Before the summer travel season gets underway, let me, a seasoned travel writer, provide you with a travel tip: Always make sure you take plenty of pictures.
This might seem common sensical, but believe it or not there are people who take only a couple of thousand photographs while vacationing. This number is woefully insufficient to truly capture the moment, capture the memory, capture me walking by in the background.
Summer is the season for pests. Mosquitoes. Gnats. Chiggers. Fire ants. Horseflies. Of them all, the worst is the dreaded shutterbug.
Unlike the other pests, which tend toward regional habitats, shutterbugs are everywhere. In packs atop Machu Picchu. In swarms around the Statue of Liberty. In clouds outside the Egyptian pyramids. In waves and droves and sheets as dense as a rainstorm, they descend on a place, ravenously snap, snap, snap it to death, and then, like some marauding army, invade the next tourist site in their path.
I have a proposal. Let's establish Photography-Free Zones.
Let's say you're at the Louvre looking at the Mona Lisa. You're wanting to lose yourself in deep contemplation, or wanting to pretend that you're lost in deep contemplation so that people will think you appreciate great art, even though your favorite work of art is that really neat piece at the mall in which you can discern different shapes by squinting real hard after being instructed, finally, by the sales guy, who may or may not also be the artist, on where to look and what to see. But you can't lose or pretend to lose yourself in deep contemplation because EVERYONE IN PARIS THAT AFTERNOON IS HAVING A KODAK MOMENT.