There are two kinds of people in this world: Givers and Takers. And some that do both. Three kinds. Three kinds of people in the world. Of course there are some who are predominately Givers, who Take once in a while, and vice-versa, so that makes five. Five types of people in the world.
I came to the sad realization today that in certain aspects of my life, I am a Taker. I am ashamed. What brought me to this conclusion? A pizza. A really good pizza. To be precise, a NY-style pizza with pesto and tomatoes.
My EC and I are traveling. After destroying the kitchen the other day, the only recourse I had was to abandon the house and the children and go on a road trip. We hope everything will still be there when we get back. And that the stove will have had time to magically self-regenerate.
When we travel, we rely on two wonderful websites and/or phone apps. TripAdvisor & Yelp.
If you aren't familiar with either of these, you should check them out. They are our brains when we travel. Both are sites that catalogue customer reviews of everything from hotels to restaurants and things to do in any specific area. For example, say you are going to Paris, France, or Kanab, Utah. (Both fabulous choices.) You go onto these sites and type in the name of the city, and it will rank the hotels and restaurants according to customer reviews. The website will list the hotels or restaurants , and rank them according to what people have reported.
The phone app is really great on the road. Since your phone knows where you are, you just tell it to find pizza places nearby, and it will rank them and show you the reviews. It increases your odds of finding a good hotel, or a good place to eat. Thus, the really good pizza that we ate. Loads of people took the time to write a review of the pizza joint, and several mentioned the pesto pizza.
I am not naive enough to believe that all of the reviews are legitimate. I'm sure that the night manager has a top-secret item on his to-do list that says "write fake positive reviews and post them online." So, as Mike Brady would say "Caveat Emptor".
So, here are a couple of things to consider:
1) If there are only a couple of glowing reviews, be skeptical.
2) If there are 57 reviews telling you to eat the corn chowder, stop reading and EAT THE CORN CHOWDER.
3) Don't just look at the star rankings - read the actual reviews. Sometimes people might like a hotel for the very reason you might hate it. (Great party scene, nudist beach, etc.)
We have grown so accustomed to this technology that we are rarely disappointed in where we eat or stay. It just takes a little effort on the front-end. And it can also help you save money. That is my travel tip for you.
So what does this have to do with me being a Taker instead of a Giver? Here is my confession: I use these sites all the time, and take information from them. But I RARELY type in a review of my own. I mean, how selfish is that? It would have taken me less time to write a review for tonight's pizza than it did to write this post - but I didn't do it.
I hope whoever runs the internet and watches my every click and keystroke doesn't read this and decide to ban me for being selfish. This might be the only time I can actually repent and be judgmental at the same time.