search instagram arrow-down

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of my awesome new posts by email.

Mike’s Next Adventure

The Art of the Travel Dip


Hello, my name is Roam About Mike and I have a terrible secret: I’m a recovering travel dipper.

It’s true. I had a problem with the dip and I’m currently repairing my reputation of committing an even worse travel transgression, the double travel dip.

Maybe you don’t like to double dip. Maybe you don’t dip at all. Maybe you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.

Let me explain: the dip, succinctly put, is when you purposefully veer from the main travel course. You dip in, you roll around, you leave, back on course (unless you double dip). It’s like a side salad, if you will. The dip occurs most often for those mercurial minded folk, but is so much more fulfilling after the solid masonry of a well-planned vacation has been laid.


Most folks I know pick a vacation locale and stick to it, getting every detail finely tuned down the most expeditious routes to-and-from their hotel or various hot spots on Googlemaps, with nearby metro stations zeroed in, and train departure/arrival times meticulously ironed out down to the minute with optimized walking routes. Basically all the legwork for a stress-free vacation.

I do the aforementioned, to a fault, but then there’s that moment when you notice aloud, “Huh, according to this map here, Spain is only like an inch away from Lisbon. That’s so close…” and everything goes out the proverbial Fiat Panda’s window.

You start to rethink the vacation’s schedule—finger, hovering precariously above the last digit of the phone number to the rental car company, intent on adding an extra day to the hired contract just to dip into Spain to see a bull fight, or drink real Sangria, or Peenalope Cruth (Penelope Cruz).

Let’s say you’re stuck at the Toronto airport for a few hours on your way to Portugal and decide to cab it into the city for lunch and to get day drunk in Kensington Market.



Solid dip.

Or maybe you veer off your cross country route and spend a night camping at Monument Valley, then, in the morning, decide to drive an hour to spend a few minutes at Four Corners National Park, laying spread eagle atop a quadripoint, body splayed simultaneously in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Double Check. Rock solid dip.

Or your obsession of visiting every state in the US finds you peeing into Henry Lake in Idaho on a dip trip from Yellowstone just to leave some DNA and say, “I left a part of me in Idaho; I’ve been there!”


Who wants to potty?


There’s a legitimate argument against the dip. Some will say it doesn’t mean you’ve actually BEEN to a location — the experience somehow discounted, policed by time spent within arbitrary borders.

Bullshit. The dip counts.

Tell me I didn’t soak up Toronto.

Tell me I wasn’t in four states at once. I was totally there and there and there and there, Man!

Tell me I didn’t pee in a state park in Idaho. ‘Cause I did! And I really hope the Idahoan state troopers don’t follow my blog and that the statute of limitations of admitted public urination has passed.

But don’t fret, friends; I’ve gotten help for the travel dip. I’m a stronger person now and have gone a long while without dipping.

I said no to the the milky white peaks of Greenland when I was in Iceland. And bade sexy Belize adieu when I was in Mexico. I said Wǒ bù zhème rènwéi, mèimei (I don’t think so, sister!) to China when whilst touring through Japan. And I resisted every sultry seduction whispered by Spain into the wind blowing gently across western Portugal. The wind cried travel dip… and I said Nay!

No longer do I stray from the main course in travel planning. I stick to the plan and am a one state/country kind of guy…for now.

Now, tell me if you’re a dipper, and if you are, of any great travel dip stories so I may live vicariously through you.










47 comments on “The Art of the Travel Dip

  1. Honie Briggs says:

    Trip dipping. I love it! I’m famous for the double dip day trip. I get easily distract…oh look, a butterfly.

    1. mabukach says:

      Have you entered a twelve step program or do you just embrace the dip?

      1. Honie Briggs says:

        Hey, I know when I’m beaten. These days I just roll with it.

        1. mabukach says:

          I need to be on your level.

  2. Ziggy with a Neck says:

    I once dipped into Fort Wayne, IN on my way to Lima, OH from Toledo. Man, the adrenaline was pumping that day! My MapQuest print-outs were all like, “What?”

    1. I’m from Fort Wayne, and used to go to Lima all the time. Well, through Lima anyway. Does that make us opposite double dippers?

