*Meet Feature Writers Erik and Susan.
They are travelling the (mostly English-speaking) world in search and enjoyment of good beer, wine, cocktails, spirits, waterfalls, fireplaces, pubs, lighthouses, craggy coastlines, and cozy libraries. They travel off the beaten path to imbibe; but forge their own most of the time …
Nostalgia Tourism by Erik Hofmeister.
“You know… maybe this travel thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” As we conquer our list of trips at a rapid rate, we start to feel simply visiting new places and acquiring new experiences isn’t enough. We want more. We want nostalgia.
We’d been to Australia twice, Ireland once, done several alcohol tours within the US, and were at the end of our New Zealand trip. We had been through our twentieth pub with a nice, cozy fire and properly sized pint glasses. New Zealand was beautiful, but so was Tasmania, and so was Colorado. Do we need to go and visit all of these places to confirm, “Yes, it’s nice and beautiful. They have cozy pubs?”
We realize this is a near sacrilegious thought for a travel blog, but hear us out. What we like about travel is getting away from our usual routine, driving, experiencing different things each day, and, of course, experiencing delicious adult beverages. As introverts, we don’t like not knowing what’s going on; such as figuring out a new system (like where to sleep) on a daily basis. Revisiting places we have been before allows us to know what’s going on, and we get warm fuzzies when we remember last time we visited.
I brought dinner to Susan in the common room at Launceston Backpackers and settled in by the electric fire with a few pints and Fuji, the resident cat (Susan calls him Fuji the Giant Kitty), just as I had 4 years ago. Susan and I smiled widely at each other, having warm fuzzies remembering the last time we had done this. This time in Tasmania, our third trip there, we put nostalgia tourism into action.
It was no longer a shock to pay 4 times more for gas (or petrol as it’s termed in the Anglosphere countries) than in the US. On our first two journeys, we budgeted large blocks of time to get from point to point, when in fact you can traverse the entire island in less than 5 hours. On this trip, we were able to commit to longer daily walks, since we knew the next place to stay would be a mere hour down the road. We knew that the pinot noir would be high in tannin’s, due to the acidity of the soil, and that Guinness would be undrinkable.
Nostalgia tourism can turn bittersweet when you want to revisit an event or place, and it has changed. Ouze is a tiny town that doesn’t have anything except a nice, quiet pub hotel. No tourists, no sights, just calm. We love it, and finished our first two trips to Tassie there. Sadly, because there’s nothing in Ouze, the pub finally closed, preventing us from experiencing that again, but forcing us to go on an adventure to find a new, cool place to finish our trip.
For us introverts, knowing what to expect from experience was comforting. We didn’t have exactly the same experience, but we got to remember our old memories and create new ones. So maybe we don’t need to burn through our list of ‘to do’ destinations. Maybe we can have some trips to old places mixed with trips to new places. Maybe we can remember what it was like to go somewhere for the first time, not to attempt to recreate that experience, but to remind us of the fondness we had there on our last trip.
If you love to imbibe while traveling, visit Erik and Susan at Alcohol Tourism!