This is largely based on my blog post I published on a previous blog in mid-2017.
I like nostalgia. Not in a bad way that influences my thoughts and actions in the present, but in the sense that I like looking back at the past of which I have very fond memories. This is particularly true of my family holidays when I was younger. I was very fortunate, my parents took my sister and I to visit the USA for two weeks every year for over a decade. This is likely where my love for travel came from.
But nostalgia can be a funny old thing. Doug Larson puts it quite well: “Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”
“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”
A couple of years ago I felt an urge to visit the USA again. I couldn’t settle on where exactly, when an idea entered my head. I wanted to visit the Gulf Coast of Florida, retracing a route I took when I was no older than 12 or 13. It was a brilliant idea, a holiday that I couldn’t not enjoy. And so I started to research the places I visited.
I have many happy memories of a motel in Clearwater Beach. It’s no longer there. Google Maps shows this has been replaced by apartments. Next I looked up a Best Western in Naples. It’s still there, but I started to wonder to why I have fond memories of this particular hotel. I remember Tin City, but no more. What would I do if I visited Naples as an adult and on my own, without car? Mentally retracing my childhood holiday, I had the same dilemma with every destination and each time the same answer. I found my expectations as a then 35 year old adult were being set by the memories of my 12 year old self. It was becoming apparent that my brilliant idea might not actually be so brilliant after all.
I like how Anita Fernaner phrases this: “Many people have fond memories of ‘perfect’ childhood holidays. Trying to re-create these celebrations can be very stressful”. It was starting to become very stressful.
“Many people have fond memories of ‘perfect’ childhood holidays. Trying to re-create these celebrations can be very stressful.”
I have since visited New York City with some friends, a one night stop over in Miami and visiting Las Vegas next March for five nights. But I’ve yet to retrace the path of my childhood American holidays.