18 JUL 2017: ‘It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey;’ thoughtful words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Travelling is about expectations and wonders and discovering joys and experiences even when plans take an unexpected turn. And for all that flowery stuff, I wish people would focus on the destination.    

It used to be that a visitor to Rome would take a picture of the Trevi Fountain to share with friends and family. Now they capture a misbehaving tourist swimming naked in the water; and then moments later, the police escort for the said nudist.

Recently some tourists in Iceland strategically tore hunks of moss from the hills near Nesjavellir, forming the message ‘send nudes.’ Yes, that might cause a few giggles from social media followers (for an instant) but the damage to the landscape will take decades to recover - seven in fact.

Another incident in Iceland involved a group of tourists travelling in a van who stopped at a private farm whereupon they chased and killed a lamb to barbeque for their dinner.

The residents in San Antonio, the resort in Ibiza have long complained about visitors partying in public areas, so the council chief is hoping to implement a law to ban the consumption of alcohol on the streets and the debauchery that ensues as a result.

It is noted that a police officer would be unable to distinguish a bottle of water from a water bottle filled with vodka, so both will be banned, implementing the ever-growing state where good people pay for the bad deeds of others.

I know that residents in many Mediterranean countries frown upon swimwear attire being worn by visitors in their restaurants, churches and streets.

Croatia’s Hvar Island is trying to eliminate drunkenness from visitors and addressing inappropriate beachwear as well. Men who go shirtless, and women who wear bathing suits will be fined severely, as will anyone caught drinking alcohol on the streets.

Italians have more issues with tourists than fountain-bathers; angered by tourists who save beach spots by leaving chairs, lounges and towels to hold (hog) their spot before the beaches open at 8:30 am. The police are confiscating the items and the owners have to pay hefty fines to retrieve them. Spain has followed suit.

So yes, travelling is about the destination, enjoying it without altering it because after we leave it is still someone’s home.

 

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Pam Stellini

Pam Stellini delivers her original spin on alternate Tuesdays in her column Without Reservations. (Formerly titled, Notes from A Broad)

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