Nostalgia tourism: where would you go?

This article mentions nostalgia tourism:

…nine out of ten Brits were found to be using their holiday to return to a place that has a sentimental association for them.

The top five reasons were: ‘Memories of a youth holiday’ (27 per cent), ‘lived in a destination when younger or as a student’ (21.5 per cent), ‘went there on honeymoon’ (5.8 per cent), ‘had a memorable romance there’ (4.4 per cent) and ‘got engaged or married there’ (4.4 per cent).

This got me thinking about where I would go if I were to do some nostalgia tourism.

I considered going to Italy (instead of Munich, Zurich, and Madrid) this winter because my wife and I honeymooned there in 2001. We spent time in Rome, Assisi, Perugia, Florence, Venice, Naples, and Capri. We wouldn’t have revisited all those places but might have done Rome, Perugia, Florence, Milan, and Verona or something like that. So Italy is definitely near the top of my nostalgia tourism list.

Another possibility is a road trip. When I was younger I went on two big road trips – one was a two week drive from New York to Orlando with obviously a number of stops on the way. A friend and I basically drove from youth hostel to youth hostel so ended up in some places I can’t even remember – the woods of West Virginia somewhere, Kitty Hawk and Pembroke in North Carolina, some other places, and eventually Orlando. A road trip now wouldn’t have to end up in Orlando and couldn’t possibly follow the same route (well I guess I could look at a youth hostel map and mostly figure it out). One strong possibility would be something inspired by the movie Elizabethtown.

The other road trip I went on was when I drove alone to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I would love to take my wife to Mardi Gras though I’m not sure I’m still young enough to party much. And I know I’m too old to drive there basically non-stop like I did back in the day. However, We were discouraged by a friend who lives in New Orleans. She told us that there are many more dangerous areas then there used to be, even where she lives in the French Quarter it is not uncommon to hear gun shots (not that it happens all the time or anything) and she is afraid to go outside for a smoke at night.

The last one I thought of was Disney World. I’ve been there three times but my wife has never been. I don’t actually think I enjoyed it last time I was there (at the end of my road trip I mentioned above) although I do have a few good memories even from that visit. I still hate waiting in line, but I’m much less of an intellectual snob than I was back in college… I think my wife and I could have fun there – maybe make it a romantic holiday similar to a honeymooon.

And finally, I did recently do some nostalgia tourism when I took my parents and wife to Burlington Vermont this summer. I had a great summer there in 2000 when I was a camp counselor and was happy to share the city with my family and remind myself of some of the shops and scenes in Burlington.

Well I thought it was pretty fun thinking of nostalgia tourism. Would anyone else like to share their personal ideas on visiting places with some meaningful connection to your past?

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  1. Jill says:

    If you decide to do WDW, I can give you some great tips on how to have a wonderful visit. Living under two hours away, we have annual passes and visit about once a month. We know how to avoid long lines; even during Spring Break week we can do a park, hitting all the major rides, without waiting in lines for more than 20 minutes at a time.

    If I had a dream trip to Disney, I would absolutely stay in the Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savannah-room view. Something like $400 per night on average, but the views are truly extraordinary, I’ve been told. Of course, even better would be a free night in the castle suite as part of the Million Dreams promotion.

  2. John says:

    I would go to the Lakshadweep Islands near India. When my dad used to work in the merchant navy on a ship that goes there, he used to take our family there during summer.

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