>> The original maps promised "Fun Mapped Out!™" and that's still something to shoot for.
Browse a copy of the original Groovy Map'n'Guide and you'll get the idea or check out this <<SAMPLE>> here, and check out "Writing Tips" below.
Write brief, witty if possible, reviews of a place. A few sentences that capture the essence of the offering, and stamp your opinion on why it is worth seeking out instead of the place 200m from their hotel door.
Essentially, we need the “What, Why, When'' of a place, wrapped in a burrito, and giving an aroma of “try me.”
A Groovy Dining example from Groovy Map Bali, 3rd edition:
>Naughty Nuri’s (Indo) This small, tin-roofed, hole-in-the-wall joint open to the road is always busy and you’ll be jostling for space to try Naughty Nuri’s martinis and smoky barbecued meats. It’s a pub-like warung that brings in travelers and locals eating and drinking late into the night. $$
A Groovy Dining example from a Thong Lo Street Guide, Bangkok:
Da Vino Bangkok (Italian) My favorite for long lunches, owner Roberto likes to show off his “from Italy” catches, and you would be wrong not to follow his advice if you can afford it. It’s not easy competing with hundreds of other Italian places with more flash, but none has more heart. Don’t forget lunch menus are always the best deals. $$$
A Groovy Culture/Things to Do example:
Groovy Seoul map>Bike the Han River (D1, Ichon Hangang Park, Ichon MRT) there's a decent network of parks along both sides of the Han River, making for some active outdoor fun. Rent a bike and get your pedal on.
Groovy Bali map>Go Potty over Pots Surrounded by rice fields, Sari Api Studio is just the place to explore your creativity at workshops working with clay, hand building or wheel throwing for any level. Also offers workshops in Balinese woodcarving. Rp 450,000 and up.
Minimum to Publish
To have a groovy.guide published and available for others to download, you need to fill it ALL in (except where it says "Optional"). If it asks for a minimum of 5 places for "Groovy Things to Do" you need to fill in and link (with Google Maps) 5 locations, otherwise, it may/will be rejected.
Style: Short & Sweet. A little humor never hurts.
Selections: Try to support local "Mom & Pops," not chain restaurants that can be found in a hundred cities, but if your branch offers something special, you can include it.
Shopping: Same thing applies. No Target or Tesco stores please. Your lives are enriched by the artisan shop and the bakery trying to enliven your life.
Things to Do: Can be anything that YOU might do on a weekend, or have done with visitors before. It can be a special place to hang out, a street performance space worth checking out, a bike trail, a walking path, even a bus ride through a part of town.
Review hotel offerings if you can avoid it. Most people do not travel the world to dine in their hotel for long, and will anyway, spend a few meals there anyway, so encourage them to leave the building for your recommendation.
Short & Sweet2: "A few sentences" does not mean more than 100 words, even if you are pithy.
You need it to be short, for people with short attention spans, and having to make quick decisions with hungry adults or child begging them to pick a place in the next 10 minutes.
Don't try to be as descriptive as Paul Theroux who writes travel diaries of hundreds of pages. His style is not so useful, but we admit it is good!
"Vientiane is exceptional but inconvenient. The brothels are cleaner than the hotels, marijuana is cheaper than pipe tobacco, and opium easier to find than a cold glass of beer."
"After the early morning Floating Market Tour, and the afternoon Temple Tour, comes the evening Casanova Tour. As Calcutta smells of death and Bombay of money, Bangkok smells of sex, but this sexual aroma is mingled with the sharper whiffs of death and money." (The Great Railway Bazaar, 1975)
Ernesto "Che" Guevara
"We sealed our pact never to give up until we had realized our dream. So began the monotonous business of chasing visas, certificates and documents, that is to say, of overcoming the many hurdles modern Nations erect in the paths of would-be Travelers." (1952)
"The two of us leaning side by side on the railing, each of us far away, flying in his own aircraft to the stratospheric region [altitude - Editor AF] of his own dreams. There we understood that our vocation, our true location, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world."
"The communism gnawing at his entrails was no more than a natural longing for something better, a protest against persistent hunger transformed into a love for the strange Doctrine, whose Essence he could never grasp but whose translation `bread for the poor,` with something which he understood and, more importantly, filled him with hope." (The Motorcycle Diaries, 1952)
Write your own groovy.guide
The original maps promised "Fun Mapped Out!™" and that's still something to shoot for.
Have a favorite hangout to share?
This is your opportunity to shine, develop appreciative fans, and maybe even some moola (at a later stage)!
To make a groovy.guide, all you need are 20-30 places, so spend a weekend creating and contributing your masterpiece, and help fellow travelers find the fun!