Why the World’s Largest?? What’s Behind This Strange Compulsion?
Travelers like to collect. People will hoard shot glasses, stamps, or Christmas ornaments from around the world. Others keep a running list of all the countries they’ve visited. Some find sport in mailing postcards to friends and family from the most remote locales.
I think it’s a reflection of our need to make a cohesive and meaningful whole from smaller experiences. I’m victim to the same compulsion, but lacking the funds/time/willing companions to travel the earth, I find relief in visiting quirky roadside attractions within my reach. While each singular trip may not shatter my world, the collection of these experiences provide a strange thrill.
For me, there’s more to it than just adding to my list. This is what I see when I drag my family to we visit these sites and attractions:
- The older, historic places tell me what was exciting for the traveler in a simpler time. Size, not necessarily speed, was a measurement of greatness, and it made tourists take notice.
- The claim or status of a “world’s largest” means a little attention, and the potential to draw customers. For struggling destinations or small tourist businesses, these quirky attractions can ensure economic survival.
- Someone created and built these places. This work may represent their finest hour; their 15 minutes of fame. They deserve some homage.
The charm of these sites may not be immediately apparent, but I urge you to consider visiting one or two until you catch the bug! Another advantage to adding these places to your travel plans is that the majority do not charge lofty admission fees. They are either free to enjoy, low cost (under $10 per person), or they request a small donation.
Disclaimer: When we visit these sites claiming to be the world’s largest, tallest, and longest, we assume these claims to be true. We don’t work for Guinness World Records, and we’re not sticklers for authenticity. We just like to see BIG things!
Who are we? More about our “GoBIG” family.
When did the travel bug bite me? This is “The Prequel.”