      1. mabukach says:

        I think that makes you a commuter dipper, Battle.

    2. mabukach says:

      Hell of a dip, Ziggy.

  3. christinecrews says:

    Live for the dip!

  4. Is there such a thing as a stupid dip?
    I once was driving from New Orleans to Jackson, Mississippi, and turned around in Baton Rouge (approximately 100 miles west orf N.O., Jackson is 200 miles north).
    How stupid is that?
    I’m the dip in that trip.

    1. mabukach says:

      Haha – hey, still a dip, Jim. And you can notch Baton Rouge off that travel list.
      A dip’s a dip, and you’re not one.

    1. mabukach says:

      We’re enablers, Dani. Enablers.

  5. justthechangeinmypocket says:

    Can you dip in the same country? We forgo two nights of a prepaid reservation to go see the other side of Bali. The cold AC and western bathroom were sooo worth it.

    1. mabukach says:

      Yes. Very much so, justthechange. Classic internal trip dip.
      How was Bali?

  6. Laura says:

    I mentally unfriended you a few times here — once for being a closet travel-tobacco-chewer (disgusting dip), once for pigging out on a tub of sour cream laden with green chile, jalapenos, or onions balanced precariously on the dashboard of your beat-up truck (dangerous dip. with chips.) and once for cheating on your new girlfriend en route to her house (dildip). I’ll have to re-assess in this new “travel” context.

    1. mabukach says:

      You funny lady, Laura – don’t unfriend me!
      The dashboard balance sounds very similar to some of my Taco Bell adventures – how’d you know?

      Nope – I’m a one country kind of guy. Loyal down to my Bones. 🙂

      1. HRH says:

        Oh, you jest so. That last one “loyal down to my Bones” has so much innuendo and double (or triple) entendre, it’s a quite brilliantly written statement.

        I will write more on dips, but seriously, are you still a closet travel-tobacco-chewer? Do not force me to write you a preachy monologue on why not to do that.

        And I think I saw a picture of Bones. Does she have blond hair? You two look great together. (I say this having never seen you with anyone else and having never seen you at all save for your 1/2″ profile picture.)

        1. mabukach says:

          Why, thank you, HRH.

          I’m totally a closet dipper. But, I don’t act on these yearnings, I just go through the motions of trip planning, and file the results away.

          That is Bones, and thanks – maybe I’ll post a pic of us together on here someday.

          1. HRH says:

            You don’t act on these yearnings? I’m unsure what you mean. You don’t really dip? You don’t go into a real closet and dip? You don’t really dip into a closet? You don’t really travel but merely write about travel? (That last one can’t be possible because I would hate to drop money on a photograph or two of yours only to find it in some poster print shop where they sell them by the dozens.)

            Bones is lovely. I thought that was you in the photograph with her. If that’s not you, why are you posting her with other men? That just seems odd. 🙂

            1. mabukach says:

              Ha – Ok, I’ll try to answer here:

              1. I try to dip, but i’ve done it so many times I’m restraining from dipping.
              2. I’ve never cyber-dipped from a real closet, hurts my eyes.
              3. I’ve seen people dip out of a closet, but that’s another story.
              4. I wish my prints were in that heavy of circulation! I’d buy all my followers holiday gifts.

              That’s me!!

  7. Brigitte says:

    When I went to Jamaica (the faraway place where I actually got my hair braided and beaded many moons ago), I dipped all over that island, mon. Did the same on Nantucket. The secret to the dip is to limit yourself geographically so as not to wear one’s self out. It’s like a zen dip, if you know what I mean.

    Good to read ya, Mike.

    1. mabukach says:

      Brigitte, I feel like you guys are so much more equipped for the dip! I needed your tutelage before heading out so hastily.
      Now I know about the…how do you say it, again…zen dip?

      Good to see you.

  8. Caitlin says:

    Toronto dips and sips, you might say.

    1. mabukach says:


      You hated the TDS. Admit it.


