Adventures Abroad: Oh, the Places You'll Go (on YouTube)

November 22, 2011

This post was authored by Will Goodman, managing editor of's The Feed, for a YouTube Trends series exploring viral video phenomena.

It's a big wide world out there. So many sites to see and people to meet. While I would recommend everyone take some time to travel and experience it for himself or herself, let's be honest: we can't all drop everything and go to Morocco. Luckily, YouTube offers us all a unique modern opportunity to take in many of these sights and sounds vicariously.

We take a trip to Turkey for our first example of the globe-trotting travel videos. What really stands out about this first video is it takes something so seemingly common as a person purchasing ice cream and transforms it into a wondrous performance. And it’s far from the only one you can find on YouTube. Just type in“Turkish Ice Cream” and you will discover a whole genre of just this particular type of showmanship in action.

And where showmanship was on display in the previous video, now we get a display of pure skill. Take something as mundane as serving up cakes to customers and see what can happen when a certain level of speed and skill are applied. This time there is no real performance by the person on display, simply someone doing their job at a level of speed and skill that is amazing to behold. If for some reason they ever did create a cake serving competition in the Olympics, I would bet money this woman would take the gold.

So where we started with showmanship and then transitioned into skill, now we’re focusing on the subject of craftsmanship. There is something hypnotizing about watching the creation of a single chess piece by hand in this video. While most sets you find in stores are now mass-produced by modern machines, you'd have to take a trip to exotic Morocco to find this kind of unique expertise. Just watch your toes!

So let’s finish this week’s column with a video that nicely sums up what we’ve seen here today with examples of showmanship, skill and craftsmanship in action abroad in this video entitled “Only In India”. And I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful upcoming Thanksgiving!

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