From "Pain? It's a Pleasure" by Debra Goldman in the January issue of American Demographics:

For the past few years, ostensibly normal Americans have been paying good money to spend a week working on the Endeavor, the sailing ship Captain James Cook sailed to the South Pacific in 1768. In return, they experience such authentic sea-going moments as climbing to vertiginous heights in lashing winds, and heaving their dinner over the bow during night watch. . . .

Counterintuitive as it may seem, a week of picturesque torture aboard the Endeavor is considered something of a luxury cruise, despite its lack of midnight buffets, pampering spas, and air-conditioned cabins. . . . By definition, the highest status belongs to those things which are most scarce, and nothing is more rare among the richest members of the richest society on earth than hardship. . . .

[N]o one is impressed any longer by a Viking stove or a mammoth Lincoln Navigator with enough cup holders for an entire soccer team. How about impressing your friends and co-workers with tales of a week on horseback following the eagle hunters of western Mongolia as they pursue fox and wolf across the steppe. This winter, Boojum Expeditions is offering just such an exclusive experience, complete with tent accommodations in temperatures that never get above freezing. "At times," the travel outfitter's disclaimer croons, "you may find yourself frightened, cold, hungry and uncomfortable." But such wretchedness is just the cost of keeping up with the souls of the Joneses.