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About Fluffy Towel

Carmen

Welcome to the literary tales of Fluffy Towel Travel.

Fluffy Towel inspires the adventurer in all of us but understands a comfortable bed and that ubiquitous fluffy towel at the end of a hard day or night of exploration is just as important.

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini-raft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.” – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

While travel is certainly an eye-opening experience and can often lead to an incurable wanderlust, it’s not a right or a need. You won’t die if you don’t visit Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. I haven’t visited the Taj Mahal yet and I’m fine. Travel is a privilege, and when faced with the extreme you’ll understand this better than ever and feel blessed for having the opportunity to leave behind the trappings of the mundane. Or it will leave you clinging onto the knowledge that you can return to the regularity of home. Either way, you’ll end up with an appreciation of travel, even if it’s to never leave home again.

I may never understand the appeal of sleeping on the ground or sharing a room with smelly strangers, especially when there are perfectly good beds and hot showers with fluffy towels available. Travel already takes you out of your comfort zone. No longer exists the routine, the familiarity of home, or your friends and family; unless you’ve brought them along. The language and currency could be different; the food may be strange, even the smells will seem odd. A bit of comfort will make you a more agreeable travelling companion and allow you to cope better with whatever you’re confronted with on your travels.  After all, travel consists of a lot more than magical nights, awe-inspiring monuments and astounding views. You never know when you’re going to encounter a “strag”, lay your towel upon a bed with questionable linen, wrap it around yourself for warmth or modesty, or for something as practical as drying yourself.

Apart from a sense of humour and an open mind, you’ll need a towel through-out the duration of your journey. Sometimes the towels won’t be fluffy because roughing makes sense but at some point in time, you’ll return home refreshed and with a greater appreciation for all the reasons you left in the first place.

And don’t forget a man (or a woman, child, or other) with a towel is a force to be reckoned with; especially a fluffy one on inter-galactic travels.

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