ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Things Go Bad: The Literature of Bad Trips

Updated on August 7, 2012

A Deadly Mountain

Though beautiful from a distance, Mount Everest has claimed the lives of many climbers
Though beautiful from a distance, Mount Everest has claimed the lives of many climbers | Source

Changing World of Travel

Today, travelers and travel writers have journeyed to all corners of the globe, for it is still possible, to find isolated places that are worlds apart from the hometown and country you grew up. Satellite communication has put a different spin to such trips, for even remote places, now have wireless phone service. A chilling example of this phenomena occurs on the pages of Into Thin Air, when a mountaineering guide, named Rob Hall, makes a phone call from the summit of Mt. Everest to his wife in New Zealand after he knows that rescue is impossible and soon he will succumb to the elements.

Mishaps

Fortunately, not all bad trips end in disaster. for sometimes travel experiences involve those embarrassing situations and lighthearted moments that always seem to pop up when two different cultures and ways of living collide. Even though calamity and bad luck may place the unlucky traveler in a perilous predicament, that same person might return home to tell his tale. Who knows he or she might even end up as a successful or at least a well-read travel writer.

Bad Weather

Thunder above Madeira waters in Portugal
Thunder above Madeira waters in Portugal | Source

In Print

To verify this phenomena just visit the travel section in almost any bookstore and you will discover numerous titles devoted to non-fatal bad trips and other travel misfortunes. What once was a fringe area for adventurous writers, has now clearly become a marketable quality. While in Twain's day, "Following the Equator" may have run against the grain and challenged popular thinking, today his viewpoint is celebrated and extolled by writers all across the planet. You might say, it's kind of "in" to be an outsider, especially in the field of literature.

A Walk In the Woods

One of the more successful practitioners of this self-depreciating art would definitely include Bill Bryson, who wrote a hiking book, called A Walk In the Woods. In essence, this offbeat traveler's tale revolves around two hikers, who do not complete a planned hike from Georgia to Maine, as planned. In contrast to the considerable accumulation of written material published by "through" hikers, the quirky exploits of Bryson and his overweight sidekick, have found a large worldwide audience and redefined the literature on trail hiking.

The Trail

Certain types of hiking imply risk
Certain types of hiking imply risk | Source

"Bad Trip" Anthologies

Then there is the "bad trip" anthology, a strange new creation, where an editor, collects a slurry of written accounts, extolling the virtues and excitement of surviving misfortune.....Adrenaline junkies, anybody? Such titles can be found in almost any bookselling venues, often being put into circulation from many of the small or obscure publishing houses that make up today's publishing scene. A quick look around the web reveals a covey of intriguing titles, such as "Bad Trips" edited by Keath Fraser and "The Titantic Awards" put together by Doug Lansky. And don't forget the Travelers Tales series of female misadventures, which go by such provocative names, as "The Thong Also Rises" and "Sand In My Bra".

Edward Abby's Famous Words

Along a similar note are the misadventure books produced by one far-ranging writer. "No Touch Monkey" by Ayun Halliday, the "Lunatic Express" by Carl Hoffman, "Round Ireland With A Fridge" by Tony Hawks and "Sex Lives With Cannibals" by J. Maarten Troost are just a few titles that come to mind in this regard. In fact, you might have your own story that could one day find its way into such a collection.....Though you shouldn't forget what Edward Abby once noted,

"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube. There are some things one would rather have done than do.”

Rescue

Some mishaps can be salvaged by a rescue effort
Some mishaps can be salvaged by a rescue effort | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)