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Monday, August 2, 2010

7 great guy getaways

There are fundamental differences between our male and female species, especially when it comes to travel. The perfect girl getaway usually involves pampering, shopping and food.
The perfect guy getaway usually involves girls, beer and sports. With this in mind, here are 7 destinations that guys might want to consider for their next all-boy vacation. I assure you, shopping is not on the agenda.

1. Brazil

It is true, there are beautiful women in every country. It is true that Russian girls have cheekbones you can carve a Thanksgiving turkey on, and close but not quite true that the ratio of girls to guys in Colombia is eight to one. But it is to Brazil the boys must go, because it is in Brazil that women wear their sexuality the way bikers ride their Harleys. In your face, overt, loud, something to be admired with both fascination and horror. Brazilian girls gave the world their bikinis. Brazilian girls gave their world their wax. And every man on the planet is grateful for both. Beaches, carnival, beauty; everything you’ve heard is true, and you haven’t heard anything until you get there.

2. Prague

We don’t quite know what draws guys to beer. It’s dry, it’s bitter, it’s loaded with carbs, and it can turn a perfectly bright boy into a slobbering doddering idiot in zero to eight cans per hour. The best place for this ritualistic transformation is in the Czech Republic. Here you’ll find pubs with homemade drafts so perfectly brewed (and better yet, priced) you’ll never be able to drink beer from a can in quite the same way again. In Prague, you can swing a cat and hear its screech in a dozen pubs, all oozing brewing traditions and mostly beautiful bar staff. It’s even safe to order Budweiser, since the original Czech version tastes nothing like the megabrand you know - and I mean that in a good way.

3. New Zealand

Guys don’t shop. Guy’s don’t like getting their nails filed, their hair done, their face slathered with exfoliating cream. Guys like to do stuff, and New Zealand is the place to do it. Whether it's skydiving, bungee jumping, bridge swinging, jet boating, rock climbing, glacier hiking, surfing, swooping, shweebing or zorbing (a human hamster wheel, in case you were curious), New Zealand is the adrenaline capital of the world. Create a list of activities in the local pub, and afore ye go, testing and teasing the testosterone levels, because you really only bond with a fellow males when you’ve had the chance to throw up from fear, or burst your gut laughing at a buddy who does.

4. Las Vegas

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” has progressed beyond twisted guy logic and become part of Sin City’s international marketing program. For some reason, it is perfectly acceptable for a group of guys to drink excessively, blow thousands of dollars beyond their budget in a casino, become a band of obnoxious buffoons, chase anything with a skirt (including the odd table), wake up in a pile of vomit with a splitting headache, fly home to their families and be at work Monday morning where they are widely known as the most boring people in the office. Las Vegas appears to have been designed specifically to part a bachelor party from its financial resources.

5. The West Coast Trail

There are men, there are real men, and then there is Chuck Norris. When he’s not exporting pain with the concealed fist behind his beard, Chuck Norris hikes the West Coast Trail. This infamous 75km trail on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island provides the perfect exercise in male bonding - a weeklong backbreaking physical challenge that leads through pristine wilderness. At the end of a hard day trekking along slippery boardwalks or up the dozens of steep wooden ladders, the group gathers around the fire, launching a swift trade in war stories, injuries, conquests and defeats. Bodies become taut machines of muscle by the end, camaraderie cemented, the edge of limits pushed. Chuck Norris, who roundhouse kicked every tree into existence, would be proud.

6. Thailand

As much as I’ve travelled, I regret to inform you that the biggest party on the planet is pretty much wherever you choose it to be. All it takes is the right combination of one part people and two parts willpower, mixed with a tablespoon of music and the local intoxicant, and there you have it. If you’re still struggling to find this recipe, head over to Thailand. Here you’ll find a red-hot curry of travellers, of both sexes, determined to party their backpack straps off. From the somewhat overrated full moon beach parties to the buzz of Bangkok’s Khao San Road, the peaceful bliss of Pai to the decadence of Phuket, the combination of good weather, cheap prices, friendly people and savvy bars and clubs makes Thailand probably the biggest party on the planet.

7. Burning Man

Finally, as an alternative destination for an alternative boys' week away, consider the annual Burning Man music and performance art festival. Taking place inside the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, it draws tens of thousands of people who revel in a form of hedonism not seen since the sixties. Pretty much anything goes for Burners, since it’s all a form of self-expression. Refreshingly non-commercial, no money changes hands in the harsh desert environment, and groups of guys can collaborate on just about anything, from building their own tent city to blowing up things with fireworks. Boys will be boys, and this unique and fun festival is the perfect playground for them.


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