I’m planning our vacation for 2019. This involves a lot of researching and reading for me. This got me thinking as I’m doing all of this work and planning a vacation to places I went to as a kid, but am now going to as an adult.
First off, as my husband and I travel some of the destinations are new for me, some are not. It is interesting when as an adult you back to places you went to as kid. For me, some things are the same, some have more meaning, and most seem a lot smaller than I remembered.
When visiting the Louvre as a nine year old I remember the statues and seeing the Mona Lisa. As an adult I was literally awestruck by Winged Victory. The power in that statue was amazing to me. The Mona Lisa was in a new location and protected a lot more than it was in 1984, so seeing it this time was not as impressive as it was when I was nine.
Going back to my English hometown was strange. The two school buildings I went to no longer exist. Talk about making you feel old! The building my dad worked in is also gone, and is now a housing development. Even the house we lived in is a little different with an attached garage and greenhouse. It kind of alters your memories.
I have to admit I am a big fan of the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies (stick with me, this is relevant). As I’ve been planning this trip I got caught up a marathon of the movies on some channel a few weeks ago.
As Clark Griswold pulls up in an empty parking lot at Wally World and learns Wally World is closed for two weeks my first thought is why didn’t he check their website? Then I have to remind myself this movie is set in 1983, long before internet How would he ever know that? Would he call them as he was planning the trip or write a letter for information? I have the internet advantage in 2018 that Clark did not have in 1983.
I am on review websites, hotel websites, visitor center websites, TV travel personality websites, and more. I am also reading that TV personality’s travel books, watching his DVDs, and leaning on my parents’ past experiences as they took us as kids to all of the places my husband and I are planning to go to on this trip.
I can’t imagine planning this trip without the internet. I am looking up airfares from any number of airports in Florida to any destination along our route. I don’t know how I would do that in 1983. I guess that’s why we had travel agents then – how they did it I have no idea.
I even rely on the internet for our very frequent visits to Disney World. I am booking hotels, looking at menus, making dining reservations, getting Fast Passes, ordering Magic Bands, and finding special events to attend.
Do we know too much before we go? Is some of the magic of discovering a place gone if we have already taken a virtual 360° tour of the location? Is the fun of dining out gone when we already know what we are going to order, how it tastes thanks to reviews, and how it looks thanks to social media? I don’t think so.
My Paris picture a day calendar featured Winged Victory last week. That photo, though excellent, will never replace standing in front of that statue in 100 years. I’ll continue to research and plan, and will still be wowed and surprised on our trip next year as nothing can replace the real thing in my opinion.