  9. Ooh I got one Mike. So you’re getting ready to fly from Ghana to Taiwan but then get the epiphany that you’re already in Africa, so wouldn’t it be a great idea to make a pit stop in Madagascar (where you’ve already lived for a year a while back) to scratch the nostalgia itch. Yeah? That could just be called a failure to plan properly, but maybe I can get a point for that. 😉

    1. mabukach says:

      Hey, Puppydoc!
      You don’t just get a point, you get 9/10 for that one. Certainly not a failure.
      How was Madagascar? How was Ghana!?

      1. Hey, Mike!

        Oh you know…living in Madagascar and Ghana was like…living in Madagascar and Ghana. Your regular lemurs…zebu…polygamist village host families…

        May I ask you a question? How are you so cool? I think you are so cool.

        Sincerely, phoebe

        1. Oh…and you have a cat? As do I. My Samantha is very…round. Her roundness even warranted a poem on my blog about how round she is.

        2. mabukach says:

          I want a lemur…

          Me? YOU lived in Madagascar and Ghana! You win!


          1. You want a lemur? Then you shall have a lemur! I’ll be sure to adopt one next time.



  10. Erin E. says:

    Oh man, I wish I could be cool enough to dip, but I’m entirely too Type A for that. Unless I’ve already planned to be spontaneous, and then it’s ok. Usually my travel is pretty structured, and if someone suggests we deviate significantly, I’m all DOES. NOT. COMPUTE.

    Usually I can be convinced to dip via peer pressure and the promise of great food and/or alcohol, but I would never be the one to suggest it. I’m in awe of all you free spirited people though 🙂

    1. mabukach says:


      I’m not allowed to dip anymore. I’ve shut it down because I promised great food/alcohol one too many times to folks, and delivered TOO well. 🙂

      1. Erin E. says:

        Haha, fair enough! That’s the danger with those types of promises! Although I’m not sure it’s possible to over deliver with great food, I can easily see how one can run into trouble with the alcohol.

  11. Angelika Schwarz says:

    Love this. I always get lost when I travel. Now I can I’m dipping!

    1. mabukach says:

      You’re always right where you’re supposed to be when lost in travel, Angelika. Dip dip dip away!

  12. itsanika says:

    What about a triple dip, like to Malaysia from Thailand and then Sri Lanka from Malaysia and then whoops, Nepal, India, Turkey…. Is that still dipping or is that a total change of course?

    1. mabukach says:

      The triple dip is called the Triple Crown! What a rare feat, itsanika.

      Anything above a triple crown, and you’re just purposefully lost in travel, in a very good way. Thanks for stopping in.


  13. giuliaraso says:

    I’m a guilty travel dipper!! That is such a perfect term for it! Veering off course is my specialty…I prefer to think of it as “taking the long way home”

    1. mabukach says:

      Nice – any dips in particular you are proud of, giuliaraso?

      1. giuliaraso says:

        Some of the dips in the comments are massive, flight-plan-changing trips that make my dips feel tiny! As I travel mostly in Europe (a travel dippers dream), it’s like telling a child in a toy store not to touch anything! you’re just SO CLOSE to everything! I’m notorious for my “oh well Spain isn’t THAT far away,” or stopping by every. single. cute town/historical site/lookout we drive past. It sometimes takes me days instead of hours to get from point A to point B . I mean, who needs 3 days in Milan? Might as well stop by Switzerland on the way, its just so close! How can you resist?!

        1. mabukach says:

          It’s like you’re in my head!
          Ugh – now I’m back to dipping.

  14. travellusty says:

    I’m addicted to dipping. I’ve dipped to stay in Portugal an extra day to take a surf lesson, I dipped to go to a small town in the Czech Republic, pretty much my entire Europe trip was one dip after the other, and I dipped just recently in Florida. Hi, my name is N, and I’m a serial dipper.

    My favorite though, was a surprise dip, in Spain when our guide took us to a bar in France for the night. Then our bus broke down on the France/Spain border so we partied on the side of the road till it was fixed. Best dip ever!

  15. Ted says:

    Hey, I can relate to this a lot, you should check out my blog

  16. Ted says:

    That whoreing my blog was not for a class project or anything ….

Talk To Me
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: