I do realize that as we age, our brain functions "differently" than when we were younger; however, I have often wondered why I remember details of certain things which occurred on some travel experiences more than others. And it’s not always the advertised highlights that I remember best. For example, on my first travel industry educational visit to South Africa some twenty years ago, I remember most my first night staying in a rondeval in Kruger National Park. The night was black as coal and someone suggested that we lay on the ground to view the magic above. There we were, fifteen adults flat on our backs stargazing; marveling at the magical display which lit up the night sky. Yes, I do remember the countless highlights of South Africa, but this tiny experience is often the one which comes to mind first.
On a luxurious South America cruise, I remember our stop in Rio. It was during Carnival and I was escorting a group of seniors who wanted to visit Rio’s Copacabana Beach to experience the evening excitement of the samba bands, the sensual and scantily clad dancers and the thousands of Brazilians and tourists who came to be part of this colourful, boisterous extravaganza. Having heard cautions from the ship’s staff regarding pick-pockets, kidnappings and other unpleasant possibilities, I insisted prior to departing the ship that no one take a purse, wallet, jewellery or bag of any kind and that everyone in our group hold hands in one long line as we made our way through the crowds along the crowded beach. I made sure that the taxis I hired, stayed together and dropped us at the same spot. It was a wild ride through Rio and the beach so crowded we could barely see the sand we walked on. Of all the wonderful things we saw on this cruise, why is this what I remember most?
For a short time in my career, I worked onboard a cruise ship. I sold future cruises to passengers onboard. There are many experiences I could tell you about (and will, sometime), but one that stands out in particular is when I sold an Orient cruise to a wonderful, full-of-life 92-year old passenger who was travelling with his 60-something girlfriend. He was very excited about the itinerary I proposed and the stateroom I secured for him. He paid his deposit and as he rose to leave my office, he said, "now what was the date again?" We were in the early spring and I told him the cruise he booked was for October of the same year. "What!" he exclaimed. "I could be dead by then!" I assured him that I highly doubted this would be the case and off he went, happy as a little clam. Why does this silly incident stick in my mind to this day?
I have been to Bermuda at least three or four times, either on a cruise vacation, to attend a conference or leading a group. It is a lovely, picturesque, upscale place, but I would not call it my favourite of all time destinations. Why is it then, that every once in a while, Bermuda pops into my head out of the blue? Did I live there in a former life? Am I destined to return there for some particular reason? Do others find themselves dwelling occasionally on a certain place, for no apparent reason?
If you encounter any similar "symptoms" of brain-locking on the incidentals over the highlights or you have an explanation for it, please let me know. Email me at email@example.com.