How to write a “you must go to this off-the-beaten-track, authentic country” article.

11 Dec

(NOTE: This is satire. The post uses a fictional country for the purposes of satirizing travel literature)

In Eastern Europe, wedged between Poland, Kalningrad, and Lithuania, is a small country called Slobana. Slobana may not have the top attractions of Rome and Paris, but increasingly, travelers are flocking to this undiscovered gem.

Slobana is a small country with a population of 100,000 people. But its culture is ancient and mysterious and alluring.

Why this country has remained off the tourist radar for so many years is a mystery. Surely, the Western european countries can’t be that much more exciting, right?

The rock of Slobana may be its top attraction. This small stone, slightly brighter than most, encrusted onto a wall on a church is a national symbol and a great source of pride for its people. The people even have a ceremony on christmas where they put a christmas tree in front of it and sing prayers. The origins of this ceremony and the stone itself go back to pagan times but no one knows for sure what it comes from. The rock of Slobana may not be the size of the eiffel tower, but as the 100 backpackers who visit each year tell you, it packs just as much of a punch.

Perhaps the best thing about Slobana is the fact that so few tourists go there. Often, you will be the only english speaker on the bus. You can get off the bus in any town, and the hospitable locals will greet you with respect and show you their hospitality. Bed and breakfasts exist in Slobana, but they are different than other countries’ bed and breakfasts: they are called Kogalogs, and they are more ingrained into the local culture than in neighboring Poland. Some women in the villages even wear traditional dresses to this day. The only other tourists you’ll see are adventurous backpackers. Getting to know the local culture is extremely rewarding.

Next time you plan a trip to Europe, consider Slobana! Don’t just go to the Londons, the Romes, and the Parises! Try something truly authentic and off the beaten track!

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