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Another way to say "Off the beaten path"?
Old 08-03-2014, 07:00 AM   #1
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Another way to say "Off the beaten path"?

I debated where to first ask this question. Decided on the ER site because of the high quality of thoughtful writing here. I mean, y'all even use complete sentences most of the time. ;-)

Anyway, I'm trying to banish my travel writing use of 'off the beaten path' (OTBP) both because it's a cliche and it's too long for a tag. I've been playing with ideas and am open to more.

Anything about the road less traveled, roads diverging in a wood, etc., are out because they're cliches and I'm not worthy to sharpen Robert Frost's pencils.

Anything 'undiscovered' because of its outsider point of view. The locals know about it.

'Alternative'. Has too many associations besides OTBP.
'Free Range Traveling'. Good for a perpetual traveler but too broad for my use.
'Traveling at the Speed of Whim'. Ditto, too long and borderline precious.
'Unguided Travel'. By definition covers all independent travelers and their destinations.

Haven't rejected these yet:
'Following the locals'
'Mostly locals'.

They appeal because my idea of OTBP is somewhere reachable and known, but may require more research and effort than someplace listed in the Lonely Planet. First one works better as a phrase. The second works as a tag but must be embedded in a phrase to make sense. Another attraction is it allows me to reference 'The Princess Bride', which I love to do The Princess Bride - Rotten Tomatoes
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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You pose a very interesting question. One thought that comes to mind is "travel al fresco". The Italian phrase "al fresco" means literally "in the cool" or, colloquially, "outdoors/in the open air." e.g. - dining al fresco. But the subtext is that you are doing something unusual, not in the normal place associated with that activity.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:17 AM   #3
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Serendipity describes my favorite type of travel: ending up places you aren't aiming for, yet enjoying the discovery. That sounds different from what you are getting at though I think. By definition, if you are planning on going to a place OTBP, then it's not really serendipitous.

Maybe something along the lines of "fresh travel" or "bright travel" where you are actively seeking new places and experiences ON PURPOSE.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:12 AM   #4
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Great question. We call it "RVing" but only because of a lack of imagination, I suppose. We are approaching 150,000 miles of back roads travel in the last 5-6 years. We point our RV to somewhere far away and simply take off -- based on the Traveler's Mantra, "It's the journey, not the destination."

Therefore, I would, also, be very interested in the results of this query. (Sure would like to put a simple, pure name to it.)
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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Many years ago I took a wonderful bike tour in France with a company called Randonnée Tours (which still exists, though under different ownership). The French word Randonnée means an excursion or just wandering. We did know exactly where we were going, though.

Other possible words include unstructured travel, exploration, immersion travel.......
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
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Once upon a time, I traveled the US in a winnebago moho. The motivation was curiosity created by the book Travels with Charley. Quit my job, sold my house, in the winnie pulled up to the bank to pay off the mortgage, and was off.

No plan whatever for where to go or what see. Nor did I name the travel anything at all. It was simply becouse I was curious, had money for the purpose. It was nearly two years on the road, through every contiguous state. I was in may late twenties or early thirties. I'd need to look at some photos for the dates to be certain. No, the dates do not matter at all.

Still don't have a name for it, nor do I care to ever label it. Seems to me naming the the trip would have colored the experience. The whole point was if anything, to see, hear, feel, smell and experience whatever I would discover. I had a road atlas, the main purpose, to see on the map where I was, not to plot a route. The memories are just fine without a label.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:45 AM   #7
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A few suggestions:

For those in the know.

If you have the time.

Worth the effort.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
... By definition, if you are planning on going to a place OTBP, then it's not really serendipitous.
Yes. My plans are a place to start, sometimes closely followed, often dropped to follow whim or serendipity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Maybe something along the lines of "fresh travel" or "bright travel" where you are actively seeking new places and experiences ON PURPOSE.
Those started brain percolations, thanks.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Great question. We call it "RVing" but only because of a lack of imagination, I suppose. We are approaching 150,000 miles of back roads travel in the last 5-6 years. We point our RV to somewhere far away and simply take off -- based on the Traveler's Mantra, "It's the journey, not the destination."...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Once upon a time, I traveled the US in a winnebago moho. The motivation was curiosity created by the book Travels with Charley. Quit my job, sold my house, in the winnie pulled up to the bank to pay off the mortgage, and was off...
One of the reasons I like to travel by RV is that it makes it a lot easier to take impromptu stops or detours, or to extend a stay at a place, even though I do have a rough itinerary before hand, and make some research beforehand.

