Holiday replay

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Instead of sighing over old Instagram posts, recreate the holiday experience at home

 

What you’ll need

Rose-tinted glasses

Fond memories of a holiday

Poetic licence

 

Instructions

If you could time-travel to the location of a previous holiday, where would it be and what would you be doing? Your challenge is to recreate the sights, sounds and flavours as creatively as you can.

Dreaming back to the Bahamas on a wet Welsh afternoon? Assemble a hammock and blitz some ice-blended cocktails. Wish you were nibbling street food in Penang, rather than staring at a limp, store-bought sandwich? Hit China town, assemble a platter of snacks, and dream…

Complexity  *

 

Case study: Carmen Michael, Brazil Enthusiast

I once went to Rio for a one-week holiday but didn’t resurface until six months later, when the police apologetically explained that I had outstayed my visa.

Some time later, I’m sitting in a bar, looking for Rio in the unlikely location of George St, Sydney. I down a poorly made caipirinha in which the essential cachaça (sugar-cane whisky) has been sacrilegiously replaced with Bacardi, and talk to Rosina, a Brazilian living in Sydney. She tells me that the place to find Rio in Sydney is Bondi. Bondi!? Having lived there half my life, it didn’t fit my image of bohemian Rio…

Nonetheless, on a Saturday morning as I pass under the crumbling arches of the Bondi Beach Pavilion (our own little version of Rio’s magnificent Lapa arches) and look down on all the suntanning hedonists below, the differences between Rio and Sydney shrink to the size of a G-string bikini.

I wander past the card players sitting as immoveable as their stone tables, and catch a twang of the Brazilian berimbou. The lonely player is Walter, an Italian- Australian who organises Sydney’s very own Escola da Samba. The weekend fast becomes a blur of Brazilian travellers, musicians, dancers and students. I meet thrice-divorced and dramatic Syzi and a flirtatious backpacker from São Paulo. I am invited to the Brazilian national day in Marrickville and a rehearsal for Escola da Samba.

I had expected to discover new areas of Sydney but ended up fine-combing my own backyard – now I can only guess at how many other layers of the city are visible to the eye of a traveller rather than that of an indifferent local.

 

Pros and Cons

+Improving samba skills

-Sky-high caipirinha standards

Authentic Aims
In The Art of Travel, contemporary philosopher Alain de Botton recounts an episode from Joris-Karl Huysman’s novel À Rebours (1884), in which the central character, the travel-phobic Duc des Esseintes, is inspired to travel to London. Packed, suitably attired and ready to go, he awaits the next train from Paris. While he does so he kills time, enjoying a drink in a wine bar frequented by English expats, before going to an English tavern where he samples a British spread of oxtail soup, smoked haddock, roast beef and potatoes, topped off with ale and a piece of Stilton. When the time comes to leave for London, des Esseintes changes his mind: having enjoyed the ‘Englishness’ of his experience, he fears the real thing will disappoint. He returns home, never to leave it again.

Reproduced with permission from Everyday Adventures, © 2018 Lonely Planet, available at shop.lonelyplanet.com/products/everyday-adventures-1

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