Whilst the recent controversy at Gar’na Space Station is causing a lot of bad publicity for Planet Earth, we at Ultimate Interstellar Travel wanted to help you see the planet and humans in a different light. Due to the unique astronomical phenomena present in the Sol System, millions of people visit Earth, but few truly experience the so-called ‘Planet of Sadness’. We LOVE visiting Earth, but have seen countless other tourists make mistakes that sour their experience of the planet. To fix this, we have compiled a list of six things you should NOT do if you want the best from your Earth holiday.
- DO NOT Just Go for The Eclipse.
Everybody goes to Earth to see a total solar eclipse. It is one of the most unique, beautiful, and awe-inspiring sights in the galaxy. Eclipse viewing is so popular that humans have used tourism profits to pay off their FTL drive quicker than any other species in Galactic Commonwealth history. It is an experience everyone wants to have. What is not on anyone’s bucket list though, is a tour of the Earth itself.
The wars and destruction of nature that occurred on the planet right up until First Contact are well known, leading many to see Earth as a destroyed world full of greedy people. Up to 60% of visitors to Earth have expressed no desire to explore beyond wherever the current eclipse is taking place, and 30% of visitors confessed that upon taking the Space Elevator to the surface, they never explored their landing city*.
We are here to tell you that this perception of Earth is WRONG. Earth has an incredible variety of natural environments, and humans have adopted to nearly every one of them. For a totally unique experience, come to Earth outside of an eclipse event and explore one or two regions of the planet. You will be blown away by the authentic Earth, without blowing your budget or fighting hordes of other interstellar tourists.
Once you start looking for other Earth attractions, you will be overwhelmed by the amazing choices. Our suggestion is to visit the places that humans love most. Beautiful Angkor Wat, the majestic Grand Canyon, and the sombre Dropped Space Station rank high on both human tourism lists and our own.
* If you are unfamiliar with Earth, we recommend travelling to the surface via the Darwin Elevator. Darwin was heavily bombed and rebuilt as a spaceport, making it the most accommodating city for interstellar visitors.
2. DO NOT be Angry at Amature Photographers
On most parts of the planet, you’ll encounter friendly and curious locals. Given how rare non-human visitors are in many parts of the world, you may find yourself frequently invited to participate in a human ritual called a ‘selfie’. During a ‘selfie’, humans will use their pocket communication devices to take a picture of themselves with a person or place of interest and share the image via public electronic communication systems. As an alien, you are a person of interest.
In most cultures, taking and sharing photos of strangers is considered invasive, but on Earth it is seen as not only normal, but a sign of respect. Self-portraits are of course common everywhere, but the act of taking a selfie amongst humans holds extra meaning. The act of taking a Selfie is a reminder of a happier time in Earth history, before their first internet was destroyed. Nowadays, humans will print out their favourite selfies and keep them in a special diary, so that their treasured memories can never be deleted again.
If you are asked for a Selfie, do not be offended; it means someone wants to document that they crossed paths with you. If you decline politely, your wishes will be respected. If you accept, you’ll find yourself having a lot of fun bonding with the locals.
3. DO NOT be Afraid of Earth Food.*
The human diet is extremely versatile, and with a bit of research you should find a culture with similar tastes to your own. Once you have found a culinary tradition that looks appetizing, you will find many attractions built around eating, including restaurants and dinners combined with shows. Socializing while eating may seem strange to many people, but it is a rewarding part of Earth culture.
Even if your biochemistry makes ingesting Earth-based lifeforms dangerous, there are workarounds. Tef, the malleable, protein-packed, almost universally consumable slime from the Abena system was donated in large qualities to famine-stricken Earth during First Contact. Since then, it has become a staple in many parts of the world, and tef-based recreations of more common Earth proteins are easily available.
Instant ramen is our choice for the must-eat Earth dish. It is cheap, simple to make, and comes in endless tasty varieties. In some parts of the galaxy instant ramen has found non-human fans. There is a good chance that you may have already tried some form of the dish, but you haven’t had the true instant ramen experience until you have prepared a cup noodle in a hotel on a rainy Earth day.
If you choose to stay with a host family, or travel with human tourists, we highly recommend sharing a meal with your new friends. You will gain a fascinating insight into the lives and minds of humans.
* Except chocolate. That stuff is highly toxic even to other Earth mammals. We have no idea how humans are able to eat so much.
4. DO NOT Attempt a Marathon.
At least, do not make a serious attempt and expect to finish. Unless you are a well-maintained mechanical person. Humans may look weak, but there are few creatures that can outrun them over long distances. With the recent hiring of human guards to pursue escaped prisoners on Lianthi, people have become obsessed with watching humans run. There has been a trend lately of tourists signing up for marathons, thinking that their superior ability to sprint or glide will allow them to beat the human runners. The organisers of these events often allow entry to interstellar tourists, partly due to a reluctance to repeat discriminatory practices of the past. This often results in prideful tourists overheating on the track.
5. DO NOT Visit Dinosaur Parks*.
De-extinction is a relatively new trend in Earth science. The revival of dinosaurs – long extinct reptiles who have no place in the present-day Earth ecology – are the most famous de-extinction phenomena. They generate wealth from both human and interstellar tourists, but this wealth rarely goes towards repairing Earth’s eco-systems. Dinosaur parks are built for the wealthy, to raise money for the wealthy, and are usually located in areas where if something goes wrong, it is the poor who are eaten by velociraptors.
It is not only more ethical, but also more exciting to see de-extinction used to restore the planet. Our top picks to see de-extinction are the restored Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Bison Migration in North America. It is truly inspiring to see the work humans are doing to fix their world, and by choosing to see proper rewilding instead of dangerous circus monsters, you are aiding in this recovery.
* If you absolutely must see a dinosaur, there are sanctuaries that rehome dinosaurs from failed parks. A proper sanctuary never breeds or creates dinosaurs and profits from visitors are only used to care for their animals and educate the public.
6. DO NOT Write-Off Humanity
As newcomers to the Galactic Commonwealth, humans are still finding their place in interstellar society. Their turbulent history and likely origin as scavengers cause many to have preconceived notions of what humanity is like. Going to Earth and spending time with humans from different cultures will destroy these prejudices.
We are not saying that they are a perfect species and all the criticism of them is wrong. There are many potential pitfalls in human psychology and tons of flaws in their society. In every country we have visited though, we have found people doing their best to be good and make their world a better place. Everywhere we go, we see tenacious Humans fighting to repair their world.
Next time you are on Earth, do not view the planet as a destroyed planet of scavengers getting in the way of your eclipse experience. Remember that despite their flaws, humans are people who love their world. They have a beautiful planet even after all it has been through, and human cultures are highly resilient. Humans are worth visiting, and if you treat them with respect, they will be happy to welcome you.
Excited about Earth yet? Check out our list of 400 Must See Earth and Sol System Locations and start planning your next adventure.