In one trip, driving down the length of Utah from Jackpot down to Las Vegas, I underestimated the time it took, and had to overnight by the side of the road. Having an RV makes it easy to do so.

When going abroad, I have not used a tour, and this forces me to look for my own lodging and transportation.

It is not likely that I will ever be that intrepid traveler who makes solitary treks to some remote places in Siberia or Mongolia, but I have fun discovering places that I have not been to in my own way. These are not places that few people have been to - how can that be if there is a road - but they are new to me and that's enough.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:19 AM   #10
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Thanks to RonBoyd, Meadbh, ls99. Y'all are describing what I call wandering. Certainly gets one off the beaten path (OTBP). I've done it for months. However in the context of this post, my idea of OTBP is somewhere reachable and known, but may require more research and effort than someplace listed in the Lonely Planet.

Maybe it would have been clearer if I'd said I do OTBP time is short because costs are high. I try to find a happy mix of heavily visited 'must sees' because they're amazing and 'you went where?' because they struck my fancy. For example, pre-trip research meant I visited one of each on the same street, 200 meters apart: Blood Ceiling and Nightingale Floor - Traveling at the Speed of Whim Also in Kyoto: http://speedofwhim.tumblr.com/post/6...l-tourist-path
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:15 PM   #11
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Robert Blake aka "Spanky" said for "Cowboying":

BLAKE: I'm going to go out and do a little cowboying....Do you know what that is? No, you don't know what that is.

Cowboying is when you get in a motor home or a van or something like that, and you just let the air blow in your hair, and you wind up in some little bar in Arizona someplace, and you shoot one-handed nine ball with some 90-year-old Portuguese woman that beats the hell out of you.

And the next day, you wind up in a park someplace playing chess with somebody. You go see a high school play where they're doing "West Side Story." And you just roam around and get some revitalization, that there are human beings in the world, that there are people living their lives that have no agenda, that have no agenda.
I've been involved in a world where, you know, the mafia is saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Well, in this world that I've been in, it's very much that way. People drift from one side to the other in five minutes, and you never know where you are, who's on your side or who's not on your side....
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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It seems like you are trying hard to come up with some catchy catch phrase to describe it... why


I would just say non-traditional traveler.... nuff said...


BTW, there are probably enough people who do what you are doing that there not longer is any off the beaten path... sure, there is a difference between the number of people who go to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon to where you are talking about... but there probably are still hundreds of thousand of people going to where you are going... just sayin....
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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We usually call it "where the locals go" or "in the know". WTLG, ITK, either works.


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #14
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I am glad you didn't add "aimlessly" to your description. I would describe it more as "No Reservations" traveling -- in every sense of that word. Our travels have included all the "must-sees" (Mt Rushmore, Beale and Bourbon Streets, Yosemite) as well as things "OTBP" like "Touts Point" and everything in between.

But I see your point. There are so many wonderful places to see that are not very well known (and I am just speaking of the USA). Places like the "Medicine Wheel" in NW Wyoming, for instance. Yet everyone has seen Devils Tower and Yellowstone while bypassing this awe-inspiring place.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:35 PM   #15
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Discursions
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:15 PM   #16
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Drifting the byways

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Old 08-03-2014, 06:28 PM   #17
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In keeping with an investment theme, how about some form of "Contrarian Traveling"? In investing, that means going against the crowd. Seems to fit.

Catchy or not? For you to decide.

On a related note, I recently heard/read someone rant about the term "out of the box" thinking. It's a cliche, how much further in the box can you get!?

So now I just insert random words, like 'we need some real pickled okra ideas'.

-ERD50
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:33 PM   #18
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Not on the tour bus route
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
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'Going the back way'.


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Old 08-03-2014, 07:10 PM   #20
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Hopelessly lost?
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