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Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Dave!I do not do well with heights, and being too far above the earth bothers me more than it should. Much more. Usually, this isn't much of an issue for people like me, because you just avoid absurdly tall places. If, for example, your frisbee gets stuck on the roof, you don't grab the nearest ladder and charge on up to get it... you instead find the nearest child and pay him $2 to risk death and dismemberment by climbing up that ladder for you. Children are fearless, especially when it comes to money, so this isn't much of a challenge unless their annoying parents are hanging around.

There is one problem with this strategy, however, and that's if you are somebody who travels often.

Because travelers come to a realization very quickly: Most of the Cool Stuff is Tall.

When you arrive home from Paris, let's say, the first thing that people ask is "Ooh! Did you go up the Eiffel Tower??" From then on out, it doesn't matter what you say, because no excuse you offer is good enough...

  • "No, I most certainly did not! I loath tourist traps such as the Eiffel Tower!"
  • "No, unfortunately, the line was too long and I didn't have time."
  • "No, I heard somebody puked on the observation deck, and I was wearing new shoes."
  • "No, David Copperfield made it disappear the day I was there."
  • "No, terrorists had taken over the Eiffel Tower with a nuclear bomb in an elevator. Fortunately, a man in a red cape managed to fly the elevator into space where it exploded and released three super-powered prisoners that were trapped in an alien dimension who then tried to take over the earth (perhaps you read about it in the papers)... and they then closed the tower for repairs, darn-it anyway!" *

Any attempt to disguise the fact that you're a big baby when it comes to tall places will ultimately be rejected with something like "How could you go to Paris and not go up the Eiffel Tower? Are you stupid?" Which is why I ultimately face my fears of plummeting to my death and go up the damn tower (or building or landmark or cathedral or cliff or helicopter or whatever the hell else places devise to terrorize people).

And so I've been up the Space Needle. The Gateway Arch. The Sears Tower. Hancock Tower. The World Trade Center. The Empire State Building. Splash Mountain. The Grand Canyon. The Waimea Canyon. Bryce Canyon. The Cologne Cathedral. Petronas Towers. Tokyo Tower. Yokohama Landmark Tower. The Buckets of Death. The Stratosphere. The Sagrada Familia. The London Eye. The Tower Bridge. Olympic Tower. CN Tower. The Tower of Terror. The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Coit Tower. Shanghai Tower. The Peak. Mary's Bridge at Neuschwanstein. St. Peter's Basilica. St Paul's Cathedral. St. Mark's Campanile. The Monument to the Discoveries. The Holmenkollen Ski Jump. The Cliffs of Santorini. AND YES, THE FUCKING EIFFEL TOWER! Just to name a few off the top of my head.

And I could tell you that they were all just bloody fantastic experiences and gave my life new meaning... but thinking back to each experience, what I probably remember most is being scared out of my freakin' mind.

And now there's a new "Tallest Building in the World" that's opened up in Dubai. So when I eventually go there (I'm guessing), I have something to look forward to...

Wheeee. I can't wait.


*It helps here if you've seen Superman II... KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!

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Categories: Travel 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. Sybil Law says:

    I find as I got older that heights freak me out in my mind, but I am fine when I’m actually UP there, if that makes sense.
    Still – that building freaks me the hell OUT.

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m terrified of heights too, but I’m lucky that mine is limited to things I’m standing on that are not buildings. So ladders, trees, jumping out of the back of a tall truck all are things I will do only under duress. Tall buildings, and even being out on a balcony on a tall building, don’t bother me. I’m weird, I know.

  3. The previous season of The Amazing Race had the teams running around Dubai and it really made me want to go there. They had to go up the Burj Dubai and then go sledding in the indoor ski slope.

    Dubai is one of those places you just have to visit because it’s just so bizarre all by itself out in the desert.

  4. martymankins says:

    Heights bother me a lot, but it depends. Inside an airplane, not an issue. On the roof at my house, BIG issue.

    But when it comes to visiting someplace like the Grand Canyon or The World Trade Center, I get over my fears and enjoy it.

    Not sure I would do so well in that Dubai tower, though.

  5. Ren says:

    *…but not the Richard Donner Cut, which doesn’t have that sequence….

  6. sizzle says:

    I’m totally afraid of heights too. Mostly out of panic that I will plummet to my death. It would take a lot to get me up that high. Good on you for even trying!

  7. Donna says:

    Haven’t kissed the Blarney Stone? You should try that. It’s fun being held upside-down over a 2000 ft drop. No, really! I did it twice…that means I can talk twice the bullshit of regular people.

  8. Oh, hells noes! Sorry, I’ll live vicariously through you. 🙂

  9. suze says:

    I’m terrified of heights and yet I feel compelled to do them too. When I made it across the Capilano bridge I cried, because I realized I had to cross back over it if I wanted to get home…

  10. Hilly says:

    I want to go to there!

    When I watched Amazing Race they featured that building and I was all excited about it!

  11. Zuhdi Abdelkarim says:

    I live in Dubai! And yes, Burj Dubai ( Now known as Burj Khalifa ) is something that you MUST see. And btw, just below Burj Dubai is Dubai Mall, which is the largest mall in the world.
    There is just so much to see there. 🙂

  12. josh says:

    Yeah…no fucking way will I ever go there. That video for serial gave me goosebumps. WHY THE SHIT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE THAT HIGH OFF THE GROUND?!

    • Zuhdi Abdelkarim says:

      Well, let it be know that when you want to visit the Burj, they don’t actually take you all the way up. They take you up to 443 Meters. Which is about half of it. 🙂
      The observation deck is a bit lower than that of Toronto’s CN Tower.

      It ain’t that bed. 😛

      Unless you own one of the apartments much higher up….

  13. The eiffel tower made of plastic. Too many visitors… And it folds and collapses. It is well known! I am French, I know what I mean!

  14. Carrie says:

    Hi Dave,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but never commented. I have ALWAYS wondered what exactly you do for a living and if your profession is what takes you around the world. I am very jealous of all your travels!! And one of the reasons I read your blog is because I enjoy reading/seeing pictures of the places you go. Will you indulge me and tell me how you manage to travel so much?

    Have a great day!

    • Dave2 says:

      I’m a graphic designer. The trips may seem like a fun way to make a living, but I assure you that a life of non-stop travel as a career is not as fun as it might sound… especially when you are having to work most of the time you’re “on the road.” I spend much of my time stuck in airports, planes, rental cars, and hotel rooms… away from my family and friends. As you can imagine, relationships are very difficult, and you spend most of your time alone. Yes, it’s great to be able to see so many places, but you pay a very high price for it. 🙁

  15. Christian says:

    If you ever head Down Under, you can do the Bridge Walk where you get to walk over the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’ve not done it, but the views are apparently spectacular. You even get to wear highly trendy overalls as well as a tether line.

  16. delmer says:

    I need to get to The Capilano Suspension Bridge sometime soon. I’ve been eager to see it in person ever since I saw it in an episode of Psyche.

  17. muskrat says:

    I’ve been to several of the places you’ve named here and, like you, only went to the top of many of them because I knew that’s what I was supposed to do. I didn’t want to do it. I nearly shat myself when a pretty girl talked me into riding “acrophobia” at Six Flags. Awful.

    Did you step on the glass floor in the CN Tower? I sure as hell didn’t. But there were some kids jumping up and down on it. No thanks.

    Going half a mile up in a building and then jumping? No.

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