Tourism Anarchy

In the last 12 months I’ve been on three proper holidays.  After over a decade without going away in the summer, that’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

I’ve never been too fussed about holidays.  I have no problems with them and it’s nice to see other things and I enjoy them when I’m there, but I always feel like I can get as much out of a staycation as a vacation unless I’m going for something specific, like a requirement for a snowy mountain.

When I think about what I enjoy, I can do much of that while staying at home.  Think of a holiday day – get up, nice breakfast, walk somewhere, see somewhere, relax somewhere, eat some more, walk somewhere, see somewhere, relax somewhere, eat, drink.  That’s an itinerary for a day at home for me too.

Having had the chance to work abroad for weeks at a time, I have a similar feeling to relocation.  When you’re working, your day follows the same pattern wherever you’re physically located.

I realise that that is just my point of view and I can hear people already saying, “Yes, but…”

The news today that an anarchist group is going to start targeting tourists for destroying Barcelona and the Balearic islands is interesting to me because this is similar, although vastly more extreme, to what I was hearing when I went to Dubrovnik in June.  There is talk of the latter city losing its World Heritage status because of its inability to control the volume of people walking its city walls.

There is further uproar in Iceland as Reykjavik’s iconic Baejerins Beztu hot dog stand has been forced to move from the place it has stood since 1937 to make way for the construction of a shopping centre.

Elias Thorsson of the Reykjavik Grapevine said of the move, “The city centre has rapidly been changing from the charming, low-cost slum it used to be, into a tourist oriented theme park.”

I have mixed feelings now that I’ve been to Reykjavik and Dubrovnik.  Both cities, to me, are geared to tourism.  I don’t see anything else, and I don’t know what they could be without it.  They would require massive transformation, in my opinion.  This is especially the case in Dubrovnik, because I didn’t see any evidence of industry that could support the city without tourists, unlike Iceland with its fishing and energy that could otherwise support a way of life.

There’s a phrase that possession is 9/10 of the law.  That considered, the balancing act is a hard one and I realise that this point has much wider implications to freedom of movement.  For now, though, stick with tourism and things being temporary.  If we weren’t allowed to travel in order to maintain a way of living for those lucky enough to be born and raised somewhere that we want to go, when we want to go, for temporary visits, would our lives be much less enriched?

Why should me, as an English person, cause a city hundreds of miles way to potentially destroy a nearly century old local business for the benefit of those like me?

If we couldn’t go, would we concentrate more on the adventures on our doorsteps and sharing those with important people?

London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared, and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
Except for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out, and draw another breath
London calling, and I don’t wanna shout
But while we were talking, I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain’t got no high
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

Now get this…
London calling, yes, I was there too
And you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won’t you give me a smile?
London calling…

I never felt so much alike alike alike alike…

London Calling by The Clash

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