Subject: Re: Thanks to Fellow Travelziners
Hi Lou,

Let us do some reflection upon the group:

> I get so involved with where everyone is going
> I just want to put on my traveling shoes and
> go. I know I can't be the only one who feels
> like this.

No, you're not the only one! Especially the phantastic WOW thread will certainly have impact on our future planning. Thanks to _all_ who contributed their WOWs!

> There are many times I sit down in the evening,
> really tired, but need to check the messages
> one more time

Normally I check my mail a last time before I go to bed, this is around midnight. At the end I have a look at the last postings in the group; this is more exciting of course when I am waiting for a response to a question! As a German member of the group I am feeling a bit responsible for answering questions related to Germany, this way I am feeling I have two roles within the group: a tourist role and a local expert role. Anyhow the local expert in me has already learnt how little he knows about his own country. :-(

> I've just been reading the day's posts, and it
> struck me once again how fortunate I am to have
> found this site and this great group of
> people.

Lou, I have been subscribed to several newsgroups (non travel topics, not moderated) and was shocked about bad manners of many of the group members there. It seemed as if they had become members of their group to be able to struggle with others anonymously. This was disgusting.

TheTravelzine group is different. There is a very good spirit among group members, IMHO. This group reminds me of a social institution of the 18th and 19th century: the social parlor. At its center there was always an important lady of the society who invited interesting people to get together in her parlor (which had to be big enough) for networking, learning to know each other and to establish important business and scientifical contacts. This way social behavior was styled in an enjoyable manner among the Salon members (oh dear, I am not a native speaker, hope my dictionnary got this right!).

> In reading the messages, it occurred to me
> that I would no longer even think of making
> a trip without asking my fellow Ziners
> for their input. It is so great to get such
> candid first-hand information on such a wide
> range of travel topics from people you
> think of as friends (even though you haven't
> met many of them)whohave been there/done that.
> Every bit of input I've gotten has
> proven to be right on. I've always loved to
> travel, but being able
> to be so well prepared for a trip has made it
> even better

I can't really comment on this because my first travel which I prepared with the help of this group is still ahead (Italy travel, will start on May 26, yippie!). But I planned using group information intensively. Hi Ziners, we rely on you! It's good to know, Lou, that you are reporting good experiences. :-)

> I'm often amazed at how many take what you
> know is so much time to
> write such detailed impressions of their own
> experiences to share
> with those who will be going to the same areas,
> or at least think about it.

In ancient times people were sitting around a camp fire telling their stories. This group is like a camp fire with nice people sitting around talking about their travel experiences. I like to listen and yes, I must admit: I am more a listener than somebody who talks in the group. This will change with growing travel experiences on my side.

Another thing I like about the people in this group is: we want to get in touch with the real thing. Do you know the tourists paradox: being a tourist you destroy what you are looking for! This one is a bit philosophical. When travel season is over (if you have kids at school you know what a travel season is!) and we talk to our friends we hear things this: it was beautiful, but too many tourists around, or better: it was beautiful even though many tourists were around. Know what I mean? I think this group helps to get in touch with the real places and the real people.

Thanks to all!

Best Regards, Johannes, Haltern am See, Germany