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Really Authentic Adventure Travel

You've been hiking in the Costa Rican rain forests. You've gone fishing for lox in Nova Scotia. You've seen Burgundy from a balloon and a canal. You've trekked in Nepal and sifted the soil for shards in New Mexico. Most recently you lost three toes on Mount Everest and you're probably on the waiting list for the Moon and Mars. We know you. You're the "been there, done that" tourist and you've run out of adventures and places in which to have them. Before you enroll in clown camp as a last resort, Let Now What?, the first post modern, pre-millennial travel agency, plan your next vacation. The Savvy Traveler's Mary Lou Weissman has designed tours that put the thrill back into travel.

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The first is called What's Left of France. No déjà vu all over again for you. We hustle you past the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and that other big yawn, the Eiffel Tower. Experience "Paris by Night" as you've never known it on the Les Miserables tour of the city's sewer system. Skippez the Loire, Chartres and Versaille. Next stop, Provence, where you take up smoking again, and then on to the Dordogne where you'll force feed a goose.

Next, Not Tassajara. Buddhism, as you may have already learned, is no vacation unless you actually like raking sand. Instead, fly Zen Air to Nirvana. Find out what is really meant by "it's all process." No jet lag. Your own mantra and free head set. Perpetual peanuts. Never have to return your seat back to an upright position. Bliss.

Here a popular one. Breaking Taboos. Order lobster in Jerusalem, beef in India. Go bare-headed in Iraq. Strip mine in Yosemite. Keep your shoes on in Japan. When in Rome, act anyway you please. An effective antidote for the politically over-corrected.

Or try Steppe Master, the Extreme Spa. In the Soviet Caucasus people routinely live to the age of 120, which is a whole lot longer than people who go to the Canyon Ranch. And they don't take a baby aspirin every morning. Live among them. Farm 14 hours a day. Eat yogurt. Sleep in a yurt. Watch your blood pressure drop.

For those of you who really like a challenge, Extreme Darwinism. The Galapagos is for sissies. What's so exciting about blue-footed boobies, lizards and giant tortoises? You can see them closer up on TV. Why stay on the Lindblad-beaten path, watching evolution when you could be a vital part of it? We take you and your traveling companions to the African Savannah, the cradle of the human race, where homo sapiens' evolutionary journey began. There, in grass up to your hips, you'll test your fitness and your ability to adapt. Fight for your dinner. Protect your young. Compete for sex. Invent the wheel. Find out if you really are a survivor.

And finally for those who can't decide on just one place, Around the World as Luggage. Be your luggage. See the world. End up wherever it ends up. Get thrown around by a large man wearing orange earmuffs. Ride on a carousel. Be claimed by a stranger.

Perhaps you've found the vacation adventure of you dreams among the listings above and you'd like us to send you a brochure. The answer is no; we don't believe in them. Unlike ordinary travel agencies, we don't hand out illustrated brochures. We want to spare you the experience of knowing exactly what the place looks like before you even get there.

Nor do we supply you with itineraries telling you in great detail exactly what you're going to do every hour of every day, thereby destroying whatever smidgen of surprise might be left in the whole blighted enterprise known as your adventure vacation. You will be infused with an immediate and profound sense of wonder: "I wonder, where am I going?" And that's just the beginning. An extravaganza of authentic emotions awaits you, from Day One, when we kick down your door, blindfold and kidnap you -- sheer terror - to the last day, when you arrive home, fall on your knees and kiss the tarmac in an expression of unalloyed joy and relief.

Does the prospect of so much uncertainty make you uneasy? Good. At least you're not as bored silly as you were when you signed up for yet another Titanic reenactment package. Embrace your uneasiness. Breathe into it. Own it. This is for your own good. Always knowing where you were going and what you were going to do was what got you into trouble in the first place.

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