Before I became obsessed with the college process, I had a more interesting and rewarding passion – exotic travel. My fascination with undiscovered places began on a Latin American odyssey beween undergraduate and graduate school (before they invented the term “gap year”), and since then I’ve made it a point of visiting ancient ruins or Indian markets or island paradises as often as possible.
Alas, for now my life has been reduced to planning jaunts to Ithaca, NY. But it won’t be long before once again I’m off to Ithaca, Greece. Until that day comes, I vicariously plan vacations on the internet. One of my favorite travel sites is www.fodors.com. Thousands of fanatic travelers hang out on the Fodors discussion forum, ready to answer queries about the right hat to wear in Papua New Guinea or the best hut for baboon sightings in Botswana.
Two years ago, the regulars on the Fodors Asian board proved to be invaluable in helping me plan a dream journey to Southeast Asia and Tokyo. The vacation ended up being a collection of peak experiences, including a visit to a school in the Cambodian jungle and elephant-whisperer training on the Mehkong River.
In gratitude, I wrote a long trip report, using the screen name “crosscheck” (which is what the pilot says just before a plane lands, although I’m not sure what it is they’re checking). In my report I shared hotel, restaurant and malaria med tips. I also described the events that led to the purchase of my husband’s favorite souvenir ever, an oscillating, self-cleaning Japanese toilet.
My Fodors trip report was the only blog-like epic I had ever posted on the internet before this whole college thing started, honest. So I am still in shock that somebody from the Fodors board a) found this blog and b) figured out that it was written by the purchaser of the toilet.
Here’s what happened. I went to the Fodor’s Asian board discovered the trip report of a family that had visited the same places where we had gone:
Date: 06/05/2008, 01:06 amHi jgg – I haven’t been on Fodor’s for several months (because I’ve been compulsively planning college tours) and just discovered this thread. As you know, we went to the exact same places for the same amt. of time. Will read and comment soon!
Date: 06/05/2008, 01:31 am
crosscheck – I definitely remember!! Your’s was the first trip report I read when I started to plan our trip, and the only one I got my hubby to read!! LOL!
Hope you write a trip report on the college trip. My daughter will be a junior next year and I think we will be doing that trip next summer!! BTW, a friend just told me about this blog www.theneuroticparent.com. I suspect you will find things to relate to and laugh your head off. In all honesty, as I recall your style of writing, you could very well be the author!!!
Date: 06/05/2008, 02:25 am
A is also entering Jr year in the Fall & I am already starting to plan on the Campus tours but am a little disadvantaged being in TKY. Will do my best to do what we can from here.
Will read the neuroticparent in good time.
Thanks for the tip !!!
Date: 06/05/2008, 12:17 pm
Just be sure you do THEneuroticparent and not just neurotic parent, or you will be on the blog of the parent of a toddler, rather than reading about the trials and tribulations of the parent of a junior in highschool!!
Date: 06/06/2008, 12:04 am
Wow, jgg. You deserve a PhD in Comparative Blogature.
And I thought the web was supposed to be a fairly large place. My 14-year just said that this is “too insane a coincidence” and told me to make sure the doors are locked.
I guess it is time to confess to my fellow Fodorites: I, crosscheck, am also the Neurotic Parent. I have left the world of ancient ruins and spicy food for the world of beer pong and a cappella groups.
Date: 06/06/2008, 12:19 am
jgg and crosscheck-that has to me one of the strangest examples of “small world” I have seen in a long time! How funny…
For the rest of this thread, go to
My younger son, Brown’16, thinks that jgg is an internet stalker who uses IP addresses to find people. But she seems too nice for that. I can’t believe that someone who agonized over the correct footwear to wear while riding an elephant would spend her time linking blog styles unless it were for the good of society. In fact, I’m the one who’s the bad guy on her thread – I caused her upbeat Asian narrative to deteriorate into a discussion of college admissions drama.
The Neurotic Parent Institute suspects that jgg, who lives in Southern Oregon, is a graduate student in the new, multidisciplinary field of Blog Forensics. She must have noticed my excessive use of dashes and parentheses when, as crosscheck, I was describing our toilet’s airdrying capabilities – (in addition to the heated seat). Then, using advanced neurolinguistic research methods enhanced with zen concentration developed during her Asian travels, sent out mindful energy to neurotic in New York, who provided her with this link.
Congratulations, jgg. You are on your way to receiving a Fulbright in this exciting new field. And welcome to our new Fodors readers. I dare to report that there’s another trip coming up.