely through description. Maybe with lots of effort I can convey the crispiness of the rice balls; the soft texture of the pasta; the heady flavor of the wine that was likely bottled right there in the basement – but I can tell you truthfully; it doesn’t compare to actually experiencing it firsthand.

Have I made my point? Travel is the same thing. You can read about the Taj Mahal, but witnessing it in person is a whole different animal. I can tell you about how charming the Brazilian town of Parati can be, but until you’ve walked those uneven cobblestone streets bathed in half-light to the sound of a street musician, it’s all just theoretical. I know traveling can be a hassle – nobody likes being on a plane for long stretches of time – but it still doesn’t replace making the scenes you’ve heard described here your own.

I’m a Quadriplegic with Anxiety Disorders Chained to a Radiator in the Basement

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this exact same excuse (actually, I can) but if this is you, I will readily concede that your excuse is valid. In fact I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this post. From the sound of things, it doesn’t seem like you’ve got much else going for you.

Though I’m sure there are many more excuses you can come up with, I don’t have time to address them all. I think that in all things, anyone actively looking for an excuse can find one. I don’t feel any particular rancor toward those that do. I just feel kind of sad. Along with relationships, experiences are among the most valuable things a person can ever have. Missing out on that great adventure is akin to never meeting a person that would one day be one of your dearest friends. So don’t let that happen to you. I know your chair is comfy. I know you might already be in your PJ’s. Just start making your travel plans and leave the excuses for someone else – because I’m not buying them.

If you haven’t already done so, check out the preview of You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper by clicking here and stay tuned to this blog for more release details.

Categories: Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , ,

If Humor is the Spice of Life, Get Ready for Some Paprika: Preview of You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper

bookcover6Greetings readers! I’m very excited to finally reveal a preview of my upcoming travel book You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper. I’m also pleased to share the final cover design, which for those of you who voted can see, is an amalgamation of the two top finalists. Thanks for your help with that.

While I’m still smoothing out a few final details, the description below ought to whet your appetite for the final product, which should be available by the end of February or early March. The following would be printed on the back cover if only this weren’t an ebook, and therefore without a proper back cover. The goal is to lure the reader to want to know more. I’d appreciate your feedback if you think this description can do the trick. So, here it goes…


Let’s face it—not all who enjoy the concept of travel have the will or circumstances to do so. Even if you are brave enough to venture out into the big wide world, it’s likely you’re only willing to do so if you have access to indoor plumbing. If that rings true in your case, then this book is for you.

You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper is a travel guide specifically designed for the armchair traveler and aspiring globetrotter. Far from being a dry recitation of facts, this book was conceived to inspire and instruct as well as entertain. Combining destination reviews, travel tips and original photos, author and travel expert Ben Pastore will have you grinning your way across all seven continents in this witty compilation that’s two parts travel guide, one part laughs. Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

Section 1 – Introduction to Wanderlust Here you’ll learn such concepts as how to find the right travel inspiration in A Picture is Worth a Thousand Miles; how to enhance your vacation experience in Maximization and Other Made-Up Travel Terms; and find out how to keep track of the countries you’ve visited in You Know Where You Are by Who Comes to Arrest You.

Section 2 – The Witty Traveler’s Guide to the Planet This destination guidebook will take you on a lighthearted tour of over 40 locales in some 30 countries around the globe. Experience the joy of African animal encounters in When A Cheetah Licks Your Head, Try Not to Laugh; visit the world’s greatest monument in Why the Taj Mahal Will Land Your Husband in Hot Water; and discover why New Zealand is the most beautiful place ever in The Best Spot on Earth? Can You Repeat the Question?

Section 3 – Looting the Planet – A Collection of Lessons Lifted from the World In this highly practical section you’ll delve into how to make your travel memories last forever, along with valuable insider tips in chapters such as How to Accidentally Write Your Own Autobiography, How to Make Your Travel Photos So Interesting That People Won’t Paint Their Toenails, and When on Tour, Don’t Sit Next to the Jerk.

Whether you’re an armchair traveler by choice or circumstance, with You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper you can still explore the world from the comfort of your own living room. Finally there’s a travel guide for those who love to travel but still like being able to flush. Touring the planet without getting up has never been so easy.


If after reading this preview you don’t feel even the slightest inclination to read the book, allow me to apologize in advance. In the coming weeks you will see excerpts, interviews and other related posts. Please don’t be overwhelmed. I suggest you either scroll past it really fast or plug your ears and say “La,la,la,la,la,la,la” over and over again. It’ll be over before you know it.

If you did feel enthused by this description, be sure to leave a comment – whether its an idea as to how to make it better or a word of encouragement.

Note To Bloggers: If you have a blog and are amenable to posting a review, I will happily send you an advanced reading copy free of charge. You can contact me directly at

Thanks for your attention and I look forward to sharing more with you.

Categories: Anecdotes, Travel Tips

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